So you’d like to learn how to draw a rhinoceros?
Well, this is your lucky day! In this six-step cartoon drawing lesson, you’re going to be creating a very cute cartoon rhinoceros – one you can call your very own!
The actual type of rhinoceros that your about to draw is the "black rhino." It’s found in central and eastern parts of Africa.
Although it is called the "black rhino," they actually are more grayish or white in color.
OK then… on to the lesson.
First Step – The Body
For this lesson, be sure to keep your lines as light as possible as you will be doing some erasing as you progress. So, it’s important that you use a pencil. As you can see on the left, I’ll be using light blue lines to represent the same light pencil strokes that you will be making. Blue lines show up much better on the computer screen!
Alright then, ready to draw a rhinoceros? Great! First, go ahead and draw a large circle. Make sure that you give yourself lots of room on the page. If it helps, grab a a protractor or perhaps even the bottom of a large can to assist with making a your circle.
Simple tools like these can really help when you’re learning how to draw. Once you’ve done this, go ahead and draw a large oval overlapping the circle. Make sure that it’s tilting slightly to the right.
At this point you can easily see that the large circle will soon become the back end of your rhinoceros while the oval will soon become the front end of your rhinoceros.
OK. Are your lines really light? Great, because now your going to do a little erasing. Don’t worry. Erasing a little bit here and there will help keep your drawing crisp and clear so that it’s easier to see what you’re doing as you progress through the lesson. Just like I’ve done, erase the unwanted lines in the middle to reveal the odd-looking shape like the one you see above.
Done? Excellent. Now you’ve got the perfect basic framework for learning how to draw a rhinoceros!
Second Step – The Head
True when learning how to draw any type of creaturewith a head, it’s super important to get the positioning of the head correct, relative to the body. And it’s just as true when you draw a rhinoceros!
So again, I’d like you to draw some shapes to form your rhinoceros’s head. Three simple shapes – a circle, an oval, and a rectangle do the job quite nicely! Did I say rectangle? Actually, it’s more of a "rhomboid." But right – this is art not math… let’s just call it a "lop-sided rectangle." 🙂
It’s best to get the top part of the head positioned first. To do this, draw a circle directly over the oval part of the body. Next, below the circle, draw an oval. The oval will become the end of your rhinoceros’s snout. After that, draw the lop-sided rectangle so that it fits directly over the circle and the oval. Remember… It doesn’t need to be perfect… but do try to get the general shape right!
Now just like you did with the rhinoceros’s body, erase the inner lines. If you don’t get them all – don’t worry. Get most of them.
Alright! With only a few simple steps so far, your attempt to draw a rhinoceros has proven to be worthwhile. It’s looking great!
Next up, let’s zoom in on the head and draw some of the rhinoceros’s key features…
Third Step – Ears, Eyes and Nostrils
Very important! Always draw a cross before you draw a rhinoceros face! And this goes for any animal, any person or anything else with a face. The cross makes learning how to draw a face much easier because you can position the different parts of the face in the right spots, allowing you to keep exact proportion.
While my cross appears a dark gray, I recommend you use a light dotted line. Just like with the blue lines, gray also shows very nicely on a computer screen. With your cross, the main thing is that you can see it, that it doesn’t get confused with any of your other lines, and that it can be easily erased after you’ve drawn the features of your rhinoceros’s face.
Anothing thing you can notice is that my cross is actually curved slightly. That’s because this rhinoceros’s head – from the rhino’s point of view, is turned to the left a little.
Alright then… first draw the ears. Rhino ears are actually really simple to draw. First make a rectangle. After, draw a teardrop so that it’s positioned over the rectangle. That’s all. Do this twice and you’ve got two ears for your rhinoceros!
Next, go ahead and draw in your rhinoceros’s eyes. Here you should really make use of the cross that you drew. Position the eyes on either side of cross. Use circles or ovals for the eyes.
The last features to draw in are the nostrils. Just like with the ears, draw a couple teardrops, except this time draw them upside down. Again, use the cross as a guide.
Finished? OK. Now, go ahead and erase the interior lines. Looking good! Next, it’s on to the horns…
Fourth Step – Rhino Horns
Who ever wanted to draw a rhinoceros without horns? Not me! Drawing the horns is the most important step of all when learning how to draw a rhinoceros! Here’s how…
Basically, all a rhino horn really is – is a triangle. So then, draw a triangle. Make sure your triangle has a short base and a longer height. I recommend you do a practice step and draw one off to the side before you draw the horns on your rhino.
OK. Once you’ve got your triangle, the next thing to do is alter each of it’s three lines. Draw the bottom line so that it curves downward and away. Draw the outside-right line so that it curves to the right and away. For the left slanted line… draw the bottom portion so that it bends out and away to the left, but draw the top portion so that it curves inwards. That’s pretty much it.
Knowing that rhinoceros’s have two horns – a big one at the end of their snout and a small one further up, go ahead and draw them!
And don’t worry if they overlap. Just like before, unwanted lines get erased!
You’ll notice in the example above that my lines do overlap, and that one of the eyes is even covered up a little. So, when you erase, be sure to get rid of the part of the eye that’s covered as well as the portion of the smaller horn that can’t be seen.
And there it is – a very simple way to draw rhino horns! Finally, with it’s trademark horns in place, your rhinoceros drawing is really beginning to take shape. It’s beginning to look like the way a rhinoceros should look!
Next, it’s on to the legs and feet…
Fifth Step – Legs and Feet
In this 2D rhinoceros drawing, we can only see one of it’s two sides. So, to make things easy focus on the two legs that can be seen first. Worry about the ones on the other side after.
Alright, draw an oval for the upper part of your rhino’s back leg. Then draw a circle for the upper part of your rhino’s front leg. Try to get them in relatively the same position as shown above. Also, make sure that the base of both shapes are level.
Next, draw your rhinoceros’s first front and back legs. A really easy way to draw a rhinoceros’s leg is to use a rectangle and four circles. No, they may not be "anatomically correct," but no worries… afterall, it’s a cartoon! That’s one thing that’s cool about cartoons… there’s no one specific way of how to draw something. There’s always room for adjusment!
Just like I’ve done, do the same for the first two rhino legs. The circles at the bottom compose the feet with one big circle as the foot, and three smaller circles as the toes.
Once you’ve got the first two legs drawn, you can either continue by drawing the second two legs… or you can completely finish the first two before you start the second two. It’s no problem to draw them all right now. But if you do too much at once things may start to look a little bit messy.
In my case, I’ve drawn all four legs at the same time. And with each leg, I’ve erased any inner, unwanted lines so that all I’m left with is the outline.
Start with the foot and erase portions of each of the circles so that you’re left with well-defined rhinoceros feet, each with three toes.
Once all the feet are done, it’s time to move up the leg. Erase the unwanted lines that compose the oval at the top of the back leg. Do the same for the circle at the top of the front leg.
Alright, a few minor adjustments still remain. For one, erase a small portion of the big circle that makes up the back end of the rhino. Once done, your rhinoceros’s leg appears to be set behind it’s stomach. This is how a rhinoceros is supposed to look!
Another thing to do is erase the top part of the circle on your rhinoceros’s front leg.
Excellent! Your rhinoceros drawing at this point looks to have pretty much everything it needs…
…except for a few minor details!
Sixth Step – Details
When learning how to draw, detail is not as important in a drawing as you may think. Right now, what you’ve created will certainly pass for a rhinoceros! Still, detail can’t hurt… here are few tips to consider…
One thing that helps to enhance any drawing is to smooth out some of the lines. Take a look at your drawing and see if there are any areas that could use a little smoothing out.
I decided to change three areas in my drawing – the areas inside the gray circles above.
To make these areas smoother, erase the lines and then redraw them so that they’re more curved and uniform.
After that, add some other details to your rhinoceros’s face. Draw two "leaves" for the inner parts of your rhinoceros’s ears. Draw a couple smaller circles or ovals inside it’s eyes.
Add a curved line to give your rhinoceros a smile and draw three diagnal curved lines on it’s backside to give it a rough-looking appearance.
Something else too! If you’ve ever looked at a photograph of a rhinoceros, you’d notice that they look almost as though they’re wearing a sweater with that large thick flap of skin that hangs in front of their front legs. So if you like, draw a straight line to create this unique look.
Last but not least – don’t forget to give your rhinoceros a tail!
Final Step – Define Your Lines!
When you first began to draw a rhinoceros, I asked you to keep your penciled lines as light as possible. Hopefully you did just that because now, I’m going to ask you to erase your drawing!
Erase? What? Yes, that’s correct. Well, kind of correct…
Using a black pen or marker, draw right over your lightly penciled rhinoceros drawing. Don’t trace it exactly though, as this would defeat the purpose.
As you go over your drawing go ahead and make your lines as similar to or as different from the original drawing as you like!
Looking at the above image, you can see some of the blue areas that I didn’t like too much and didn’t include in the finished drawing. Get creative and do the same!
When you’ve completed your final rhinoceros drawing using a black pen or marker… all that’s left is to erase! With a few rubs of the eraser all that remains is your final – and near flawless – rhinoceros!
…and that’s all there is too it. So give your rhino a name and perhaps a little color as well. And of course give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!
Well, now you know how to draw a rhinoceros! I hoped you enjoyed this lesson! 🙂