How to draw a dragon

How to draw a dragon (Easy Methods)

This guide is dedicated to all lovers of the fantasy world, but also to those who would like to try to draw a fantastic creature for the first time.
In this article I will show you how to draw a dragon in a simple way, using just a pencil.

How to draw a dragon

In recent months, on these pages, we have indulged in illustrated guides to draw the most diverse animals, from dogs to horses, passing through rabbits, lions, and squirrels.

But you know, the designer’s imagination often goes beyond the real world, coming to outline creatures that, in reality, have never walked the earth, nor have they ever fluttered over our heads. And the desire to draw these fantastic creatures multiplies when they become the protagonists of successful novels and television series, in order to enter our daily life.

So, to satisfy your desire for art – as you may have already imagined starting from the books and films mentioned – today we will see how to draw a dragon.

It must be said that the dragon, over the centuries, has been represented in the most different ways: the dragon of the Argonautic, in the 3rd century BC, is different from that of many other Greek myths, just as the dragon present in the ‘Apocalypse of Saint John the Apostle, red, with 7 heads and 10 horns. Sometimes it is a symbol of evil, other times of avarice, other times of luck.

In short, there are many different ways to draw a dragon: today, here, we will try to give you the right tools and advice to draw any dragon you have in mind!

The drawing accessories needed to draw a dragon

You don’t need magic potions or spells to recreate a dragon at home – all you need is the right drawing tools

Therefore, first, you will need drawing pencils, at least two, even better three. You will need a hard pencil, such as a 2H or a 3H, to draw the contours of the dragon and to sketch its figure (assuming that the hard graphite drawing pencils allow you to draw thin, light, and easy to erase marks. ).

To the hard pencil, you will have to add one or two softer pencils, for the actual drawing and then work in chiaroscuro. Obviously, tires cannot be missing, specifically a white rubber, to erase errors and guidelines, and a gum pane, to keep the sheet clean.

You will then need the drawing sheet, or rather, the drawing sheets. You will need a sketch pad for your preparatory sketches, and then you will need a sketchbook with superior quality paper to make the final drawing of your dragon.

Eye, that’s not all: there are still a few things missing. You will also need a sharpener, to sharpen your pencil, and possibly a block of sandpaper, to perfect the tip. Finally, don’t forget the fixative spray, to truly create a timeless work!

Drawing dragon Smaug, the Hobbit

Drawing fantastic beasts: where to start

No, you cannot leave the house hoping to meet a dragon circling in the garden or in the woods. Unfortunately, but also, fortunately. So how to draw an animal that does not exist in a realistic way? Well, as always, the secret is not to start from the finished drawing, but rather to make sketches of the individual parts of the animal and from different points of view: let’s start making some sketches of the head, some sketches of the claws, some drawings of the wings.

The problem, however, is that no one has ever seen a dragon’s wings or snout. The options, in this case, are two: either to refer to something existing and very similar or to create a portrait starting from the mixture of real elements but in many different ways. In the first case, to draw a dragon, we are going to see which animals actually exist most similar to the dragon we have in our heads: we will therefore think of alligators and snakes, but also and above all of Komodo monitor lizards, bearded dragons (Pogona) and to the small but fascinating flying dragons.

In the second case, we will try to achieve the result with a mix of real elements: the dragon’s legs will be a mixture of human hands and the legs of an alligator, while its wings will be a cross between the wings of a bat. and those of an eagle. In this way it will be possible to draw any dragon you have in mind, more or less big, more or less evil, more reptilian, or more human!

The proportions of the dragon: the muzzle

You should have already understood that drawing a fantastic animal does not justify not following any proportions. On the contrary. Therefore, to draw the face of a dragon, you can for example use the proportions typically used to portray a human face, especially since, very often, dragons have been narrated as extremely intelligent and talking animals, and therefore in many ways. similar to man.

You know the ‘how to draw a face’ guide published a few weeks ago? Well, there we were telling you to draw a circle and divide it in half both vertically and horizontally, draw the eyes on the midline, then further divide the lower half in half to position the nose, and again to position the lower lip. and so on.

Well, with the dragon seen from the front the speech will be the same. Divide a circle in half in both directions, and start placing the various elements, emphasizing the differences from the human face: the nose is higher, the eyes are on the sides of the muzzle, the mouth will stretch to the sides. Once you have obtained the proportions on a frontal perspective, you can reuse them to recreate those same features also from the other perspectives (in which obviously the snout of the lake will be well elongated, like that of reptiles).
How to draw a dragon's head

The wings of the dragon

Before continuing with the step-by-step guide for drawing a dragon, let’s quickly see how to draw a dragon’s wings. Here, of course, there is a certain freedom in how to move: they could be the same as those of a bat, completely similar to those of a flying dragon, or more elaborate. Well, if you want to follow this third way, you can mediate between the design of a pair of arms, the wings of a bat and those of an eagle.

Bringing the human arms closer to the wings of your dragon will help you understand how to draw them in any situation, assuming that these can be wide open – like an arm raised, with the fingers open and far from each other – or the opposite at rest – like a bent arm with fingers together and slightly bent.
How to draw a dragon's body

How to draw a dragon step by step

Well, let’s begin to understand how to draw a dragon: let’s try to draw a dragon in an upright position, with its wings wide open and with an inquisitive look. Let’s start by tracing the outlines with simple lines: the torso will have the shape of a pear – better, a drop – the neck will be a long curved cylinder, the legs will be made up of two sausages each, as well as the very short arms. The muzzle – recalling what we saw earlier – can be stylized as a sphere that extends along a truncated cone. Outlining the wings will not be difficult: it will be enough to decide, in fact, how many ‘fingers’ should be present.

At this point, you will have to proceed by harmonizing the lines and adding details, element by element. She will start from the face, adding the eyes to the sides, the two small horns, the nostrils, and two pointed teeth. We will then move on to the legs, which will have to be turned, outlining muscles and joints. The body must be enriched with rather regular lines, indicating the reptilian nature, while the wings can be made more ‘aggressive’ with small claws at the ends.

Now, after having erased any guidelines, it is possible to proceed with the soft pencil, giving a little roundness to the whole and indicating the parts in shadow: we will start again from the muzzle, blackening the inside of the jaws and the parts that surround the eyes, and then move to the neck and then to the wings. The important thing is to go and blacken all the parts that cannot be hit by the light, such as the lower abdomen, the inside of the legs, and so on.

Each element deserves attention: the claws of the paws must acquire three-dimensionality through a skillful work of chiaroscuro, the wings must be crossed by small and jagged lines, to suggest the epidermal effect … when you have added all the details, you can finish with the fixative spray!

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