Alrighty then a while back I was asked by
if I could make a tutorial on how to draw dragons. Well it didnt take as long as I thought it would but I guess its been a while. Sorry it took me so long
. Well anyways I know that there a lot better dragon tutorials on DA than this one, and theres probably a lot of better examples out there and I probably could have picked a much better pose (I drew and colored this dragon on my half hour break at work) but what ever. Heres my first attempt at tutorial making and I dont usually draw my dragons this way so bear with me
. alright here goes.
Step before step one: as stupid and childish as this may sound try to imagine what the dragon looks like before you start to draw it. How many legs does it have? What about wings? What mythology does it come from? Is it good or evil? Simple questions like that might make it a lot easier to draw later on.
Now that thats done with, we can start on the actual drawing part. For this tutorial I have chosen what I think to be a very simple pose that isnt too over used.
Step 1: Ok, so to start try lightly drawing some circles and lines to plot out the basic skeleton of your dragon. At this point in the drawing you really dont need to worry about the details, just the shape, and because your drawing lightly you can be as messy as you want. The circles, for the most part represent the joints in the arms, legs, shoulders, wings, fingers, toes ECT. The one major exception that I can think of is the skull, which can also be represented by a slightly larger circle or square. After you draw the circle for the head I recommend drawing a line that goes through the skull from back to front and extends slightly from the front of the skull. This line will later become the muzzle of your dragon.
Plotting out wings can be a little difficult. especially when you are new to drawing them. A trick that I have for drawing bat or dragon wings is to look at your own arm. Your probably going to feel a little silly doing this but pick an arm, stand in front of a reflective surface and stretch that arm out to the side. Now look at the joints in the shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers. Congratulations! You now have your very own portable, pose able dragon wing model!
Step 2: this is where you start to flesh out your dragon by drawing some relatively simple shapes over the skeleton. A lot of the shapes you add depend on the dragons pose, but they can also be because of its type or relative size. For example a flying dragon might have a broader ribcage than a swimming dragon because it needs to be able to support its wing muscles, where a swimming dragon might have a broader tail to propel its self through the water. But because dragons ARE MYTHICAL CREATURES their muscle structure really doesnt have to be realistic. Other than muscle structure the simple shapes will help your dragon keep its shape as you give it an outline.
Step 3: All right, so far so good? Well now its on to the tricky part! Heres where your dragon really starts to come together. Outlining can be really difficult and I havent figured out any tricks to make it easier but its not, I repeat its NOT impossible. This is where practice comes in handy. But for beginners I have a few tips. I find it easier to start on the head and then go from there. You can tell a lot about a dragon from the shape of its head and face. I tend to draw my dragons with a longer narrow muzzle, which seems to be the common style for the basic European dragon. The mouth and nose, although not usually given a ton of detail are important. Because according to myth dragons are predatory creatures (capturing princesses and other royalty, attacking villages and flying off with live stock.) they would most likely have a larger mouth filled with *does her best Monty python impression* nasty sharp pointy teeth. I usually draw dragon noses like backwards commas. A dragons head is usually adorned with some sort of horn, spike, fin, feathers, fur or any other detail Im forgetting, I usually tend to draw at least two horns at the back of the head. Although the stereotypical European dragon doesnt have ears I usually draw them anyway. Fins can also be drawn instead of the typical ears. The neck (at least on this dragon) starts out a little thinner near the head and then gradually gets broader until it connects with the chest. The arms are a bit like human arms in that they have shoulders, elbows and wrists. Usually (although not with this one) dragons tend to have lizard or birdlike feet, but once again because they are mythical anything goes. In the past when Ive had trouble with drawing back legs so I used my dog as a reference. Thats one of the good things about dragons, you can use almost any animal as a reference and it still usually works out. I usually draw the hind legs in four parts (though in this case it really doesnt apply) theres the thigh (upper leg) the calf (lower middle of leg) then there's the hock (on a human it would be the ankle). now back to drawing. The tail is usually a lot like a snakes tail in that it tapers to a point at the end. You can add spikes, spades, blades, fur, feathers, laser cannons what ever to the end of the tail or leave it blank (its your dragon, you decide!) for this example I added feathers. You can also add details along the back, neck and tail (I used fins, spines and fur on mine to show a few different ideas). Again the wings are a lot like arms and hands (except the fingers are a lot longer and look stretched out. The thumb on the wing usually ends in a claw, as do the fingers. The webbing of a basic dragon wing is a lot like a bats wing in that it is comprised of a thin skin or membrane that is stretched between the fingers of the wing and can be folded. You can add lines, rips, and holes to the wing to give it more detail. Muscles can be added around the base of the wing at the shoulder. Although Im not going into adding scales, basic chest plates are an easy addition that gives your dragon a little more detail. Chest plates can be of any shape size or color and can be plain or patterned. They usually overlap to form armor of sorts for the dragon.
Step 4: add color shading or any other details you want. Have fun with it! Dragons are a bit like dinosaurs in that they dont really have a defined set of colors. You can color them in a way so that they may blend into an environment or you can go completely wild, its really up to you. Oh and dont for get to add some ground for your dragon to stand on (unless its flying) because everyone knows that floating dragons are just impossible. lol. Im kidding of course; its your drawing do what ever you want. Remember, dont get frustrated, if it doesnt work out on the first try, dont worry about it. Its just practice.
Ive been drawing dragons for years now and I still really dont know what Im doing
Well thats about it, I hope you enjoyed my attempt at a tutorial.
If you found this helpful send me a note, Id love to comment on your artwork!
And remember have fun!