How to Draw a Crab

Two Methods:Drawing a Simple CrabDrawing a Realistic Crab

Are you a huge fan of sea creatures? Do you love crabs? Crabs are fun, interesting, and simple to draw. Both experienced and new artists can enjoy drawing crabs with this easy step-by-step tutorial. Draw crabs for decorations at a pool party or just for fun. Follow the steps below to learn how.

Method 1
Drawing a Simple Crab

  1. Image titled Draw a Crab Step 1
    Set up your workstation. Find a comfortable well-lit place to work where all your materials are nearby. For this tutorial, you will need:
    • Your sketchbook, paper, or card stock.
    • A pencil
    • An eraser
    • Scissors (optional)
    • Markers, color pencils, or crayons (optional)
  2. Image titled Draw a Crab Step 2
    Draw a medium sized oval, long-ways in the center of your paper. Make sure to give yourself plenty of room on the top, bottom, and sides of your oval. This will be the body of the crab.
    • You can draw this oval in one continuous stroke or connect two sideways "C" shapes to make this shape.
  3. Image titled Draw a Crab Step 3
    Add the eyes and antenna. Crabs have two small eyes with a tiny antenna coming from each one, like eyebrows. You will want to draw these at the top of your oval in the middle.
    • Find the center of your oval and draw two small circles next to each other on the top line. Make sure to space the circles far enough away that you can clearly see both of them. You may also want to color them in completely with your pencil or a black marker.
    • Above each circle, add a short line sticking up and out, from the inside of the circle. This means that the two antenna lines should be directly across from each other, with the circle eyes on the outside.
  4. Image titled Draw a Crab Step 4
    Draw the claws. Drawing the claws of your crab is a three step process. On the top of the oval, toward the edges, add a small oval, tall-ways, to each side. If you have trouble getting these ovals the same size, don't worry, some crabs have one claw that is larger than the other.
    • On top of each oval, draw a larger oval tilted diagonally inward toward the eyes. Your top ovals should look like they are almost facing each other while reaching upward.
    • Add the pincers on the top of the larger oval. To draw the pincers, hold your pencil at the top of the oval and draw a short curved line reaching upward. End this line with a pointed tip, and take the line back down to the center of the top of the oval.
    • From the center of the top of the oval, draw a shorter curved line, curving toward the first (as if to complete a circle), and end that line in a point as well, before taking it back down the the base of the oval.
  5. Image titled Draw a Crab Step 5
    Draw the legs. Your crab can have three legs on each side, all below the claws. Start the first leg directly below the claw. Draw a crescent shape pointing upward, in line with the direction of the claw. Repeat this on the other side.
    • Draw another leg directly below the first one. Use a present shape to angle this leg upward as well. Repeat on the other side.
    • Draw the last leg directly below the second, but this time, angle the present shape downward. Repeat on the other side.
  6. Image titled Draw a Crab Step 6
    Finish your crab. Depending on what you want to do, there are a few ways you can finish your crab. You may wish to color your crab and then cut it out, using it as a party decoration for an underwater theme. You could also add an underwater scene to your paper, drawing a kelp forest or sea otters around your crab. Have fun!

Method 2
Drawing a Realistic Crab

  1. Image titled Draw a Crab Step 7
    Start with the body. Draw a baseball diamond shape for the shell of the crab. Add the legs by drawing eight lines toward the bottom middle of the baseball diamond and two claw lines toward the top.
  2. Image titled Draw a Crab Step 8
    Create the shape of the crab. Crab shells are rough and pointy around all of their edges. Take your pencil and add ridge detail to the shell of the crab.
  3. Image titled Draw a Crab Step 9
    Draw out the thickness of the claws. Make sure the claws look strong. The claw itself is made up of different shapes.You can create the pincers with crescent shapes on the inside.
    • You can also create your claw by starting with a rectangle shape on the edge of the diamond. Add a small circle onto the top of the rectangle and then two crescent shapes facing each other for the pincers.
    • Once this is done, start drawing out the shapes of the walking legs, and the very back swimming legs.
  4. Image titled Draw a Crab Step 10
    Make sure all the legs are pointed at the tips. Give the legs and claws the same treatment you gave the body. Make the edges look rough and sharp by adding small bumps and points.
    • Give the crab some small eyes on the tip of its head and two short antenna. Erase all the guidelines and shapes that you drew in step one.


  • Be patient. Drawing isn't always easy. The most important thing is to have fun. Your crab doesn't have to be completely symmetrical. If your crab is a little uneven, it's actually more realistic. You can also make one claw much larger than the other so you won't have to worry about it.
  • Use a pencil and press lightly so you can erase if you need to.
  • Add googly eyes and use pipe cleaners for the antenna for a silly crab!

Article Info

Categories: Drawing Animals