How to Draw and Paint an Elephant Step-by-step Guide

Painting of a still gray elephant in a full-moon evening in the jungle
Image courtesy of Arree’s Creativity School

Today we will learn how to draw and paint an elephant- the largest land animal!

This fun and easy art activity is the perfect way to bond with your child. So grab your pencils and paints and let’s get started!

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Elephants: One of the Earth’s largest

A large elephant with long tusks eating grass on a sunny morning.
Image courtesy of World Wildlife Fund Inc. (

If anyone asks you the biggest animal, these giant animals are sure to come into your mind: Elephants!

Probably, the largest land mammals on Earth are elephants.

Their bodies, their ears, and their long, sturdy trunks are huge. The trunks are used to gather food, objects, and water, offer warnings when an enemy is nearby, and greet other friendly elephants.

They are also famous for their long tusks, which they used during hot summer days for protection, food gathering, and water digging!

Let's draw and paint an elephant!

Elephants are amazing creatures, and they’re also fun to draw and paint!

Here's a simple step-by-step guide perfectly crafted for kids and for all ages!

Ready. Set. Draw!


For drawing:
A set of Canvas paper or acrylic painting paper
1 pencil of any type
1 eraser

For painting:
1 paint brush set
1 paper plate
Acrylic paints

  • black
  • white
  • yellow (optional)
  • red (optional)

A small container for water


Part 1: Drawing

1. Draw the elephant’s face.

Start with a vertical rectangle and then, on the right, a triangle. Make the triangle's longest side a little curvy.

2. Draw the trunk.

Draw a curved shape that resembles an elephant's trunk below the triangle. Then draw a snout at the end of the trunk. 

For the eye, add a small circle

3. Add the ear and the eye.

Fill the inner part of the eye. 

Draw a wider triangle on the other side of the rectangle (with softer edges) for the ear.

4. Draw the body and the front-side legs.

From the upper head, draw a large oval around the ear, then to the lower head.

Draw two rectangles (tapered towards the feet) for the front legs – below the body (between the head and ear) and back.

5. Add the back-side legs, tail, and the tusk.

Draw two smaller rectangles (sloped towards the feet) in front of the front legs for the back-side legs.

Draw two curved lines next to each other for the tail to connect to the end.

Draw two curved lines upwards of the lower part of the head for the tusk and connect them to the trunk's front.

6. Erase the overlapping lines inside the body.

Part 2: Painting

1. Make your drawn elephant ready for painting.

2. Paint the upper part of the body with gray.

3. Paint the rest of the body with gray except for the tusk.

Add a light gray texture for the feet.

4. Paint a dark gray shade on the back legs, then the ear and eye.

Draw a dark gray line that would bring the front legs out of the body of the elephant.

5. To add texture, add dark gray lines on the legs, body, and trunk.

6. Paint the tusk and top of the body with light gray.


You've just created a masterpiece!

Tips for art-mazing success:

  • Draw from right to left (right-handed) or right to left (left-handed) for smooth brushing!
  • Mix black, white, and a bit of yellow to make a gray. The color should be popping out of the black when you put it on top.
  • Mix black, white, a bit of red and yellow to make a dark gray.
  • Add more white when mixing with black to make a light gray.
  • You can always play with the proportions of the body.

Let your kids' creativity run wild and explore with this simple step by step drawing and painting an elephant.

Here are some of the awesome elephants created at the Creativity School by our young artists!

A painting of a gray elephant next to a tall tree on a sunny day, A painting of a sleeping gray elephant in the wild, A painting of a light gray elephant on grassland during the night

Creative Kids Live

“We can tell that Creativity School is having a positive impact on my son’s motivation for school and his overall well-being. We know art and creativity are always boosts for academics and health! This is proving it!!!"
- Celina G.

On Demand Class

“Arree Chung, your class is fantastic! I am sure other parents would agree that Creativity School is more of a FAMILY DEAL! Because I, as a parent who has no drawing experience, learned too.”

What's your favorite animal to draw and paint? Leave a comment below!

Get the best of Creativity School! Join now for more drawing and painting lessons.

We also have FREE printables for a handy step-by-step guide of today’s activity! Check ‘em out!.

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