How to Draw Dragons

Throughout human history, every culture has had their version of the dragon. The Chinese dragon was revered as a symbol of luck. The western dragon was often portrayed as a mighty villainous beast. Whatever kind of dragon you prefer, you can draw simply with a little help from real world animals.

For this tutorial, we will focus on the more western version of the dragon. The hefty creature that is a little horse-like with large wings and tons of muscle that most of us have come to know. So grab a pencil and lets learn how to draw dragons!

What you’ll need:

Neck, Torso, and Tail

As with most drawings, the first step is to break down your drawing into smaller, more manageable pieces. To begin with, draw your dragon’s torso, followed by the head/neck, and then the tail.

The torso is essentially a square that is a little larger where the neck will be attached, and smaller where the tail begins. The neck of your dragon is somewhat of a curved tube with just a simple circle at the end to serve as a placemarker for the head.

If you have trouble visualizing how you want your dragon to look, search online for images of horses, komodo dragons, and crocodiles. These animals are where our version of dragons take some of their physical characteristics from.

Legs and Wings

Now that you’ve got the body of your dragon drawn, you can add the legs and wings. It is a little easier to start by drawing body, and then adding the legs because this will help you to keep the proportions correct.

To mark out the legs, draw two ovals to form a backwards “L” shape for the front legs. The back legs have an extra joint, so picture what a cat’s rear legs look like. The top oval of the back leg should face the opposite direction of the top oval of the front leg. The bottom oval should be parallel with the bottom oval of the front leg however.

For the wing of your dragon, draw a large triangular shape that bends slightly on the side near the head/neck.

Add Details

Now that you have all the basic shapes drawn that make up your dragon, you can refine them and add details. This step is where taking cues from real life animals will definitely come into play. 
Usually, dragon’s heads are very reptilian (i.e. komodo dragon, iguana, etc.). Looking up images of these animals will give you a great idea of how the skull and eye shape should be. 
As I said earlier, the body of western dragons is often very horse-like, with a large girth.
The wings of most dragons are very bat-like, with a thin membrane covering long bones, somewhat like a stretched-out hand.
Feel free to go nuts and add as much detail, or as wild a design as you want. Since dragons are imaginary creatures, there are no established rules on how they are supposed to look, so go crazy!

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