You never want to get too close to an alligator. So, I would not recommend drawing one from observation. Instead, you can draw your alligator by layering simple shapes. Each step of the drawing, we’ll add a few more shapes until the drawing of the alligator is complete.
Step 1 – Draw Three Overlapping Shapes for the Body
First, we’ll establish the overall shape of the alligator by layering three shapes. A tapered oval is drawn for the head. A second tapered oval is drawn for the body and a rectangular shape is drawn for the first part of the tail.
Step 2 – Develop the Shapes for the Arms, Legs, and the Rest of the Tail
Next, a few more overlapping shapes are drawn for the arms and the legs. Notice how the shapes are drawn so that they overlap at the joints. An additional shape is drawn overlapping the tail so that it looks as if it recedes back in space.
Step 3 – Draw Shapes for Hands and Claws
Now we can add the shapes for the hands and the claws at the end of the shapes that were drawn for the arms and legs. A simple circle is drawn for the hand, while triangles are drawn for the claws. We’ll also add a few details to the face of the gator. We’ll give him a sly smile with a simple wavy line. The shape for the only visible eye is drawn as well.
Step 4 – Finish the Drawing of the Alligator
Believe it or not, all of the structure needed to finish the drawing is in place. All that’s left to do is add the details. We’ll go over all of the contour lines with a heavy mark, allowing the line to become thicker and thinner in areas. We’ll add a few more details to the face including the snout. The eye is darkened, leaving a small white spot for a highlight. We’ll also draw textural marks around the body to make the alligator look a bit wrinkled. With a bit of shadow underneath the gator, we can erase any stray lines and complete the drawing.