How to draw a Cartoon Hippo


Just for once we won't start with the eyes as we begin drawing a cartoon hippopotamus.


The body can be drawn as just a big grey oval shape cut off along the bottom. Hippos spend so much time in rivers that it seems a reasonable thing to pretend their legs are under water (and its easier that way too!)

hippo head

A series of lightly drawn elipses will give you the head shape

hippo head and body

I put a bit of shadow round the head to create a 'cut out' effect.

hippo with eyes

A pair of small eyes for character. These are just simple black ovals inside bigger white ovals.


And a big dopey smile. Add a pair of nostrils and shading lines in the ears and the hippopotamus is finished. A very simple technique that looks pretty fine.

When drawing Mrs Hippopotamus I gave her a smaller mouth and no nostrils or lines in the ears. I think that simplifying things has actually improved them, so maybe I can do the same for her friend?

Oh yes, that's great. Sometimes, in cartooning, 'less is more' which means it is often best to keep things simple.

Good luck and keep drawing!