Demetrios Vital
A drawing of a Tyrannosaurus Rex

At-home activity: How to draw a Tyrannosaurus rex

biology, earth scienceDr. Alex Hastings, Fitzpatrick Chair of Paleontology / Demetrios Vital, Professional Development SpecialistDec 17, 2020

Bring one of the most fearsome predators to life with your pen, pencil, or paints

Tyrannosaurus rex.

Known throughout the world as one of the most impressive apex predators of all time, the T. rex could grow up to 40 feet long and hunted prey in modern-day North America.

Tyrannosaurus rex fossil cast skull with teeth

With their giant heads and tiny arms and hands, this theropod dinosaur is also a treat to draw, besides being one of the coolest dinos around. Let's get started!

1. Sketch a rough outline using simple shapes. This doesn't have to be perfect. What you'll want to focus on is the proportions of the T. rex; they have large heads, fairly oval-shaped bodies, and a tail to balance out the weight of their large jaws. Pro tip: Add a line for the ground so you know where your T. rex is headed.

Rough sketch of a T. rex dinosaur

2. Define the outline. Add lines for the legs, arms, joints, and toes. Fun fact: Tyrannosaurus rex's toe bone was more than twice the size of its hand! Don't believe us? Just ask Dr. Hastings.

Slightly more outlined drawing of a T. rex dinosaur

3. Imagine what goes underneath. Of course, none of us have seen a living T. rex, but we have seen their bones! Their skeletal structure can show you where their ribs, teeth, and claws would be most visible. Use it to guide the shape of your sketch.

Skeletal view of the T. rex sketch

4. Erase the extras and finalize the shape. Focus on the famous T. rex skull and stance. Erase the skeletal elements from the step before that won't show in your final draft.

More detailed drawing of a T. rex dinosaur

5. Add detail. If you've been to one of our previous How to Train a Dinosaur shows, you might know that many scientists believe the Tyrannosaurus rex had feathers. Add details like feathers, textures, and extra lines to your T. rex to create a lifelike sketch.

Detailed drawing of a T. rex dinosaur

6. Color it in. Get creative and use your imagination! We used Earth tones, but you can use whatever colors you like.

Colored-in, finished T. rex drawing

7. Share your work with us. Seriously, we want to see it! Tag us on social media and we'll share your Tyrannosaurus rex art.