How to Draw a Jellyfish
Greetings and welcome to this tutorial on how to draw a jellyfish (or nine).
How to Draw a Jellyfish: Happy Jellyfish!
For our first character, we are going to draw a happy little jellyfish.
- Start by drawing an (almost) oval for the head. Leave the bottom part open.
- Now close this shape by adding in some squiggly lines for the bottom of his head.
- Let’s give the jellyfish a face! draw a small circle for each eye, and a semi circle for his mouth. Inside his mouth, draw two little curves for his tongue.
- Time to add some tentacles. Start by only drawing the outline of all the tentacles. The shape created in this step looks a bit complicated, but take a good look at it and see if you can break it up into simpler shapes. (For example, if you look at the sides of the tentacle outline, they look a bit like upside down question marks. Then the bottom of the shape looks like a bunch of cartoony ocean waves!)
- Now that we’ve drawn in the outline for the tentacles, we can start drawing in some more lines. Starting at the tip on each ‘wave’, draw some curvy lines going up to the jellyfish’s head. Also draw in a little reflection bubbles at the top right of his head.
- Finally, add in some shadows! Color in the mouth black (but leave the tongue white). Add some shadows at the top of the tentacles where they connect with the head. Finally refine the tentacle shapes a bit more by adding some black negative space on each tentacle.
Bonus Step: Adding Color to our Happy Jellyfish!
Let’s add a bit of color now! For this guy I’ve just used red, light blue and purple for the shadows. Color in his tentacles and tongue with red. For his head, leave the eyes and reflections white and then just color the rest in blue. Finally use a light shading of purple for the inner area of his head and to give his tentacles a bit more form.
Alrighty, that’s one down. Let’s now do the other eight jellyfish! Next up I will teach you how to draw a jellyfish with a serious penchant for piratey shenanigans… They call him… the Jelly Pirate!
How to Draw a Jellyfish Easy
- Let’s Begin by drawing a hat for our Jellyfish. It’s easiest to start by drawing the bottom of his hat (this is just a horizontal line). Then continue by adding in the curvy bits for the top of his hat.
- Next draw in his head popping out from under the hat. Keep the sides of his head vertical with some squiggly lines going along the bottom of the jellyfish’s head.
- Time for some facial features! Draw a little circle for his eye. For his eyepatch, this is just a capital D lying on its side with some string attached to it!
- Next let’s draw some limbs. The first tentacle on the left is holding his hat, while the other three are just hanging down. Make sure you make them nice and squiggly!
- Now add in some details. Convert his second tentacle into a peg leg. Just draw a horizontal line across his tentacle and and some thin curvy lines on his peg leg to make it look wooden. For his fourth tentacle, again draw a horizontal line to show where the hook hand starts. Then draw an upside down question mark for his hook. On his head you can add a tiny reflection poking out from under his hat. Finally add in a friendly little skull on the hat
- For the final step, let’s add in some nice rich darks! Ink in his hat black, but leave a white line going across the top of his hat (and make sure not to ink over the skull!). Ink in his hook hand and and a dark rectangle at the top of his peg leg to make it look more obvious. Finally, ink in his eyepatch and and some dark areas and lines near the top of his tentacles. This will make them look like they are in his head’s shadow.
Bonus Step: Adding Color to our Happy Jellyfish!
If you’d like to add some color to the Jelly Pirate, you’ll need some green, pink, brown and purple. Color in his tentacles green, his peg leg brown and his head pink (leaving the reflection and his eye white). For all the subtle shadows, you can add these in with a light shading of purple on his tentacles and the inner part of his head.
Okay let’s kick on to the next jellyfish! We are now going to learn how to draw a jellyfish who has taken a wrong turn and has ended up on the beach. I call him… The Beached Jellyfish! See you in Part 3!
How to Draw a Jellyfish Step By Step
Let’s now draw a jellyfish who’s stuck on the beach. Poor dude is a bit dehydrated, been in the sun too long, and ain’t feeling the best. But that’s okay, the tide will be coming in shortly.
- Start by drawing the jellyfish’s base – just a simple squiggly line. This will be the bottom of his head.
- Next add in the rest of his head. I have made this shape skewed to one side. This is to avoid making the head shape too symmetrical (asymmetry always looks a bit more interesting!)
- Now draw in some circles for eyes. Again, keep things asymmetrical – draw the left eye high and the right eye low.
- Because our jellyfish has been in the sun for too long, he needs a spaced out look. To achieve this, draw his pupils going in opposite directions. I also want him to look a bit nauseous, so draw an X for his mouth. (For some reason, an X for a mouth always makes cartoons look a little sick!)
- 5 Next add in some finer details. Draw some reflection blobs on the top right of his head. Add in some sweat drops coming off his head and some thin lines repeating the outline of his squiggles at the bottom of his head. Underneath the head, draw the outline of his shadow. This will make it look like he is anchored to the ground!
- Nearly there! Finish off the design by inking in the shadow area black. Notice how I’ve added a few extra black dots next to his shadow. These small touches just add a little more texture and interest to the cartoon.
Bonus Step: Adding Color to our Beached Jellyfish!
This jellyfish has a very simple color palette: light blue, magenta and purple (magenta is a bit of a less popular color, so if you don’t have magenta, feel free to replace it with a pink, a purple… heck, even a green!) Color in his pupils and the thin wavy strip at the bottom of his head with magenta. For the inner part of his head, lightly shade this area with the purple. If you’re feeling adventurous, also shade in the bottom areas of his eyeballs with the purple. This will make the eyeballs look a little three dimensional!
Alrighty, we have completed the beached jellyfish! We are now going to learn how to draw a jellyfish who has taken things a little too literally. He is part jelly (or jello) and part fish. Whatta weirdo! Let’s kick it!
How to Draw a Jellyfish Part 4: The Jello-Jellyfish!
- Start by drawing the jello part (those wobbly tiers you get from Jello moulds).
- Now draw in a plate for the bottom of the jello. It looks like a realllly stretched out oval!
- Okay, we have drawn a dessert, but now it’s time to make it look a bit fishy. Draw some fins sticking out from the bottom of the plate. Add some nice big circles for his eyes.
- Keep adding in more features. Give him some dots for his crazy eyes, some nice, big fish lips and a tail.
- Time to get very fancy with the details. Using a thin pen, add in some blobs inside his head to make him look more like jello. On his fins, add some little U shapes scattered here and there. This gives the fins a scaly texture. Finally draw some striated lines on his tail.
- For our last step, add in some nice dark shadows where the tail and fins attach to his head. This creates the illusion of the fish’s limbs being cast in shadow. Finally, give our little jellyfish some bubbles by drawing in three little circles (of different sizes) coming from his mouth.
Bonus Step: Adding Color to our Jello-Jellyfish!
It is a well known fact that the greatest jello flavour is RED! So if you have a similar taste in flavors, you can give him a nice vivid shade of red. If you look at a color wheel, the opposite color of red is green, so I made his fins and tail green to add maximum impact to the red. If you’d like to add some extra shadows, get out your purple pencil and lightly shade in different areas on his tail, head and eyes.
Okay we have completed the Jello-Fish. Let’s now move on to the next section where we will learn how to draw a jellyfish with anger issues!
How to Draw a Jellyfish Part 5: Angry Jellyfish!
- First let’s draw the head. This is just an open semi circle with squiggles going across its bottom.
- Now let’s add the special ingredient needed to make our jellyfish angry. A nice monobrow curving down to the center of his head.
- Next add some round eyes poking out from under his eyebrow.
- We are getting more detailed now, so get out your thin pen and add in his pupils (which also need to be poking out from the eyebrow). Also add some little reflections at the top of his head.
- Alrighty, that’s the head done. Now we can start on the tentacles. Just add four wavy tentacles popping out from under his head.
- Finally, add in the finishing touches. Put in some nice, dark shadows where the tentacles connect with his head. Draw in an eyebag under his eye on the right and add some tiny dots on his head for detail.
Bonus Step: Adding Color to our Angry Jellyfish!
The color of anger is definitely red, so let’s color in his head with a nice rich red (leaving his eyes and reflection white). Similar to our previous character, let’s use green for his tentacles (the complementary color to red). Finally for the shadows, just lightly color in a transparent layer of purple for the middle of his head, eyes and tentacles.
That’s our angry jellyfish completed! Next up we will learn how to draw a jellyfish who is a little bit gray and old. His name is… JellyPops!
How to Draw a Jellyfish Part 6: JellyPops!
- Let’s start with a bell shaped head with a wavy line going along the bottom.
- His sight isn’t as great as it used to be, so we better give him some glasses too. Just draw two circles and connect with a tiny curve between the two circles.
- For his mouth, he hasn’t got any teeth (Yeah yeah, I’m pretty sure all jellyfish don’t have teeth). To create the effect of having no teeth, simply draw three little curves one after the other. Now, let’s add that hat! Draw a rectangle sticking out of his head with a long peak sticking up. Draw part of another rectangle inside his hat for the hat’s label.
- Now let’s draw in his tentacles (which are also his old wobbly limbs!). Make sure his legs are super shaky (but look at those steady arms!)
- Next up is to draw in some details! For his hat, draw in some fine cross hatches to give it a mesh effect. Also, we need to add a bit of shine, so draw two little blobs on the top of his head for a bit of reflection. On his glasses, add reflections by simply drawing a couple of diagonal lines over each lens.
- For our final step, add in some shadows where his tentacles connect to his head. Also add a few stray hairs poking out of his head.
Bonus Step: Adding Color to our JellyPops!
JellyPops is pretty gray and old, so we let’s color his head and tentacles gray (with a dark gray for the middle of his head). To offset all this gray, let’s color in his hat with a vibrant red and green combo! Finally, color his cane brown and his glasses blue. Don’t forget to leave the reflections on his glasses and his head white.
Okay, we have completed our old and rickety JellyPops. Next up we will learn how to draw a jellyfish who has had a big fright… the Startled Jellyfish!
How to Draw a Jellyfish Part 7: Startled Jellyfish!
1. Start by drawing a beam shape for his head
2. Let’s begin putting in his tentacles. Start from the outside of his head and draw the outer tentacles converging together at the bottom. (You should see a triangle in the negative space between his tentacles)
3. Repeat the step above for the inner tentacles. (These super straight tentacles will hopefully make your jellyfish look extra startled!)
4. Draw two oval shapes connected together for his eyes. Then draw two little blobs over on the right hand side for some little reflections!
5. Let’s keep adding to that startled look! Draw in some pinpoint pupils and some sharp, straight lines popping out of his head. (I’m not sure why this evokes fright, but it does!)
6 Finally add in some shadows at the tops of his tentacles and some random dots on his head for a bit of texture.
Bonus Step: Adding Color to our Startled Jellyfish!
I went with a very simple blue and red color combo for this guy. As mentioned earlier, if you’re using colored pencils, you can achieve the subtle shadows with a light shading of purple pencil.
Let’s now move on to the next section where we learn how to draw a jellyfish with a bit of a… boxy look about him.