How to Draw a Cartoon Alligator
(the Easy Way)

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Do you want learn how to draw a cartoon alligator? It's easy. Jump in, the water’s lovely and warm! This grinning gator is a fine example of the species known as crocodilians, or ‘crocs’ for short. Having lived on the planet for more than 200 million years, it’s certainly fair to say these awesome creatures are born survivors. 

And, whether swimming in the rivers of the Mississippi or enjoying the Florida sunshine while maybe sipping a ‘croctail’, alligators always make their rivals green with envy. Impress your friends with how well you can draw one of these fine creatures by following our simple steps. You’ll soon be making a splash in the art world!

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STEP-1: Start with the Tail
Our first step in learning how to draw a cartoon alligator starts with the gator’s huge, powerful tail, which somes in very handy when gliding through the water. 

Starting at the tip, draw a curled shape – almost like a big comma. Then, we’re ready to draw the other side of the tail – just make the arc of the curve wider. Just imagine Alladin’s shoes and you’re pretty much there!

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STEP-2: The Body
Having finished our cool croc’s tail, let’s continue learning how to draw a cartoon alligator by drawing the rest of this reptilian relic’s body. American gators can grow up to 15 feet or 4.6 meters, so we need to give a sense of just how powerful our river roaming friend is. Add some features such as an eye and the first lines of our gator’s grinning jaw. 

Start the top of the head by drawing an upside down ‘U’ shape just above the eye. These large lizard-like creatures have short, dumpy legs, so let’s sketch these in by drawing two shapes that look a little like a small ‘d’. Don’t let our gator’s little limbs fool you, though – crocs can swim up to 20 miles (32 kilometers) per hour and, on land, can run at speeds of up to 11 miles (17.6 kilometers) per hour!

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STEP-3: The Feet, Snout and Mouth

For our next step in learning how to draw a cartoon alligator, let’s add some more detail to our great gator by finishing off the feet and adding a snout and the rest of the mouth. For the legs, just draw two staight lines which meet the curly lines you drew earlier. Then, draw two short lines on each foot to show our gator’s ‘toes’. 

There, our cool croc is almost ready to walk! An alligator’s snout has special organs in it which give our buddy a great sense of smell – draw a wavy line which meets the mouth shape we drew in the previous step. While we’re here, let’s also add the inside of the mouth, ready for those all-important teeth!

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STEP-4: Bring it To Life 

Are you enjoying learning how to draw a cartoon alligator? Soon you'll be an expert at this. Now it’s time to really bring our gator to life – finish off the head by drawing another upside down ‘U’ shape next to the eye which meets the snout. An alligator’s eyes are placed either side on the top of the head so our buddy can get a clear view of his or her prey above the water – we’ll add another eye in the next step. 

We already have a grinning gator, but let’s make this more pronounced by adding an expression line at the corner of the mouth – just draw an arc shape. You may have noticed that our gator doesn’t have any ears – this is because a gator’s ears are actually just tiny slits that close up when they’re in the water. That doesn’t mean they don’t have awesome hearing, though – in fact, a mommy gator can hear her hatchlings calling from inside the egg! 

We’re now ready for the most important part – the teeth! Crocs are carnivores and will eat just about anything they can catch in the water or on the river bank, including fish, turtles, birds and even monkeys! Draw some sharp-looking teeth by sketching a series up ‘V’ shapes along the top and bottom of the mouth. 

Gators have rather poor table manners – rather than chew their food, they grab it in their teeth and then shake it so they can swallow whole chunks. This gesture is often known as the ‘death roll’ so don’t be alarmed if you invite a gator for dinner and he does this at the table!

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STEP-5: Finish Up 

Our cool croc is looking ready to take to the water, but we just need to add some finishing touches to create a truly awesome alligator! Add some detail to the gator’s back by drawing lots of upside down ‘V’ shapes – it looks like a lizard’s back, doesn’t it? In fact, the name ‘alligator’ comes from the Spanish phrase ‘el lagarto’, because early Spanish settlers in Florida thought that is what these amazing creatures were. 

Now, let’s add a nostril to help our cool croc’s amazing sense of smell. After this, draw another line on the gator’s body to show the underside of our buddy’s belly and just draw a small arc opposite the other eye. It’s time for some color! Rub out any lines you don’t need and get that green felt pen at the ready – don’t forget to make the underside of the belly a lighter shade. 

Next, color the inside of the mouth red to really show off those sharp teeth! Our final step in learning how to draw a cartoon alligator is finishing up the eye. Color the eye in black, remembering to leave a small area white – this makes an awesome highlight and gives our gator real personality. There, you’re good to go! Have fun and we’ll see you later, alligator!

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