Are you a dragon fanatic who would love to learn how to draw a dragon? Perhaps you’re a fan of How to Train Your Dragon, Game of Thrones, Fantastic Beasts, or another such TV show or movie that depicts these beautiful creatures and you want to learn to draw them to show your admiration for these fabled beasts?
Dragons are mythical creatures that appear throughout folklore in different cultures and are oftentimes shown in fantasy films and tv series. These creatures are frequently portrayed as four-legged reptiles with wings and horns and are often said to be able to produce flames through their mouths with a single breath.
These creatures have become increasingly popular throughout the years, so it’s no surprise that many fans want to draw these incredible beings; but many inexperienced artists, and even some experienced ones, often wonder: how do you go about drawing such a creature?
There are many ways to go about drawing dragons and we’re going to look at some of the best tips, tricks, and advice out there on how to draw a dragon, the supplies you will need, and different projects you can do when drawing these beautiful, legendary creatures.
Different Types of Dragons
Did you realize that there are actually many different types of dragons represented throughout folklore?
The most common type of dragon is the classic dragon, with its massive wings, huge talons, and pointed horns. These dragons have been seen throughout films such as Shrek and Harry Poter and TV shows like Game of Thrones. However, there are many lesser-known types of dragons out there, too.
There’s the Drake dragon, which are dragons without wings. What they lack in wings, however, they make up in physique as their bodies are often depicted as vigorous with thick scales covering much of their form. These dragons can be found in the movie Lord of the Rings.
The Wyvern dragon is another type of dragon that can be seen in the Hobbit trilogy as well as Jack the Giant Killer. These dragons have no forearms but they do have large claws, including one that is formed into a thumb of sorts, on their wings.
Another type of dragon that many may be familiar with is the Oriental dragon. These dragons are often revered in Asian countries, China especially, and can be seen in movies such as Mulan and Spirited Away.
Oriental dragons are beautiful creatures that are oftentimes without legs and wings but sport a beautiful mane down from their head and along their back.
Possibly the easiest dragon to draw, the Wyrm dragon, is a dragon species with no limbs and no wings. These dragons, unlike the others, cannot fly and can only move around in a similar fashion to snakes.
With so many different types of dragons in existence, it is up to the individual artist to decide which type to attempt to draw.
Tips on How to Draw a Dragon
When it comes to drawing dragons, there are many different methods an artist can take in order to get the basics down to begin drawing their favorite type of dragon.
First and foremost, one should definitely think about which type of dragon they’re going to be drawing. With the dragon-type in mind, it would be wise to find some reference photos to use to ensure that you’re getting the proportions right and not forgetting any key details.
Creating some sort of story for your dragon could be beneficial as you can then incorporate things such as scars to depict a battle-worn dragon. Deciding on what sort of temperament your dragon has will be an essential step, too.
Does your dragon have a short temper? Is he aggressive? Does he get frightened, or is he frightening? Is he lazy? Having a good idea of the dragon’s personality will help you to decide on how you want your dragon to be drawn and what sort of body language you want it to portray.
Once you have these basics down, you can start drawing your dragon by sketching it out. A few more tips to consider would be to think about the different types of skin textures and scale types, take time when working on the eyes, and experiment with different perspectives.
Supplies You Will Need for How to Draw a Dragon
The supplies you need to draw your dragon will depend on what type of art you’re doing. Are you doing a simple, traditional drawing? Are you doing a painting? Maybe you’re using charcoals or you’re going for the more modern route of digital art?
For this guide, we will mainly focus on traditional art. However, these are some of the most common supplies you will need for a few common art types:
- Colored pencils or markers (optional)
- Stencils (optional)
- Ruler (optional)
- Easel and canvas
- Paint of your choice (acrylic, oil, watercolor)
- Paint brushes
- Tracing paper (optional)
- Charcoal sticks, pencils, or crayons
- White chalk and pastel pencils
- Paper blending stumps, aka tortillons
- Drawing tablet and stylus (or an iPad/Pencil)
- Drawing software such as Photoshop, Procreate, or other programs
No matter what style of art you choose, it’s always a good idea to have a reference photo or two on hand as well.
When Would You Need to Know How to Draw a Dragon?
You can draw a dragon at any time, anywhere. There’s no specific rule on when or where you should draw these creatures.
However, you may find yourself more compelled to sit down and draw a dragon during your spare time. Perhaps during study hall if you’re a student, during your break during work, or even on a rainy day when there’s nothing else to do.
Also, if you’re feeling stressed, breaking out your sketchpad and pencil and drawing one of these creatures could be a great way to relieve some of the tension you feel. Or if you have a youngster who is feeling bored and restless, it would be the perfect time to teach them how to draw a dragon.
Best Uses for a Dragon Drawing
So, you’ve finished one, two, or even three dragon-inspired art pieces and now you’re wondering what to do with them. Well, there are many different things you can do with these finished drawings.
For example, you can display them throughout your home in frames or on the refrigerator, you can give them as gifts to friends or family, you can put them on your social medias or an art site such as DeviantArt, or you can put them up for safekeeping to compare your future art to your past art to see how much you’ve improved.
You could also create your own entire world full of dragons and mythical creatures filled with pictures and stories then share them with your family and friends and maybe even self-publish a children’s book.
Easy Steps on How to Draw a Dragon
Dragons can be complicated characters to draw, but there are some easy steps you can take in order to draw them.
How to Draw a Dragon Head
When it comes to drawing a dragon’s head, you will want to first begin by sketching out a simple outline. Don’t worry about the details quite yet, just ensure that you’re getting the proportions right.
When making your first sketch, be sure to use simple and light lines. You can also use shapes such as circles, squares, and rectangles to form the outline of the dragon’s head. Also, don’t forget the horns!
Once you have the basic outline done, you can start erasing parts of the shapes that are unnecessary, and then you can move on to adding the features. Start by adding the mouth and maybe some fangs, then add in the nose and eyes.
Spend some extra time detailing the eyes, which are arguably one of the most important features of an art piece.
Add in some scales and other small details, some extra horns along the jawline, and some shadows and contour to make it more realistic.
How to Draw Dragon Wings
To draw wings, you’ll want to first begin with sketching some curved lines that are connected to each other. Once you have the curved lines how you want them, you can add a thinner and rounded line at the bottom that will connect to the dragon.
Add in some spikes along with the pointed areas of the curves. Do this two times – but make sure you’re doing the opposite of one another.
After this, you can make more curved lines, this time longer ones, on the inner and outer parts of the wings to close them off. To finish, add in some extra details such as lines inside the wings which will create bone structure, more spines, scales, and shadows.
How to Draw a Dragon Body
When drawing the body, you will want to start with the neck first. Draw two curved lines down, typically in the form of an S, from the head where the neck will connect the head to the body.
For this example, we will focus on drawing a dragon that is sitting. So, draw some circles below the curved S lines, one for the torso and one for the bottom. Once you have the circles in place, erase the parts you don’t need and then draw over the rest of the circles and lines with darker strokes.
Draw the legs by using ovals and, again, erase the parts you won’t need after you finish, then go over the rest with darker strokes again. Draw on the limbs and feet, some talons, and add some scales and shadows for a more detailed look.
How to Draw a Dragon Tail
The tail will probably be the easiest part of the dragon to draw. You can draw it curved around the dragon with a couple of curvy lines that go from wide to thin and connect at the ends, or you can draw one with more details that are covered in spikes and scales.
You can’t go wrong with either method.
How to Draw a Dragon: 15 Easy Drawing Projects
Charizard is a popular character from the Pokémon franchise. Making his first debut in Pokémon Red and Blue in the 1996 games, Charizard became a poster boy for the series and remained a fan favorite.
So, if you’re a fan of both dragons and Pokémon, you might want to consider drawing this fire-type and We Draw Animals has the perfect step-by-step guide to do just that.
Dragonair is another famous and popular character from the Pokémon franchise and was also first introduced in Pokémon Red and Blue. This dragon-type Pokémon is beautiful and elegant and should be an easy dragon to draw. Follow the step-by-step guide from DragoArt for an easy project.
3. Cute Dragon
Dragons don’t have to be big and scary – they can also be little and cute! And who doesn’t want to draw one of these cute little critters? You can find a comprehensive step-by-step guide and video on Mofu Kawa.
Mushu from Disney’s Mulan is probably one of the most famous movie dragons out there. He’s cute, he’s funny, and he’s pretty freakin’ cool. He’s not that hard to draw, either, as shown by Drawing How to Draw.
Spike is a cute little dragon character from the cartoon My Little Pony. He is a main character alongside the ponies of the series and is a favorite among children and fans of all ages. If you want to draw him on your own or even with your little one, DrawingForAll has the perfect guide for you.
6. Dragon Egg
You may think drawing a dragon egg would be boring, but dragon eggs can be pretty cool, especially with the right detailing. However, for an even cooler dragon egg project, why not draw a dragon inside of an egg like the one on Easy Drawing Guides?
What kind of dragon art guide would this be without Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon? This cute little character is popular among dragon fans and wikiHow has the perfect tutorials on drawing both a regular and a cartoony version of Toothless.
8. Flying Dragon
Most dragons have wings and can fly, so it’s not surprising if you would want to draw a flying dragon. How 2 Draw Animals has the perfect guide on drawing a dragon in flight that you should definitely consider checking out.
9. Chinese Dragon
Chinese dragons are popular not just in China but in other Eastern Asian countries as well. The dragon represents unity, bravery, and wisdom, and is used throughout festivals and activities such as the Dragon Dance which is preformed during the Chinese New Year, Lantern Festival, and the Dragon Boat Festival. Art Projects for Kids has an easy step-by-step tutorial to draw this type of dragon.
10. Anthro Dragon
Anthro dragons are dragons that have some human-like physical traits and features and can be a cool and unique project to draw. Just head on over to Jesima for a guide on drawing these cool anthro dragons.
11. Three-Headed Dragon
If you’ve Googled pictures of dragons, you’ve probably stumbled across some three-headed reptile-like creatures. If you want to learn how to draw a three-headed dragon yourself, watch this YouTube video by Rio Art Club and you’ll be drawing one in no time.
12. Fire Breathing Dragon
Dragons and fire pretty much go hand-in-hand as dragons are often depicted as fire-breathing beasts. If you’re interested in learning how to draw such a creature with fire coming out of its mouth, check out the tutorial on Drawing Tutorials 101.
13. Dragon Eye
Stories, emotions, and personality can all be told through eyes, and dragon eyes are some of the coolest eyes to draw. Want to draw one yourself? Easy Drawing Guides has an easy step-by-step guide on drawing a dragon eye that you’re sure to be able to follow.
14. Classic Dragon
Classic dragons are some of the most popular dragons you’ll find throughout media. They’re the standard big-bodied, large-winged, sharp-taloned creatures that are covered in scales and have huge horns on top of their heads.
Drawing one of these classic creatures doesn’t have to be hard and My Modern Met gives a simple step-by-step guide to help you draw one yourself.
15. Realistic Dragon
If you want to take it a step up, you could try drawing a realistic dragon like the one on Toons Mag. They offer advice on drawing a realistic dragon as well as some videos. This may not be the easiest project but it’s a cool one nonetheless.
How to Draw a Dragon FAQ
Are dragons hard to draw?
There are many ways to draw dragons and each is tailored to a different skill level. Drawing certain dragons, like cartoon dragons and baby dragons, aren’t as hard as drawing realistic or classic dragons. It will all depend on the type of dragon you’re wanting to draw and your skill level as an artist.
How long does it take to learn to draw a dragon?
The time it takes to learn to draw a dragon varies with each individual. It will depend on how much skill you already have as an artist and how much time you dedicate to learning.
If you’re an amateur and just starting out, it can take quite some time to fully master being able to draw one of these creatures. Don’t give up, though. Follow tutorials, use stencils, trace, and keep practicing and you’ll be a pro in no time.
What books help you learn how to draw a dragon?
There are many resources out there that will teach you how to draw a dragon, including books.
Some of the best books we recommend are:
- Dragonart: How to Draw Fantastic Dragons and Fantasy Creatures by Jessica Peffer
- The Art of How to Train Your Dragon by Tracey Miller-Zarneke
- Drawing Dragons: Learn How to Create Fantastic Fire-Breathing Dragons by Sandra Staple
- Dracopedia: A Guide to Drawing the Dragons of the World by William O’Connor
There are many more you can find as well. Just browse Amazon or Google with the words “Books on how to draw dragons” and you’re sure to find the perfect one for you.
How to Draw a Dragon Conclusion
You should now have a good idea of how to draw a dragon or multiple dragons, and the tools you will need to have at your disposal to do so. Our guide should also have given you some ideas on easy projects you can do alone or with a loved one as well as some books you can purchase to learn to draw these magnificent creatures in more detail. Now it’s time to get out there and practice.