Celebrate National Draw a Dinosaur Day!

National Draw a Dino Day drawing of a dinosaur

January 30th is National Draw a Dinosaur Day! Why January 30th? Because that's the day a young boy named Todd Page got bored in class, drew a dinosaur, thought it was fun, and decided to register it as a national holiday. It's a straight forward history for a straight forward holiday; all you need to celebrate is a pen, some paper, and your imagination. But if you, like me, appreciate a little bit of extra help when it comes to drawing, we've got a dino-mite tutorial for you. Simply follow the instructions in the drop down below, and you'll be a dinosaur drawing pro in no time!

Dino-Drawing Tutorial!


Step 1

Find your inspiration. Take a look around to find a picture of a dinosaur you'd like to base yours on. It can be scary or cute, as long as it's something you're excited to draw. For this tutorial I decided to go with the cute option. 

Two pictures of dinosaurs


Step 2

Draw a graph over your inspiration. The graph can be any size, as long as the boxes are square. In the example below the squares are 1"X1" and it took 7X8 squares to cover the whole dinosaur. 

A dinosaur with a grid drawn over it


Step 3

Grab your paper or canvas and, using a pencil, draw a grid with the exact same number of squares as the grid on your inspiration image. It's ok if the grid doesn't cover the whole page. That will just give you extra room to add a setting around your dinosaur. Your paper or canvas doesn't have to be the same size as your original image either. In this tutorial, the dinosaur I draw is smaller than the inspiration image I used. 

Dino inspiration next to a canvas with a grid drawn on it


Step 4

Using the grid as a guide, draw a dinosaur like the one in your inspiration image with pencil. By breaking the image into smaller squares, it's easier to follow along with the original image. Don't worry if it takes you multiple tries to get a line where you want it. That's why we're using pencil! As you can see in the image below, it took me a couple tries to get the dinosaurs foot to end where it should.

A dinosaur drawn in pencil over a grid


Step 5

Once you've drawn a dinosaur you're happy with, copy over the pencil lines with something that can't be erased, like marker or pen. Then, erase the extra lines and the grid. This will leave you with just a dinosaur. 

A marker drawing of a dinosaur


Step 6

Now that you have a dinosaur, you can let your imagination run wild. Do you want to give him a friend? Add some background? Color him as he is? It's entirely up to you. For mine, I decided to add some easy to draw setting elements like trees, a ground, and birds to give him a place to live. 

A marker drawing of a dinosaur in front of trees next to two dinosaur eggs


Step 7

Last but not least, it's time to color! You can use markers, pencils, crayons, paint, glitter, or whatever else your heard desires to color your dinosaur. If, like me, you're bad at coloring inside the lines, it can help to go back over your lines with a thick black marker once you're done. This makes the lines look clean and crisp.

A colorful drawing of a dinosaur


And now you're done! All that's left is to admire your artwork and, since it is National Dinosaur Drawing Day, maybe draw another one!

Want to expand your drawing skills even further? You can take a look at our calendar of events to see if there's an art class at a branch near you, or check out some of our dinosaur drawing books below.

Drawing Dinosaurs cover art

Drawing Dinosaurs by Rebecca Clunes 

Young readers and artists can journey back in time to the Triassic Period as they learn how to draw their favorite prehistoric creatures in this helpful book. In just a few simple steps, readers discover how to create cartoon versions of their favorite dinosaurs--from the fierce Tyrannosaurus rex to the flying pteranodon. Fun facts are presented alongside colorful renderings of these popular dinosaurs, bringing the worlds of science and art together in one fantastic resource.


Learn to Draw Dinosaurs cover art

Learn to Draw Dinosaurs: Step-by-step instructions for more than 25 prehistoric creatures by Robbin Cuddy

With Learn to Draw Dinosaurs, you can discover how to draw all of your favorite dinos step by easy step!

Perfect for young artists-in-training, Learn to Draw Dinosaurs offers a comprehensive drawing experience that includes step-by-step lessons, as well as full-color illustrations, fun facts, trivia, quizzes, and much more. Children will enjoy the 64 pages of drawing instruction for a variety of dinosaurs, The book opens with a brief description of basic drawing tools and some sample drawing exercises to warm up. Each drawing lesson begins with a basic shape, such as a square, circle, or triangle, and progresses to a finished piece of dino artwork, making it easy for children to follow along. Along the way, engaging text describes interesting details and fun facts about each dinosaur. With a mix of art instruction and fun trivia, Learn to Dinosaurs is the perfect way for children to discover more about their favorite dinosaurs, in addition to developing their artistic talents.


Drawing T. Rex and other meat-eating dinosaurs cover art

Drawing T. Rex and Other Meat-Eating Dinosaurs by Steve Beaumont

This dazzling book will show kids how to draw the distinctive features of three meat-eating dinosaurs, from the sharp beak of Oviraptor and the vicious claws of Velociraptor to the daddy of dinosaurs, the T-rex, in easy-to-follow steps.


You Can Draw Dinosaurs cover art

You Can Draw Dinosaurs by Mattia Cerato

Do you love dinosaurs? Then check out this book, where you can learn to draw a horned, sharp-toothed, or long-necked dinosaur. You'll have lots of fun being an artist!


Let's Draw Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Beasts with Crayola cover art

Let's Draw Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Beasts with Crayola ® ! by Kathy Allen 

Drawing dinosaurs and prehistoric beasts is fun and easy with simple shapes! Step-by-step instructions feature shapes that combine to become velociraptors, triceratops, woolly mammoths, and more. Back matter shows Crayola colors used in the drawings.



By RachaelR on January 22, 2024