How to Draw a Galapagos Tortoise

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw a Galapagos Tortoise in 7 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represents how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the Galapagos Tortoise.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw a Galapagos Tortoise - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: Let's draw a Galapagos tortoise! First draw the head by tracing a small circle, then two lines for the neck.

Step 2: Draw a short line in the circle for the mouth, and a small circle for the eye.

Step 3: From there, draw a large semi-circle for the shell and the back, making sure the lines are squiggly. But be careful! The bottom half isn't a straight line, but a curved line at the front and a deep curved line at the back.

Step 4: Now, draw in the shell pattern by tracing many little squares inside the shell. Here's a hint: the squares don't have to be perfect. Have fun with it!

Step 5: Draw the front leg by tracing a chunky rectangular shape. Here's a tip: make the bottom a little squiggly to accent the toes! Then draw a long line across the bottom for the belly.

Step 6: Now draw the back leg by making another rectangular shape but make this one longer than the front!

Step 7: Last, draw the tail by making a pointy shape at the back of the leg. There's your Galapagos tortoise! Did you know that every year a new band of color is added to the Galapagos tortoise's shell?

Interesting Facts about the Galapagos Tortoise

The Galapagos Tortoise is the biggest tortoise in the world. It is also the 13th heaviest reptile in the world. The Galapagos Tortoise has a really long lifespan – it can live longer than 100 years! One tortoise lived up to 170 years once – that’s over two average human lifetimes!

Did you know?

  • The Galapagos Tortoise gets its name from the Galapagos Islands, which is where it lives. Do you know what the name “Galapagos” means? It’s actually Spanish for tortoise! That’d be like us living on an island named “human.”
  • The shell of a Galapagos Tortoise is actually attached to its ribs. This helps provide extra protection for the tortoise.
  • Because the Galapagos Tortoise moves so slow, sometimes they can grow lichens on their shells. Lichens are a type of fungus.
  • Every year, a new band of color is added to the Galapagos Tortoise’s shell. Though, over time, the bands are worn off, so scientists cannot use them to tell how old the tortoise is.

Charles Darwin explained that those who lived on the Galapagos islands believed that the Galapagos Tortoise was actually deaf. This was because it did not react when people were walking behind it. Though, Darwin figured out that the tortoise actually depends more on its senses of sight and smell than on its hearing.