How to Draw a Hippopotamus

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw a Hippopotamus in 9 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represent how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the Hippopotamus.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw a Hippopotamus - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: The Hippopotamus, or Hippo for short, is a big, curvy animal. Let's start by drawing its forehead, sloping down and to the left. Add a bump for its eyebrow before curving back, then forward again to draw its snout. Curve the line towards teh back again to draw its nose and its cheek, ending with the line for its cheek coming close to its snout.

Step 2: Now draw a big, curved, hump of a back. Make sure to make it extra long, as Hippos are very big!

Step 3: Next comes its chin. Start at the bottom of its cheeks, and draw a curving line to goes up. Curve it towards the top briefly, before continuing the curve back to create its jaw.

Step 4: Now comes its front leg and belly! Draw a line that starts about halfway down the jaw, and extends towards the floor. Hippos have big toes, so make sure to draw two big ones at the bottom of its leg! After that, draw a line coming up to make the other half of its front leg. The line will also start drawing its bell, which should curve up, towards its rear, but leave room for its back leg!

Step 5: Draw a curved line that goes down towards the ground to start drawing the back leg. Remember to give your hippo big toes on its feet! Draw another slightly curved line to come back up to the hippo's hip, before making the last curved line to join its new hip with its rear.

Step 6: Now you can add its other legs. Put one behind the front leg, and another infront of the back leg. If you have trouble making the feet, try drawing socks with toes!

Step 7: Now your hippo needs ears and a nose! Add two little circles that point up at the top of its head, and a small bump on its nose to add a nostril!

Step 8: We can now add your Hippo's eyes! Draw another bump next to the one on its forehead, and put a line underneath it. Now your Hippo can see!

Step 9: Lastly, add the hippo's tail. It will be on the very top of his rear at the end of his back. Draw two lines right next to each other that droop down towards its rear leg. At the end, add an upside-down rain drop shape to make the end of its tale. Did you know that Hippos live almost their entire lives in water? They only leave sometimes to find food!

Interesting Facts about Hippopotamuses

The hippopotamus, simply called hippo, is a semi-aquatic mammal that is from sub-Saharan Africa. Its name comes from the ancient Greek word that means, “river horse.” They live in rivers, lakes, and mangrove swamps (swamps where there are mangrove trees).

Did You Know?

  • The oldest hippo fossils ever discovered are from around 16 million years ago.
  • Hippos are the world’s third-largest mammals that live on land.
  • Hippos typically weigh 1.5 to 3 tons.
  • Hippos have stubby legs, a huge barrel-shaped body, and very large mouth.
  • Although hippos are very heavy and have short legs, they can outrun humans. They can run as fast as 19 miles per hour over short distances.
  • Hippos are hunted by humans for their ivory teeth and meat.
  • Hippos live in groups called herds, bloats, pods, or dales.

Hippos are most active at night. They hardly ever leave the water, except to eat. Hippos are herbivores, and that means they do not eat meat. Although they eat other plants, the main staple of a hippo’s diet is grass. They can spend four to five hours grazing for their food, and they can eat up to 150 pounds of grass in one night.