How to Draw a Tortoise

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw a Tortoise in 6 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 Tortoise.

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

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

Step 1: Start your tortoise drawing with the head. Tortoises have a very long neck, so draw two slightly curved lines below the head and leave the ends open.

Step 2: Now let's give your face a little detail to make it look real. Draw the eye, nose and mouth. The nose should look like two small circles right next to each other.

Step 3: Next, draw one of the front legs. This leg should be even thicker than the tortoise's neck.

Step 4: Now draw the tortoise's other front leg. Don't forget, tortoises have four huge claws on each foot!

Step 5: For the next step, draw the tortoise's shell. If you're having trouble, it's the same shape as a lemon--like an oval with small rounded ends sticking out.

Step 6: Finish your tortoise by by drawing the hind legs and putting details on the shell. When you’re finished with your tortoise, you can start coloring it. The body is green, and the shell is dark green and brown. You can also draw the tortoise’s surroundings and habitat. Draw some rocks, trees and grass, and you can even add a body of water like a stream or a lake. Share your drawing with the class.

Interesting Facts about Tortoises

Tortoises are reptiles that live on land. They have hard shells that protect them from predators. Tortoises are also called land turtles. One difference between a tortoise and a turtle is that tortoises only live on land, not water.

Did you know?

  • There are about 40 species of tortoises.
  • Some tortoise species can weigh as much as 660 pounds and grow to be as long as four feet or five feet.
  • Female tortoises lay about 30 eggs at a time, and they bury them underground in a burrow. After about two to three months, the hatchlings climb up out of the ground and do not rely on either parent to help them survive.
  • The average lifespan of a tortoise is 90 years. Some can live to be 150 years old.
  • One of the oldest animals in the world was a tortoise that was born in 1777 and died in 1965, at the age of 188.

One of the most famous fables is The Tortoise and the Hare. The moral of the story is “slow and steady wins the race.” Tortoises do not move very fast. The fastest speed of a tortoise on record is 5 miles per hour.

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