Below is a step-by-step drawing tutorial.
To create the basic shape for the head and body, draw a large potato. This can be done by drawing two circles, one for the belly and one for the head. Next, join the circles to create a large oval shape (or ‘potato’). You will notice that the head is higher than the rest.
Its dominant feature is the elephant trunk. It is very broad at the base (see the connection to the ‘potato shape’) and extends to ground. The green arrow illustrates how the stem’s front curves forward when it joins the trunk. The orange arrow shows the tight curve that the stem’s back creates when it joins with the bottom part of the elephant’s head. It is easy to draw the leg. We will explain this in the next step.
Elephant legs are easier to draw than most animals. Step 2 added the near legs. The new ones are on the opposite side (or ‘far side’) of the elephant. The perspective of the drawing is low so all pins are roughly equal in length. However, the pins on either side are slightly shorter. Don’t just draw long stumps for legs. Also, notice how the hind legs curve at the junction with the main body. The front legs are wider at the top, with eyes that are relatively thin and the legs on the sides are slightly shorter. . Important are the feet. The forefoot is symmetrical and looks a lot like a mushroom, while the hindfoot hooks at one side.
Before we can begin shading the drawing, there are some facial features we must add. To begin, place tusks at the base of the skull. Then curve forward and down towards the face. The size and shape can be determined by looking at the tusks. Some male elephants can have tusks as large as 120 pounds. Make the tusks smaller if you are trying to draw a female elephant. Next, place large ears behind your face. As you can see, the ears are wider than the front feet at their widest point. You also notice how they form an oval shape with the top edge curving. Add the eye to the middle of the face. Although the visible eye is a small oval, the eyelid and bony structure surrounding it make it more complex. For a larger view, see print. It looks almost like a soup ladle. The top of the elephant’s trunk should be redrawn, so that it looks like a saddle.
We can now create the elephant skin texture. The elephant skin is thick and has many small wrinkles that run across the body. Although it looks difficult at first glance, this is actually one of the easiest animal themes to draw. The first step is to shade the skin. Because we want wrinkles to be prominent at later stages, we only need a skin base with a light-medium tone. You should make some areas darker below the legs and on the top of the face, as well as the back and sides. Pay attention to the direction of light (orange arrow).
Smooth shadows. This is the technique that’s explained below. It involves shading one area, then smoothing it using a cotton/paper towel (2). Then repeat the steps (3) through 4. Because elephants have very rough skin, you don’t need to use a lot of shade. In the next step, we will refine the shadow.
There are four areas of strong shadow within the figure: behind the ears, under the body/under the forelegs, and behind the abdomen. Try to draw the shadow of an ear in a similar shape to the ear. The elephant’s skull can also cast shadows on the face.
Apply the dark areas evenly with a cotton tissue or make-up remover.
We can now begin to paint the skin texture. A special technique is required for elephants with severely wrinkled skin. It is important to note that the texture of elephant skin can vary from one area to the next. The skin around the hind legs may have deep, long wrinkles. The skin around the front legs, however, has a fine texture with a few thin wrinkles. The wrinkled area surrounding the hips/hind legs will be our first.
Deep wrinkles can be found in the hip area. You can contour the creases by starting at the hip. Make sure to get the right shape. Use a dark pencil to thicken the line. Create irregularly shaped lines by using blobs and more blobs.  Last, highlight the dark wrinkles with a thin stripe of highlighter.
This shows how the skin texture changes around the highlighted areas. You can see how the wrinkles are aligned on the skin along the bone line we painted earlier. Also, notice how the wrinkles wrap around your eyes. In the final drawing, the creases between the knees of the front legs are prominent. Because they are highlights, you can draw them by simply drawing thin, curved bands using a sharp, dark pencil.
Shade the skin around the ear. You can easily overdo it, so be careful.
The trunk begins to develop texture. These wrinkles run along the trunk’s width and can vary in thickness.
As shown, add more loops to your trunk. To create a leathery texture, add more lines to your forelegs as well as to your torso. This image shows how this texture develops. The image to the right shows how it is developing.
Many small, cross-stitch wrinkles make up the texture of the skin covering most of the body and front legs. It is easy to draw a series of lines, one in each direction, and another in the opposite direction. You may add some darker lines at the end. Use a sharp pencil, and don’t press too hard at first. You can also use a cotton pad/paper towel to blur lines if you are unhappy with the texture.
You can add more wrinkles to your trunk. These wrinkles become less noticeable towards the trunk’s bottom, until the trunk is covered in small wrinkles.
After shading the trunk, add vertical notches to the top of the wrinkles from the previous steps. These notches may be of any shape you like, but they must still break the symmetry in the trunk texture. I also included many small details to the rear legs. You don’t need to copy the exact details I did – you can do it yourself.
This step will help you to improve the skin structure in the main body areas. You will need to add two textures: fine, small wrinkles to the upper left of your body (use technique in step 15), and deep, dark wrinkles to the lower right.
This magnified image shows the body in all its details.
We are now almost done. Only two important things remain to be done: the shadow under the elephant and the creases on the elephant’s back. Remember that shadows are drawn from the upper left corner of the page. The midday sun is the light source for the image. The shadow is located slightly to the left of the page behind the elephant. You should also note that the shadow from the drawing is quite thin – the shadow of trunk is particularly thick.
Use the 4 + B pencil to shade as much as possible. Finally, add some shading to the ivory’s underside and a few lines for detail. To add background to your drawing, place the horizon just below the ivory’s bottom. That’s it! This tutorial will be my last. I hope you enjoyed it! These tutorials have been a lot of fun for me over the last few months. I hope you find them useful.