In this free art lesson, you'll learn how to draw a manta ray step by step. There are two species of manta rays, the reef manta ray (Manta alfredi) and the giant oceanic manta ray (Manta birostris). The giant oceanic manta ray is the largest type of ray in the world. It can grow to 23 feet (7 meters) across and weigh 5,000 pounds!
Manta rays are fish, and they're closely related to sharks. They have large brains, triangular pectoral fins and structures protruding from their head called cephalic lobes. To eat zooplankton in the water, the manta ray will uncoil its cephalic lobes and use them to push the water into its mouth.
This tutorial shows how to draw a giant oceanic manta ray, but you can use this tutorial to draw the reef manta ray also. When shading, make the T-shaped color marking on the head more Y-shaped, and make the transition from black to white more gradual, rather than abrupt.
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All of the tutorials on How2DrawAnimals.com are good drawing tutorials for beginners and experienced artists alike. The online tutorials are easy to follow; they teach you the how to draw basics while showing you how to draw animals step by step. Each animal has a video drawing tutorial option, as well as step-by-step photos and written text to follow.
The Time-Lapse (Speed Drawing) video:
To draw a manta ray step by step, follow along with the video tutorial below and pause the video after each step to draw at your own pace. You may find it easier to follow the step-by-step drawings below the video. The new lines in each step are shown in red, so you'll know exactly what to draw next. You may want to open the video in a new tab and use both drawing methods. Take your time and draw at your own pace.
The Written step-by-step video tutorial:
For the first few steps, don't press down too hard with your pencil. Use light, smooth strokes to begin.
Step 1: Draw a big rectangular shape as a guide for the oceanic manta ray's body. First draw a long line that slopes toward the lower, left side of the paper. To the right, draw another line that's parallel to the first one. The two lines should be similar in size. At the top, draw a shorter line that connects the first two lines together. At the bottom draw another small line to close off the shape and finish the rectangular guide for the manta ray's body.
Step 2: To the left of the body, near the top, draw a long, horizontal line that slopes slightly as a guide for the manta ray's first pectoral fin. Below that, draw another long line that slopes even more and forms a triangle-like shape to complete the guide for the fin.
Step 3: On the right side of the body, draw another triangle- like shape for the manta ray's other fin. This triangle should be slightly bigger because of the perspective. Notice that the top line on this guide slopes more.
Step 4: At the top of the body, draw a short, curved line as a guide for the manta ray's tail.
That's it for the guides! From this point on, press harder with your pencil for a more defined drawing.