How to Draw a Ballerina Tutu

Updated February 21, 2017

Ballet dancers have long been considered beautiful and graceful and therefore are often the subject of artists' sketches. Because ballerinas can contort their bodies into various positions, drawing them provides an opportunity to practice figure drawing in many different poses. The outfits ballerinas wear also provide an interesting object for artists to draw. Reproducing with pen or pencil, the many layered, ballet tutus with their wide skirts and stiff circular shape, presents an interesting challenge for any budding artist.

Draw two vertical lines in the centre of the page, about 1 inch apart, each 1 inch in length. Slope the two lines slightly towards each other, so that they are only about 3/4 inch apart near the bottom edges. Connect the top edges of these lines with a horizontal line. Draw two half circles above this horizontal line, representing the top edge of the bust line.

Draw two short horizontal lines straight out from each side of the top drawn in Step 1 above, each line about 1 inch long. Draw an upside down semicircle connecting the two outside ends of these lines, forming the bottom edge of the skirt.

Draw a wavy line around the semicircular line drawn in Step 2. Draw two or three more wavy lines under this wavy line. Draw several straight lines, like spokes on a wheel, coming down from the waistline and out to the edge of the skirt.

Shade in the bodice of the tutu, using the side of the pencil or charcoal. Add a few shaded lines around the bottom edge to represent shadows on the bottom edge of the lacy tutu.


If desired, draw a neck and head above the bodice, shoulders and arms on each side of the top part of the bodice and two legs below the bottom edge of the skirt.

Things You'll Need

  • Sketching paper
  • Pencil or charcoal
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About the Author

Freddie Silver started writing newsletters for the Toronto District School Board in 1997. Her areas of expertise include staff management and professional development. She holds a master's degree in psychology from the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, focusing on emotions and professional relationships.