Shark Pencil Drawing Step-by-Step Tutorials [Cute & Realistic]

shark pencil drawing

Depending on the occasion, you may want to make a shark pencil drawing that is realistic, or rather one veering on the cute and cartoon-esque. In this tutorial, we’ll cover both.

Plus a few bonus shark drawing ideas from my sketchbook, from different angles.

Table of Contents

Realistic Shark Pencil Drawing in 6 Steps

Sharks have such an interestingly shaped, streamlined body! Between the razor-sharp teeth and their dorsal fin, it’s relatively easy to draw a caricatural character that – even if the whole body shape is totally off – everyone immediately recognizes as a shark.

That said, with just a little more effort, you can really up your shark-drawing skills. In six steps, draw this side-view of a (fairly) realistic shark.


Initially a shark pencil drawing, I’ve traced the final version with a black fine liner. You can, of course, forgo that step and choose to stick with pencil shading instead. The shark’s body lends itself beautifully to being colored in with graphite pencil.

Step 1: Basic Body Shape

Step one consists of a simple pointed shape. On one side, you’ll need to keep room for the tail. On the other side, the point will be the end of the shark’s nose.


Step 2: Tail Outer Lines

From the rear, start shaping the top and bottom of the tail. Be sure to use the pencil for what it’s worth: a sketching tool, to find the perfect shape through multiple attempts. Once you’re happy with the curves of the tail lines, hop on over to step 3.


Step 3: Tail Inside

Time to close the tail with two more beautifully curved lines. Search for that perfect shape.


Step 4: Fins

Our shark is really starting to come together with a dorsal fin and side fin here.


Step 5: Details

In step 5, we add a few more details. A smaller fin near the back of the shark’s body, the mouth, one eye, and a set of gills.


Step 6: Cohesion

Lastly, take a moment to look at your shark pencil drawing as a whole. Now that it has all of its key features in place, use the pencil to affirm certain areas and keep sketching to create a nice, cohesive animal.


At this point, if you’ll be sticking with a pencil for shading, you may want to use a small eraser to get rid of some of the pencil lines that aren’t part of the final shape.

Or, if you’re turning the pencil sketch into a line drawing, it’s time for the most fun part: tracing the shape with a Sharpie or fine liner.

Cute Cartoon Shark Pencil Drawing in 5 Steps

Next, check out this dapper little shark. He sure looks a lot more jolly than his realistic counterpart!

The “baby shark” hit song has taken the edge off this animal we’re so used to seeing as frightening and dangerous.

In the next tutorial, we’re going to draw a shark with a cartoonish vibe. While the teeth are still razor sharp, it does have that friendly demeanor one would expect from a cartoon-style drawing.

Don’t mind my pencil lines, yo! It means I’m authentic.

Step 1: Basic Body Shape

What do you call this shape? It’s almost like a lemon. An oval with a dent (which will become our cheerful shark’s button nose.


Step 2: Curved Line

Draw a curved line, dividing the top and bottom of the body.


Step 3: Spunky Tail

Add on the tail. Remember that the top part of the tail is larger than the bottom. You can experiment with different angles, too, as long as the connection to the body makes sense.


Step 4: Fins & Mouth

Next, add three shapes: one for the dorsal fin, one for the (big!) mouth, and one other fin on the side.


Step 5: Eye, Teeth, Gills, Nostril

And with a few more details here and there, we now have a shark! Even without that small fin near the tail, it’ll still look the part.


A real (realistic) shark actually has more fins than just these. More than the first shark drawing tutorial, even! But we’re not aiming to get too technical here.

Whether you’re going to use them to practice some mean shading techniques or leave them as-is, these sharks weren’t too hard to draw, were they?

Scary Shark Sketchbook Peek

Care to meet a scary shark? This one does not come as a step-by-step drawing tutorial but he certainly uses that funny thing called perspective to his advantage!


How to Draw a Megalodon

What is the difference between drawing a great white shark and drawing a megalodon? Pretty much just the paper size, right?

This pencil drawing started out with a biologically accurately shaped mouth – this is kind of how it looks when a huge shark (whether it is a prehistorical or modern one) faces you head-on. Simplified, but still.

Then, I wondered what would happen if the mouth changed to a smile.


And there it is. A little bit weird, don’t you think? Suddenly, the shape isn’t so intimidating; more like an over-zealous water drop.


Easiest Way to Draw a Shark

There is one more way to draw a shark, and it’s super easy. If you don’t want to deal with getting the shape of the body right, you can still draw a shark (and quite a scary one, at that) with his nose up and ready to devour the pencil.


Multiple rows of teeth are in order to drive this pointed shark nose home.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these random shark drawing tutorials and ideas.

To end with another funny one – does anything about this jumpy fella look off to you? I just can’t put my finger on it…

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