Learn how to draw a rocket step-by-step. Draw a cool retro-style bullet-shaped rocket with many interesting, easy to draw details as she soars up into space.
Today you will learn how to draw a rocket. We like the really cool looking retro-style bullet shape better than the realistic rockets, so that is what we draw here. The trick that makes the rocket look really good is the many interesting details that are properly placed on the bullet-shaped body. With them, the rocket really looks like a 3D object. We will show you, step by step, how to curve all those lines to make your drawing pop into 3D space. Once you understand the principles, have fun updating the design to draw many different rockets on your own.
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How to draw a rocket: base sketch step by step
Step 1: Sketch the rocket body
Let’s start our how to draw a rocket tutorial by drawing a nice bullet-shaped rocket body.
Draw a small narrow oval that is tilted sideways first. Then add the two sides for the rocket body – gentle curves that meet at a pointy rocket nose.
Step 2: Draw surface guidelines and the exhaust nozzle base
Next, mark two vertical guidelines onto the rocket body. These will help us place the fins and cabin later. Draw one guideline close to the right side of the rocket body, and the other one roughly halfway between the first line and the other side of the rocket body. Notice how the lines are curved to follow the contours of the bullet shape.
Next, draw two extra ovals – these will form the base to draw the exhaust nozzle. Draw one smaller oval centred inside the rocket base. The second oval is about the size of the rocket base, but moved below the rocket body – this will be the lower edge of the nozzle.
Step 3: Sketch horizontal guidelines onto the rocket body
Let’s add a few more guidelines, this time splitting the rocket body horizontally. As you can see, to achieve the 3D bullet body shape, all the guidelines are half-ovals.
As this is a cartoon rocket drawing, we are making up the design as we go. You can either follow the tutorial or feel free to design your rocket as you please.
Here we are adding one line to separate the rocket nose, two double stripes in the lower third of the body and a final split at the bottom.
Step 4: Sketch the cabin window and the exhaust nozzle
Let’s draw an oval cabin window next. Place it centred on the vertical guideline. Then add a square plate around it.
Well, as you can see – the sides of the “square” plate again follow the bullet shape of the rocket body – two more half-ovals for the horizontal lines, and the curved vertical guidelines for the other two sides.
Then finish the exhaust nozzle sketch by joining the two ovals we drew earlier with a flat “S” curve on each side.
Step 5: Sketch the side fins
Now it is time to add the side fins to the rocket. Again, feel free to make up your own fin shape if you wish, or follow along.
Start with the fin on the right. Notice we have attached it to the body where the guidelines cross – this will help us to draw all the fins the same size. Our fin has a wider part coming out sideways as two straight lines and then curves back, following the body edge shape for the narrow part of the fin.
The other fin is a mirror image of the first one. It also starts the same distance inside from the edge of the body as the other fin.
Step 6: Sketch the top fin and exhaust flames
Let’s add one more fin to the top of the rocket body. See how the guidelines help? Since we are looking at the fin almost from the top, it ends up being a very narrow shape.
Then sketch the exhaust flames – for the time being, just two simple curves meeting in a tip. Double up the shape with a smaller flame inside.
Finally, we want the cabin window to appear like a dome shape sticking out of the rocket body, so we are adding two curved splits that suggest that dome shape.
Expand your scene with another simple spaceship:
How to draw a rocket: outline the drawing step by step
Step 1: Draw the rocket fins
The hard work of drawing and placing all the objects on the 3D bullet shape is done. Let’s outline our rocket drawing and improve on the plain sketch.
Start by outlining the fins. These are a direct outline of the sketch, with a rounded transition between the two fin parts. Notice that the left fin is outlined only where it is not hidden behind the rocket body, which makes it shorter than the right one.
Step 2: Draw the exhaust flames
Next, let’s draw the exhaust flames better. Use the zig-zag lines similar to drawing the bristles on the witch’s broom to roughly follow the sketched flame shape. Since the flames are more irregular than broom bristles, add a few extra tips that curve back to that shape.
Step 3: Draw the rocket body and exhaust nozzle
Well, finally an easy step: Now that you know where the fins and flames will be, you can outline the rocket body and the exhaust nozzle. These are a straight outline of the sketch, only breaking the lines where they are hidden behind the already drawn parts.
Step 4: Draw the cabin window
Let’s draw the rocket cabin window next. Outline the window oval and draw out the “square” plate around the window. Next, we are using the sketched split lines to draw a small cabin roof structure.
Yep, we totally made that one up just to add another interesting detail to our rocket drawing. Feel free to leave it out if you like the plain flat window better.
Step 5: Decorate the rocket with stripes
It is time to add some more decorations, so the rocket drawing does not look so plain.
Draw out all those stripes on the rocket body. Notice that we have decided to double up the top line that separates the rocket nose as well – you will see why shortly.
Step 6: Add the final extra details
The very last step in our how to draw a rocket tutorial is to add some more details and textures. Draw a row of dots into the top and middle stripe, and all around the cabin plate – these are the rivets that hold the rocket plates together.
Then add some short vertical lines between the two stripes at the bottom of the rocket – those must be some cooling vents around the hot rocket thruster engines.
Finally, colour in the cabin roof and add a small antenna – a quintessential improvement to the rocket’s communication system for sure.
See how few simple details can improve the look of your rocket drawing?
Add some character to your space scene:
How to draw a rocket: finished drawing
How to draw a rocket: finished outline drawing
How to draw a rocket: finished drawing coloured in
Now that you know how to draw a rocket, all that is left is to colour in the drawing. Now, as everyone knows, painting the rocket in red surely makes it fly much faster. So let’s draw the nose of the rocket, the fins, the jet nozzle and the stripes all in red.
For some contrast and simplicity, we leave the body of the rocket white, just with some light blue shading (the trick we have learned on the snowman drawing). Finish the cooling vents and the bottom of the rocket by colouring them simple grey. Finally, the flames are a nice mix of red, orange and dark yellow strokes.
Our rocket is soaring into the dark space with some planets in the background. We love the swishing air condensation lines around the nose as she jets through the sky. Just do not show the picture to any scientists – while the lines look cool on the drawing, in reality, there is no air in space to make those lines.