how to draw a submarine

How to Draw a Submarine | in 9 Easy Steps

This engaging tutorial is a fantastic way to brush up on your drawing skills while adding a super cool submarine drawing to your collection of art. In 9 easy steps, you will have a drawing of a standard submarine that challenges all others.

Submarines are amazing water vehicles designed to travel on and under water. While submarines have been around for hundreds of years, they were not as powerful as they are today.

Present day submarines are not only bigger but they’re nuclear powered, which means they can go for months or even years without refueling. That’s a pretty good indicator of how advanced these vehicles are.

This is among one of my favorite drawings because it’s simple, straight-forward, and doesn’t require a lot of work while being effective. If you’re looking to explore your skills in art and design, this is definitely a great place to start!

What You Will Need

  • A4 sheet of paper
  • Pencils (HB, 2h and 3b)
  • An eraser
  • A ruler (optional)
  • Mathematical drawing compass
  • 20-25 minutes
Complete process

How to Draw a Submarine

I recommend studying the outline before you begin drawing. This is a great way to get yourself familiar with each step beforehand! Also, make sure you have all of the required drawing tools with you. Seeing as this drawing is fundamentally a combination of shapes put together, a ruler and circular object will definitely be needed!

how to draw a submarine
Outline of all the steps

Step 1: Draw the Body

Since all the details of a submarine are better seen from the side, kick off your drawing process by flipping your paper in a landscape orientation.

Then, start by drawing the body in the center of your drawing paper. To achieve this shape, draw a large horizontal oval for the outer hull of your submarine, and you’re all good to go.

  • Draw a large oval shape in the middle of your paper for the body
  • Ensure that the left side is larger than the right side
  • Follow the image below as guide for your drawing
how to draw a submarine
Draw a large oval for the body

Step 2: Draw a Sail

Did you know that the design of submarines were initially inspired by the shape of big fish? That is primarily why the design features elements like the sail and rudders.

To complete this step, draw a small triangle shape that points upwards above the top left part of the body.

This is known as the sail, and it helps the submarine navigate through water while also preventing it from spinning when on or underwater. Pretty cool, right?

  • Draw a small triangle on the front end of the submarine for the sail
  • Make the corners rounded and curve the diagonal end of the triangle
  • Follow the image below for a guide on the shape and size
how to draw a submarine
Add the Sail

Step 3: Draw the Periscope

While underwater, the only way for the helmsmen to see above the water is by using a periscope. This is a neat little set of mirrors combined together, connected to a tube, allowing people to see things all around them.

To add the periscope, start by drawing a small vertical rectangle extending upward from the middle of the sail for the tube. Next, draw an ever shorter horizontal rectangle extending from the top left side of the tube.

Once you have these shapes, draw a trapezoid (trapezium) at the end of the smaller rectangle as seen in the below shape, and you should now have something resembling a realistic periscope.

  • Draw a small vertical rectangle on top of the sail
  • Add a horizontal rectangle from the top left end of the vertical rectangle
  • Add a trapezium on the left end of the horizontal rectangle
how to draw a submarine
Add a Periscope

Step 4: Draw the Windows

Now that you have the basic outline of your submarine down on paper, it’s time to add the windows. Submarines often feature small windows, also known as portholes to provide helmsmen with ventilation, observation and natural light.

If you’re using the freehand method, then dive right in. If, however, you’d like to make your circles as smooth as possible, then grab a mathematical drawing compass or a small household circular object such as a coin or bottle cap.

Draw four circles along the center of the submarine’s body. To give your drawing a bit of depth, add a smaller circle inside of each circle drawn to give off the appearance of real portholes.

  • Draw four circles on the center of the submarine’s body
  • Ensure the last circle on the right is smaller than the other ones
  • Draw smaller circles inside of each circle for the porthole’s rims
how to draw a submarine
Draw the Windows/Portholes

Step 5: Draw the Rudders

Just like a battleship or an airplane, submarines cannot navigate the water without rudders. This cool invention assists helmsmen in steering submarines through all kinds of oceanic conditions.

To complete this step, draw a triangle on the upper section of the submarine’s rear end and another triangle on the bottom. Use your eraser to remove the pointy end of the triangles and replace it with a horizontal line. This will form the rudders.

  • Draw a triangle on top of the rear end of the submarine
  • Draw another triangle on the bottom rear end of the submarine
  • Remove the pointy ends and replace them with a horizontal line
how to draw a submarine
Add the Rudders

Step 6: Draw the Propellers

For the submarine to move, it needs a propeller. This invention is often located at the back of submarines and other oceanic vehicles, and operates by creating motion through a rotating system.

To complete this step, first draw a small horizontal oval against the right side of the submarine’s body to serve as the mounting for the fans. Next, draw two vertical oval shapes on either side of the horizontal oval to resemble the propeller blades.

  • Draw a horizontal oval shape on the rear end of the hull to form the mounting
  • Add two vertical oval shapes on either side of the mounting
  • Follow the image below for a guide on dimensions
Draw the propellers

Step 7: Add More Submarine Details

Your submarine drawing is nearly complete, but it’s missing…something. A little oomph. To make your drawing more realistic, let’s add a few extra details on the body and sail.

First, draw three vertical lines on the body to show the rivets that join the hull together. Each line should pass between the windows as shown below.

Next, add the main window on the left side of the sail to indicate a place helmsmen can peep through.

Draw a rectangle that starts from the front end of the sailplane and stops at the middle, and your submarine sketch is (kind of) done and dusted!

  • Add three slightly curved vertical lines between the portholes
  • Ensure the lines do not overlap with the side of the submarine’s body
  • Draw a horizontal rectangle on the left end of the sail for the main window
Add extra details

Congratulations! Your Submarine Drawing is Complete

The basic layout of the submarine is now ready. You should have something that looks similar to the one pictured below. Take a moment to admire your handiwork.

If there is anything you would like to fix, be sure to do so now before checking out the rest of the tutorial. Trust me, you don’t wanna miss out on those steps! 👌

Complete drawing

Taking Your Drawing to the Next Level

At Edits101, we frequently urge our pupils to stretch their imaginations and think creatively. Now that you’ve created a black-and-white drawing of a submarine, think about adding some color and background details to improve its condition.

Step 8: Adding a background

The first thing you should do is add water around the submarine. Since a submarine is not like a pirate ship that travels on water, we are going to add water all around it.

For this, we need to start by adding the surface of the water above the drawing. Draw a wavy line over the hull of the submarine. Keep in mind that the periscope should be above the surface of the water.

One of the best ways to depict water on paper is by adding some bubbles. Draw clustered circles as shown in the below image to portray bubbles.

If you wish to add more details, you can add some tiny sea creatures around the submarine such as fish and octopuses.

how to draw a submarine
Add a Background

Step 9: Adding color

This is officially the final – and arguably the most fun – step of the drawing process. Set your ruler and HB pencil aside and grab ahold of your favorite coloring tools, be it crayons, pens, markers or pencils.

Most real-life submarines often feature dark tones, like black and gray, so if you are opting for a realistic look, you’re welcome to include some of those colors onto your sketch.

You’re allowed, and encouraged, to use a combination of your favorite colors on your drawing. Just be sure to use different colors on different objects so that each component is highlighted.

Adding color

Bonus Tips

While a submarine is traditionally gray in color, you can get a bit creative as we did with our drawing. You can use a darker shade of blue for the water and a lighter shade of blue for the bubbles.

Watch YouTube videos explaining the techniques and perspectives used when drawing submarines to better understand the process.

To keep your drawing neat, place a piece of scrap paper below your hand to prevent smearing the colors while you work.

Share your drawing with others on visual learning platforms or your favorite social media app.

Utilize shading techniques on certain parts of your drawing, such as hatching, tonal and smudging to add some authenticity to your sketch.


In this tutorial, you started by drawing the hull and adding the sail, then you added the periscope, windows, rudders, and the propeller. All of these are fundamental tools found on submarines. You even took things a step further by adding the surface of the water and some bubbles then went wild with your coloring supplies.  

Job well done for taking the time to complete something you set out to do! If you don’t wish to use pen and paper to draw your submarine, you can follow these steps to draw a submarine on your preferred software. You can draw on the Paint app on Windows, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, or any other software.

how to draw a submarine
how to draw a submarine

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The post is a simple guide on how to draw a submarine. You will also learn about the different parts of a submarine and how to make your drawing more impressive.

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