How to Draw a Cartoon Turtle
(the Easy Way)

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Hey, slow down! Take it easy, there’s no rush.It's time to learn how to draw a cartoon turtle. This friendly turtle is not only very wise, he also knows a thing or two about taking life at his own pace. And, when learning how to draw a turtle, it’s important to remember to take things at your own pace too! Turtles are one of the oldest groups of reptiles and either live on the land or in the water. 

So, dive in! Get those pencils at the ready and let’s begin drawing our wise old buddy. As you may expect for a creature that’s been around so long, turtles have featured in a variety of cartoons, including Yertle the Turtle by Dr Seuss and, perhaps most famously, Donatello and his pals in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Cowabunga!

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STEP-1: Basic Shapes of our Turtle
For first step in learning how to draw a cartoon turtle, let's take it steady – we’re going to start nice and easy with a couple of basic shapes which will form the basis of our turtle. 

First of all, draw one oval shape slightly on an angle and one larger oval shape beneath. We can now add to these basic shapes in the next step.

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STEP-2: Adding some Detailed Touches to our Turtle
Now we’ve got the basic shapes, for our next step in how to draw a cartoon turtle, let’s start adding some character to our pal with the shell by sketching in some features. First of all, draw two oval shapes for the eyes – one on the side of the head and one seen from the front. Let’s also add our wise turtle’s knowing smile by drawing a curved line near the bottom of the head. 

Add the neck by drawing a three-sided box shape at the base of the head, then draw two paddle shapes for the turtle’s flippers. Our turtle lives in the sea, but his pals who live on the land have webbed feet to help them get around.

At the bottom of the body, draw a series of vertical lines which will eventually become our terrific turtle’s feet.

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STEP-3: Adding More Details for Turtle Power!

Learning how to draw a cartoon turtle is easy when you follow our steps! Let’s now add some more details to really bring our awesome aquatic buddy to life. 

Draw some eyelids on each eye as in our illustration, then let’s start drawing the lines for that all-important shell – this armour helps protect the body and is very handy when swimming through the water!

Draw the chest plate first, using some angular lines at the top to make it look like a piece of armour – remember to leave some gaps for the flippers and legs to pop through! 

You can also add another line at the bottom of the neck, which will make it look as it our turtle’s head is literally pooping out of his shell. Now, let’s finish the legs we started drawing earlier – draw one foot as if seen from the side and the other as if seen from the front.

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STEP-4: Cowabunga! It’s Time for Color!

Our terrific turtle is nearly ready to dive into the water, but first we need to make a splash with some final details and color! 

Finish off the eyes by drawing two eyebrows, then draw two small circles for the pupils. On the front of our turtle’s body, draw three horizontal curved lines to add texture to the shell. 

Then, on the back, draw a series of angular shapes to represent his protective armour. There, our turtle is now ready for some color – rub out any lines you don’t need and let’s get started! Draw the outline of the body in dark green and the outline of the shell in dark brown. 

Now, take a medium green pen and color in the main body. Use a darker shade of green for the eyebrows, eyelids and the back of his body. 

Then, use a medium shade of brown to colour in the shell around the arm and the irregular shapes on our turtle’s back. For our wise buddy’s chest piece, use a lighter shade of brown and go over the curved horizontal lines in a darker shade – this helps the shell look 3D. 

There you go – our turtle is ready to take the plunge! Now you’ve learned how to draw a cartoon turtle, why not try drawing some other turtles in a variety of colors? Some turtles, such as the Eastern painted turtle, have really vibrant markings and always make a big impression on land or in the sea!

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