How to Draw a Xenopus

The Xenopus, (also known as the African Clawed Frog), is the derpiest looking animal I’ve ever had the pleasure of drawing. It was a fun challenge to capture the permanent expression of oblivious happiness present on this creatures face. This is a rather forgiving drawing, so we don’t need to worry about measuring proportions like we did with most of the other ones. Here’s how I drew the Xenopus for the book!

Step 1:

Draw an egg shape. This is the body.

Step 2:

On either side, draw a sharp curve. These are the knees and hind legs.

Step 3:

From the end of one of the legs, draw a short straight line. Draw a parallel line below it connected to the body. Repeat on the other side.

Step 4:

Over the bottom half of the body and sticking out just below it, draw a pair of parentheses: ( ) . Draw a pair curves outside the parentheses that are mostly parallel to the parentheses but get just a little bit further away at the very bottom.

Step 5:

Draw a curve in the middle of the knees, that bends towards the body.
Draw a line across the end of each of the legs.

Step 6:

Draw two triangles side by side at the bottom of each flipper.

Step 7:

Create two bumps on either side of the head to make the eyes.
Draw a bean shape to make the smile.

Step 8:

Inside each of the eyes, draw three curves. These curves should be connected to the edge of the eye, so when you take the edge of the eye into account it should make an oval with each of the curves.
Draw a slightly bigger bean around the mouth bean.

Step 9:

Draw three claws on each foot.
Erase the lines inside the front legs and the line separating the eyes and the body.

Step 10:

Color the Xenopus. Most of the frog should be a mid shade of green, and so should the middle strip in the eyes. Draw brownish green spots of varying sizes (getting smaller and further apart along the edges of the dot areas) along the top of the body and legs. The belly should be a dull yellowish green. Use lime green on the lips. The bottom strip of the eyes and the claws should be white. The pupil a dark greenish grey.

Step 11:

There isn’t need for much shading, perhaps a little shadow under the frog and slight shading on the body but not much. However if your frog is in the water, you may want to tint anything under the water line blue/cyan.

So that’s how you draw a Xenopus!

This little creature was almost on the cover of the book, and you can see him on the inside cover! I think it’s friendly face and unusual traits show what I was going for with this book as a whole quite well.

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