This simple tutorial will show you how to draw a Chinese style dragon, a snake-like creature with four legs and a lion-like head. The drawing guide includes step-by-step written instructions accompanied by illustrations, as well as an informative how-to video. See the drawing tutorial.
This adorable young dragon is curled up nice and warm in its den. The video tutorial uses simple shapes and lines to craft the baby European style dragon. See the drawing tutorial.
In the modern mythologies of film and animation, a number of feature films and television series have featured dragon characters, often in starring roles. How to Train Your Dragon (2010), along with its sequels, series, and video games, employs a large cast of dragons, most notably Toothless the Night Fury. Other dragon films include Pete’s Dragon (1977 and 2016), Dragonheart (1996), Shrek (2001), Eragon (2006), and Mulan (1998). Dragon Tales, American Dragon: Jake Long, as well as the various Pokemon, Dragon Ball, and My Little Pony animated series are just a few examples of television cartoons with dragon characters.
There are shock-absorbing “pillow” under the toes that give the foot its final form. For a therapsid dragon they may look like actual paw pads. In case of saurischian dragons stick to a more bird-like look.
And here’s how you can start your drawing. You don’t need to finish out the first sketch that turns out well. Experiment, create many sketches, and then pick the one that you like the most.
Stormfly is a dragon known as a Deadly Nadder. She has the special ability of flinging spikes from her tail. Compared to traditional mythology, she fits the description of a wyvern – a European dragon with wings but with only two legs. Stormfly is ridden by the viking Astrid. The first segment of this video tutorial will show you how to draw Stormfly. If you’re feeling daring, you can continue the tutorial with a detailed and realistic painting.
Chinese, Japanese, and Korean dragons are most often snake-like, but having four legs and no wings. They are a religious symbol associated with wisdom and longevity. No matter their origin, most dragon mythologies have in common the scaly, reptilian nature of the creature, as well as its ability to breath fire – or if not fire, something extraordinary, such as poison or immense amounts of water. Crocodiles, spitting cobras, and the fossils of large animals are thought to have inspired these legends.
It is a classic scene: a ferocious dragon guarding the castle gates. This guide breaks down a potentially complicated drawing into easy to follow steps. See the drawing tutorial.
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One the baby dragon is ready to hatch, you’ll need to use this tutorial to help it greet the world. See the drawing tutorial.
The head of the dragon is not easy to draw, but it’s very important for the final impression. Let’s see how to draw it step by step, using any view you wish:
Dragonite is a mighty dragon type Pokemon, the fully evolved form of Dratini and Dragonair. This simple step-by-step tutorial breaks Dragonite’s shape into easy to draw lines and circles.
Please PAUSE the “How to Draw an Dragon” video after each step to draw at your own pace.
The tail is a good place to present the scales in all their glory.
You will also find how-to guides for drawing dragon parts – such as the head, wings, legs, or talons – to that you can craft your very own dragon. If you have a pencil and a piece of paper, you have everything you need to begin your own draconian adventure.
Remember to keep the tail long, meaty, and quite stiff—it’s used for balance. There’s no other animal today that moves like dinosaur saurischians, so you can’t really base the movement on anything else. But you can use two simple rules: the femur can’t go back farther than 90 degrees, and the feet usually copies its angle.
With big round eyes and an inviting smile, this Chinese dragon is too adorable to pass up. Easy steps in this tutorial will teach you to draw this baby Chinese dragon. See the drawing tutorial.
How many dragons can you name? Toothless, Stormfly, Hookfang, Meatlug, Barf and Belch. Charizard, Dragonite. Mushu. Elliot. Faranth, Ramoth, Canth. Spike. Spyro. Puff. These are just a few of the dragons who have made appearances in popular culture.
This detailed dragon drawing begins just as simply as any other. Drawing only the head, you will be able to add more details to the dragon’s facial features than when drawing the entire creature.
Add wrinkles in the soft area under the eye and cover them with little scales. Finish the outline of the eye and add the pupil.
Justify the angry brow by covering it with protective scales. You can add a row of scales around the eye socket to accentuate its shape.
Start by giving a very general outline to the front side of the limbs. Add the back part.
Step 1: Draw two circles as guides for the dragon’s body. They don’t have to be perfect. They’re just guides. Instead, pay attention to the size and spacing of the circles. That will determine the size of your dragon.
This dragon is very easy to draw, as unnecessary details have been omitted. There are also very few guide lines to be erased during this drawing tutorial. See the drawing tutorial.
This one has a different story. It’s closely related to mammals, so it can move like them and be quite intelligent. It’s quadrupedal like most mammals, so it can’t sacrifice its forelimbs for the sake of wings. Instead, a special mutation has gifted them with an additional pair of limbs (it actually happens in nature; see dipygus). It’s very hard to place those additional limbs in a plausible way, and the whole design is very unrealistic when you compare it to most “real” creatures. However, it’s a very attractive vision. It can be brought to life in a convincing way (E.g., Dragonheart, Eragon, Dungeons & Dragons).
You can stop here if you intend to add a lot of big scales later, because details of the muscles will not be visible under them. But if you want, you can make the musculature more detailed:
Outline the lower jaw using the guide lines you have created.
Sometimes, dragons are drawn as scary monsters, but this dragon only wants to be your friend. He features a smiling face and a silly, lolling tongue. In this tutorial, guide lines are shown in gray, new lines in red, and permanent lines in black. See the drawing tutorial.
To draw a dragon properly you need to start with a few simple lines based on its skeleton. Skeleton gives form to the body and establishes the proportions before you invest any time in details. Obviously, both “species” will need a different skeleton:
Dragon wings are a complicated subject, too complex to explain properly here. So let me just show you the basics. Bat wings, the only membranous wings in nature today, resemble your hands: You can easily pose the wings by spreading your fingers.
Dinosaurs make a perfect template for many elements of a dragon body, with feet being especially proper. They usually have three or four toes, and each toe has fewer “parts” than the previous one, counting from the big toe (for dinosaurs it’s actually the smallest toe).
Charizard is a dragon type Pokemon, the fully evolved form of Charmander and Charmelion. This step-by-step drawing tutorial makes drawing Charizard simple, complete with illustrations, written instructions, and a video drawing guide. Start your Pokemon journey by drawing Charizard today. See the drawing tutorial.
There are many different designs you can base on this anatomy. For example, your “wyverns” can use their wings for walking. Feathers are acceptable as well in this evolutionary line.
This European style dragon embodies everything the word “dragon” calls to mind – a scaly body, bat-like wings, and a blaze of fiery breath. This video tutorial breaks down the beast into easy to follow steps. If you need to revisit a step, you can easily do so using the menu to the right of the video screen. See the drawing tutorial.
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In this simple tutorial, you will draw a dragon that is obviously female. Although depicted as an intimidating, European style dragon, she is pink and has a heart pattern ingrained upon her scales. See the drawing tutorial. See the drawing tutorial.
Now we need to go in a different way for a saurischian (1) and a therapsid (2), as the skull is the main difference between them. Draw the points that will establish the shape of the upper jaw.
Early Mesopotamian mythologies introduce the idea of a hero slaying the dragon, and this is carried on throughout Middle Age literature. The image of dragons protecting or hoarding a treasure may have arisen from the practice of introducing snakes to food storage areas to deter mice.
This video teaches how to use a “wire frame” line drawing to outline the dragon’s body. Then, you will look at the anatomy of living creatures, such as the muscular lion or scaly lizard, to flesh out your creation.
Today you learned all the rules you need to create a realistic, plausible species of dragon. But keep in mind it’s all about fun—feel free to mix the features of saurischians and therapsids if your imagination allows so. Remember—it’s us who make dragons real!
For millennia, dragons have featured in the art and mythologies of cultures from around the world. The word “dragon” is derived from the ancient Greek word drákōn, meaning “a serpent of huge size; a water snake.” Dragons and dragon-like animals are mentioned in such ancient manuscripts as the Bible and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Maps from the Middle Ages were often marked with the warning “here be dragons” or depictions of sea serpents in areas that had yet to be explored.
To draw the membrane correctly, imagine “areas of tension” between the joints.
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This tutorial strives to cover all the bases – a water dragon, a Chinese dragon, a cartoon dragon, and a realistic dragon. Learn to draw all four types using simple step-by-step instructions. See the drawing tutorial.
Start by drawing the general shape of the eye. The smaller it is in comparison to the head, the bigger the dragon will look (reserve big eyes for baby dragons).
Start with a very general line, like a piece of wire for a sculpture. Add the other fingers around. They should be shorter than the one in the middle, unless you’re going for a straight therapsid look—then you can use four toes, with two in the middle being the longest.
Add the foot pads. That big one is optional and depends on the style your dragon sports for walking. Add the claws with gentle curves. These curves shouldn’t point directly to the ground—they can’t impede walking! Draw the rest of the toes by creating a line of “marshmallows.
” Their number should be roughly similar to the number of joints.
This European style dragon is not for the faint of heart. This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to use circle and line to craft a very scary winged, spiky dragon. See the drawing tutorial.
Cross this area with diagonal lines, creating scales covering the throat.
No matter which view and which species you want to draw, start with a circle. Add a line showing the direction of the snout. You can cross it with the “eye line.” Add the eye sockets. For a more difficult view imagine them as two ends of an empty toilet paper roll.
Add a circle to create a basic form of the snout. Use a big circle for a T-Rex look, and a small circle for a “beak.”
Learn to draw the dragon from the classic 1977 Disney film. This movie combined animation with live action. In the movie, Elliot befriends the human child, Pete. See the drawing tutorial.
Once you’ve mastered the cartoon dragon, why not give him or her a family? Now you can, using this simple, step-by-step baby dragon drawing tutorial. The drawing guide includes text, illustrations, and an informative video. This baby dragon is European in style, having four limbs and bat-like wings. See the drawing tutorial.
This tutorial for drawing Toothless omits details and simplifies the dragon’s form. The artist will talk you through each step of the tutorial.
This video tutorial teaches you how to draw, not one dragon, but two. In this drawing, two dragons in flight meet head to head and tail to tail to form the shape of a heart. See the drawing tutorial.
This video tutorial comes complete with advice on realistic shading and colors for your finished dragon drawing
While this guide lacks step-by-step instructions, it may give you some ideas as to what type of tail to give your dragon. Is it a seafaring creature in need of a fin? Or should it have a spiky ball on the end of its tail, similar to a medieval mace? Its its tail stiff or flexible, scaled or feathered? Use this dragon tails chart to help you decide. See the drawing tutorial.
This cute video tutorial will show you how to draw Dragonair from Pokemon using simple curves and shapes.
Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series is perhaps the most influential of the modern dragon mythologies. Pernese dragons were genetically engineered from the much smaller fire lizards to protect the planet Pern from the imminent threat of thread, a voracious alien spore that rains down from the sky. In this video, a professional artist will walk you through the basic steps of drawing a Pernese dragon.
This tutorial introduces yet another friendly dragon for you to draw. In each step, you will add to your dragon by drawing simple shapes. Pay careful attention to the lines added in each step, as new lines are not highlighted. See the drawing tutorial.
Draw the basic muscles of the neck. Give an outline to the rest of the body. Pay special attention to the hips of the saurischian.
Dragon mythologies evolved separately in Europe and in Asia. European dragons are often depicted as being dinosaur-like or griffin-like, having six limbs – arms, legs, and wings. This style has been especially common since the Middle Ages. European dragons depicted with only two legs are known as wyverns.
This simple tutorial will teach you to draw the embryo of a growing dragon, still safe within its shell. See the drawing tutorial.
Let’s add the lower jaw now. This method is quite complicated, especially in perspective, but it’s still better than a guessing game. Find the axis of rotation of the lower jaw (different for saurischian and therapsid), and sketch a fraction of a circle between the most extreme positions of the jaw. In perspective, that circle must take a form of a rotated ellipse. Lead a line between the “jaw point” and a point on the circle to define a position of the lower jaw.
The saurischian type of dragon (or wyvern) theoretically would have evolved wings out of hands, as in these pop culture and academic examples. Thus, only two feet.
This simple but lively cartoon dragon can be drawn with just a few easy lines. See the drawing tutorial.
Finish the body by adjusting the style of scales to the already drawn ones. All the parts should naturally blend into each other.
Now, locate the areas that require the biggest protection. You don’t need to draw these areas, but make sure you know where they are.
Outline the thinner parts of the limbs. Add “supporting” muscles of the upper limbs. Add “supporting” muscles of the upper limbs.
Eyes are very important in adding the character to the dragon. However, it’s not the eyes that really show it, but the structures around it.
Add another line a bit farther, and draw a line between these two. This will be another row of scales.
This video tutorial will help you to craft the profile, or side view of your dragon. This tutorial offers not only one style of dragon head, but many, ranging from classic European dragons to water dragons with fins.
Spyro has appeared in a number of video games and animated cartoons, including Skylanders. This purple dragon can be easily drawn using this step-by-step video tutorial, guided by the voice of the artist.
This video will show you how to draw a dragon’s tail, step-by-step, in two different styles – either a stiff tail or slithering tail – complete with shading and snakelike texture.
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This video tutorial will show you how to draw a Chinese dragon. This dragon, when completed, is more detailed than the simplified Chinese dragon.
Step 2: Draw a smaller circle on the upper right side of the dragon’s body. The height of the circle will determine the dragon’s neck length, so place it accordingly.
Once you’ve mastered these basic techniques, you’ll be able to create lots of creative dragon variations like these I drew while making this tutorial. General Anatomy: Two Kinds
Let’s be honest — dragons can capture our imagination like nothing else. Powerful, magical, and, unfortunately, unreal. We can bring them to our world with drawing, but how to make them realistic if nobody knows what they look like? Actually, we kind of do. We all have a certain vision of what a dragon should look like, which makes it even harder to create a consistent image of them. That’s why in this tutorial I will not show you how to draw a specific dragon — instead, I will give you solid basics to design your own, personal species of them.
Add a brow that will make it look angry. Make the eyelids look thick by adding little scales to their edges.
Step 5: Draw a series of curved lines that connect the major shapes and form the dragon’s neck and the body.
If you want to add realistic horns and spike, simply modify certain scales. Spikes look the best when they grow in rows that start with small, insignificant ones.
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In this kid-friendly video tutorial, you will use simple lines to draw a friendly dragon in a classic Chinese style.
Again, there’s no need to copy this anatomy 1:1. You can experiment to create many fun designs, all very different. Keep in mind that fur is acceptable in this evolutionary line!
Monika Zagrobelna is a Polish artist with a specialty in drawing animals and conceiving of animals that haven’t yet been invented. You can check out more of her work and follow along with her latest tutorials on her Facebook Page.
Connect the dots in this special way to create the outline of the upper jaw. Pay attention to characteristic cheekbones of the therapsid.
Let’s start drawing now (you can download my initial sketch and follow my actions if you want). Draw a line near the bottom of the neck, following its rhythm.
Easy, step-by-step drawing tutorials are available for any style of dragon – cartoon, European, Chinese, or otherwise – that you may wish to draw. Below, we have compiled some of the best dragon drawing guides from across the web.
This easy tutorial omits any unnecessary detail, including the dragon’s legs. This slender, serpentine dragon is equipped only with wings for flight, and the head and tail are constructed using simple curved lines. See the drawing tutorial.
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This dragon drawing is simple in structure, and a great starting point for beginners and budding artists. The step-by-step tutorial includes illustrations for each step, text instructions, and an informative video. The dragon itself is European in style, complete with bat-like wings. This fun, comical dragon is an enjoyable project for all ages. See the drawing tutorial.
The tails of therapsids are flexible and are used more for communication than for balance. Dragging it on the ground is fully allowed. To understand how this kind of dragon moves you can observe movement of big cats.
Muscles give volume to the body and make the creature look strong and powerful. They’re also very hard to draw. If you want some kind of reference, you can try the illustrations below. However, I’ll also show you how to sketch the muscles step by step.
This tutorial will help you to craft your very own dragon character from scratch. The tutorial includes how to draw two types of dragon teeth, two types of dragon eyes, and four types of dragon nostrils. Then, you will put all of these pieces together in a frontal view of the dragon’s face. See the drawing tutorial.
You don’t need to draw the scales in the exact way I showed you. The most important thing here is the serration between the rows of scales. The actual shape of the scales is left to your imagination!
Spike is a supporting character from the My Little Pony franchise. As a young dragon, he is undeniably cute. This video tutorial uses both text and illustrations, and often shows various methods of achieving the same result.
This cute, pink baby dragon is easy to draw. It’s sitting, so the limbs are mostly hidden and thus easy to draw. See the drawing tutorial.
Dragons aren’t real, but if we want them to look like something living in our reality, their design must obey certain rules. That’s how we decide if a creature is believable or not. The best way to ensure believability of an unreal creature is to base its design on the anatomy of real animals. If we look at the evolutionary tree, we can place dragons in two possible groups: saurischians (the dinosaurs that birds came from), and therapsids (mammal-like reptiles). Let’s take a look at their possible anatomies.
Meatlug is a Gronkle ridden by the viking Fishlegs. Meatlug may look tough, but she is just a rock-eating, lava belching softy. In this video tutorial, both children and adults will learn how to draw this unusual dragon.
There are two things to consider before we add the scales. First, locate the areas that must be the most flexible and therefore can’t be covered with big scales.
Of course, this isn’t the only style you should go for! You can use the same method to create different looks. Keep in mind that the pupil can change everything—experiment with various shapes to achieve the effect you want.
Let’s add the teeth now. This is where the two species differ a lot: saurischians don’t have specialized teeth like therapsids.
Step 4: Draw angled lines below the dragon’s body as guides for the legs. If you want your dragon to have longer legs, draw longer lines. Make the squiggles darker in certain areas to create the stripey look.
We can use this method to cover all the body, except you need to adjust the shape of the rows to the form of the body. First the huge breast muscle…
Ord is a lovable blue dragon from the PBS children’s series, Dragon Tales, in which two children are transported to Dragon Land via the magical wallpaper that adorns their room. This simple tutorial makes Ord one of the easiest dragons to draw. See the drawing tutorial.
Once you come closer to the top of the neck, add a row of diagonal lines. Again, pay attention to the rhythm of the neck—a bent neck leads to outstretched scales.
Dragon’s wings are often described as being very much like bat wings – a limb with long, thin fingers supporting a thin membrane. This tutorial breaks down the wing in various positions into easy to follow steps.
Dragon is a complicated character, but drawing her doesn’t have to be. This tutorial utilizes a simple crosshatching technique to fill in the details of this CGI creation. See the drawing tutorial.
The charismatic Mushu may be small, but he embodies all the characteristics of a traditional Chinese dragon – a serpentine body, four legs, and the wisdom to advise. In this step-by-step tutorial, new lines are highlighted in blue and guide lines are shown as dotted lines. See the drawing tutorial.
… then the other. Pay attention to the serration between the rows of scales. This is what makes the pattern of scales look orderly!
The legs contain many flexible parts, so they must be covered with small scales. The less uniform the scales are in terms of size, the more real the dragon will look. A creature covered with same-size scales look simply lazy!
A dragon’s head can be drawn from a real anatomical animal head. In this guide, a racoon skull is used as a model. You’ll learn how to use geometrical shapes to draw a realistic looking dragon head. See the drawing tutorial.
Scales (or big “plates”) are what make dragons unique and differs them from dinosaurs. That’s why it’s so important to draw them properly. They seem very time consuming, but if you learn one simple rule, you’ll be able to add them to your dragons in no time!
If you’re going to draw a trained dragon, you may want to draw his rider as well. This tutorial allows you to do just that. Not only will you learn to draw a seated Toothless, but the simple human form of his friend Hiccup. In most steps, new lines are shown in dark blue, but in some, they are shown in pink. See the drawing tutorial.
Tagged with:dragon, drawing, fantasy, how to draw, Monika Zagrobelna, scientific illustration, sketchbook, sketching vapor, tutorial
Dragons are much bigger than bats, so proportions of the elements of the wing must be a little different.
Four-legged dragons are more rare in fantasy; they are often portrayed as a less animalistic than a wyvern — and more regal and noble.
You don’t need to know the names of the bones, or the exact shape of them. You just need to know the general proportions, the placement of joints, and the limitation of their movement. You can learn a lot by sketching the animals your dragon is based on.
Clash of Clans is a popular mobile war strategy game. This video tutorial will show you how to draw a dragon featured in this game in twelve easy steps. See the drawing tutorial.
For the first few steps, don’t press down too hard with your pencil. Use light, smooth strokes to begin.
This could be a saurischian species that evolved membranous wings. They were created without hands, so this dragon doesn’t have arms. Probably all carnivorous saurischians were bipedal, so the forelimbs were redundant anyway. We call four-limbed dragons wyverns, and some people don’t consider them dragons, but a different kind of mythical creature. However, this type of dragon design is actually the most plausible, and that’s how they’re often portrayed in the pop culture today (See Skyrim, Game of Thrones, the Hobbit, Harry Potter series).
The steps in this tutorial are easy to follow, and the resulting drawing is beautiful. A winged European style dragon soars amid a cloudy sky. The artist recommends pitting a golden hued dragon against the sunset colors of pink and purple. See the drawing tutorial.
Cassie is a small, cute, pink female dragon from the PBS series Dragon Tales. This brief tutorial will help you to draw Cassie is just six easy steps. See the drawing tutorial.
Step 3: Draw an arc next to the head as a guide for the dragon’s muzzle.
In a 3D view cross these points with lines giving them a certain width. Generally, the snout should be narrower than the braincase.
This tutorial shows how you can draw dragon with just simple rectangles, circles, and triangles. Drawing a goofy looking dragon has seldomly been this easy. See the drawing tutorial.
If you are creating your own dragon drawing, the dragon’s head is an essential component. Drawing just the head can be a good place to start, as the head alone has less detail than the entire dragon. This European style dragon head can be completed quickly and easily using the step-by-step tutorial and tutorial video. See the drawing tutorial.
Toothless is the last of his kind, known as the Night Fury. His best friend and rider is Hiccup, a young viking. Toothless involves a little more detail than many of the tutorials listed here, but the step-by-step instructions make drawing this dragon a breeze. New lines added in each step are highlighted in red. See the drawing tutorial.
Pay special attention to the head. The scales here should be detailed and carefully placed around the important parts (nose, eyes, jaw muscle).