How To: Draw the Sitting Hindu God Ganesha, Step by Step

Draw the Sitting Hindu God Ganesha, Step by Step

Personification of the Infinite Consciousness. Lord of Hosts. Master of the Universe. These are just three of the hundred-odd titles of the Hindu god Ganesha. Luckily, drawing the Hindu deity Ganesha isn't so complicated.

The patron god of art and wisdom, Ganesha is known in the Hindu pantheon for removing obstacles and clearing a path to a better life, and he is also known by the names Binayak, Ganapati, Vinayaka, and even just Ganesh.

To help you summon this mighty deity into two-dimensional being, we've dissected Meghna Sharma's video tutorial into step-by-step instructions that you can easily follow and sketch along with. All you need is a pencil, marker, piece of paper. For the full video guide, make sure to visit this end of this drawing how-to.

Step 1: Sketch Reference Shapes

Start with a piece of paper as tall as it is wide (or draw a faint box on your paper for reference). Then sketch your reference shapes: one circle for Ganesha's torso, a smaller circle above it for his head, and two sausage-shapes beneath the big circle for his crossed legs.

Image by Meghna Sharma/YouTube

Step 2: Outline Ganesha's Head

Add Ganesha's face, trunk, and ears with bold, clean lines. Use the torso's reference circle as a guide for where the trunk and ears should end.

Image by Meghna Sharma/YouTube

Step 3: Pencil in Crown Details

Add detail to Ganesha's crown and ears. The smaller items are always easier to draw than the larger items since you have less open space to overwhelm you.

Image by Meghna Sharma/YouTube

Step 4: Outline Ganesha's Torso

Fill in Ganesha's neck details, and then outline his torso — don't forget his adorable love handles! The two-dimensional depiction of this deity is starting to come along now.

Image by Meghna Sharma/YouTube

Step 5: Add Ganesha's Crossed Legs

It's time to make the sitting god the sitting god. Don't panic, that extra detail by his trunk on the right is a hand — Ganesha is often depicted with more than two arms. This first hand seen here is holding a round object, most likely a round of sweetmeats. Ganesha is known for his fondness of sweet foods.

Image by Meghna Sharma/YouTube

Step 6: Draw Ganesha's Three Remaining Hands

Add Ganesha's last three hands. One is opened with the palm facing you, a sign of blessing the people. Another hand holds a lotus flower, which is the symbol of enlightenment and supreme reality. The lotus is also the national flower of India.

The last hand holds a hatchet, or ax, which you can see in more clearly in the next step. The ax represents all the good and bad getting cut away when enlightened.

While these are the standard objects Ganesha is usually seen with, some versions show him holding items such as a goad, pasha (or noose), his broken tusk, and even a human head.

Image by Meghna Sharma/YouTube

Step 7: Embellish with Jewelry

Adorn Ganesha with the details that will elevate your work beyond a simple line drawing.

Image by Meghna Sharma/YouTube

Step 8: Fill in Ganesha's Facial Features

You can also give him beads on the hems of his pants after.

Image by Meghna Sharma/YouTube

Step 9: Drape Ganesha in a Coat

You're past all the hard parts, just finish strong with these coattails.

Image by Meghna Sharma/YouTube

Step 10: Finish Him in Bold with a Marker

Trace every line with a black marker, and congratulations, you're done! This step is optional, but it shows your drawing more boldly. Here, you can also see a small tusk, or elephant's tooth, on the right side, and on the left, a small broken one.

Image by Meghna Sharma/YouTube

Follow Along with the Video

If you still need help, make sure to check out Meghna Sharma's full video walkthrough of drawing the Hindu god Ganesha in her YouTube video below. The chosen music goes well with it!

With Ganesha in the bag, you can try learning something more challenging, with less clean lines, like the Reilly technique to draw a back nude pose of a human.

Cover image via Meghna Sharma/YouTube

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