Guide to Draw a Hippo Easily

Hippopotamuses, or hippos for short, are fascinating creatures known for their massive size and distinctive appearance. Drawing a hippo can be a fun and rewarding

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Hippopotamuses, or hippos for short, are fascinating creatures known for their massive size and distinctive appearance. Drawing a hippo can be a fun and rewarding activity, whether you’re an aspiring artist or just looking for a creative outlet. In this guide, we’ll provide simple steps for drawing a hippo that anyone can follow, allowing you to capture the charm of these majestic animals on paper. So, let’s grab our pencils and get ready to create your very own hippo drawing!

Understanding Hippos

Hippos are large, mostly herbivorous mammals native to sub-Saharan Africa. They are known for their barrel-shaped bodies, short legs, and wide mouths filled with formidable teeth. Despite their size, hippos are surprisingly agile in water and can move quickly when necessary. They spend most of their time submerged in rivers and lakes to keep cool.

Materials Needed

Before we begin, gather the following materials:

  1. Paper
  2. Pencil
  3. Eraser
  4. Fine-tip marker or pen (optional for outlining)

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of drawing a hippo.

Step 1: Basic Shapes

Start by drawing a large oval for the body of the hippo. Then, draw a smaller oval overlapping the first one for the head. These ovals will serve as the basic framework for your hippo drawing.

Step 2: Add Features to the Head

Sketch in the features of the hippo’s head, including the eyes, ears, and mouth. Hippos have small, rounded eyes and large ears that stick out from the sides of their heads. Draw a curved line for the mouth, with two short lines extending from the corners to represent the lips.

Step 3: Outline the Body

Extend two curved lines from either side of the body to form the legs. Hippos have short, stubby legs, so keep the lines relatively short and rounded. Add small ovals at the bottom of each leg to represent the feet.

Step 4: Draw the Tail

Sketch in the tail of the hippo by adding a short, curved line extending from the back of the body. Hippos have relatively short tails compared to their body size.

Step 5: Refine the Features

Add more detail to the hippo’s face by drawing the nostrils and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. Hippos have large, flared nostrils located near the tip of their snouts. You can also add some texture to the skin by drawing short, curved lines along the body.

Step 6: Erase Guidelines

Carefully erase any unnecessary guidelines and overlapping lines. This will clean up your drawing and make it look more polished.

Step 7: Ink or Darken Lines (Optional)

If you want to make your drawing stand out more, you can use a pen or fine marker to outline the final lines of your hippo drawing. This step is optional but can add definition and clarity to your artwork.

Step 8: Add Background (Optional)

For a finishing touch, you can add a simple background to your drawing. You might want to draw some water, grass, or rocks to place your hippo in its natural habitat.

Tips for Drawing Hippos

  • Keep Proportions in Mind: Hippos have large bodies and small heads, so make sure to keep the proportions accurate in your drawing.
  • Focus on Details: Pay attention to the details of the hippo’s features, such as the shape of the ears, the wrinkles on the skin, and the placement of the eyes and nostrils.
  • Use Reference Images: Look at pictures of real hippos to get a better understanding of their anatomy and features.
  • Experiment with Poses: Hippos can be drawn in various poses, such as standing, sitting, or swimming. Experiment with different poses to add interest to your drawings.


Drawing a hippo is a fun and rewarding activity that allows you to capture the unique charm of these magnificent animals. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide and practicing regularly, you can create your own stunning hippo drawings that showcase their beauty and character. Remember to have fun and let your creativity shine as you bring these fascinating creatures to life on the page!


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