How to Draw a Dragon – Step by Step Art Tutorial
Dragons are a common character type in fantasy stories and games, but they’re more difficult to draw than you might think. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw them in Medibang Paint Pro.
1. Start with two circles for the dragon’s head.
Because a dragon’s head is similar to that of a horse, you’ll want to start with one larger circle and one smaller circle for the head, which will help you achieve the proper proportions for the dragon’s body and face.
2. Draw the neck like a long “S” curve.
Your dragon’s neck should curve like a large letter “S,” and the width should match the width of the large circle you drew for the head. It’s better to think of the neck as a long cylinder so you can think in 3D shapes.
3. Draw the dragon’s body like a snowman.
We’ll be drawing this dragon in a sitting position, but you can change the pose by rearranging the circles and any other following limbs accordingly.
4. Draw the legs.
If you’re unfamiliar with leg muscles, they function similarly to the legs in human anatomy.
5. Draw the bird-like feet.
While it’s true that you can use reptiles to draw dragons, it’s actually more useful to use birds. Because birds are our closest dinosaur relatives, the best way to reference dragon anatomy is to reference bird anatomy. Dragons have duck-like feet, so we’ll start there for now.
6. Draw the arms.
Draw the hands as those duck feet shapes at the bottom; if you want to be more geometric, think of the shape as a long hexagon!
7. Draw the tail.
This is only the sketching phase, so it doesn’t have to be perfect! The best way to achieve this look is to start with a gesture for the tail’s action, and then draw long and large strokes with your entire arm.
8. Draw the horns and ears.
Have you ever wanted horns on your head? The shape you draw for the horns is entirely up to you, but make sure to mark off the base of the horns first so you can see how it attaches in 3D.
9. Draw the dragon wings.
Wings are similar to arms, except that instead of arms, you’ll be drawing them from the shoulder blades. The top part of the wing can be drawn almost like a skewed letter “M,” and the bottom points can be upside-down U’s.
10. Add details to the head and neck.
Create a new layer above your first one and change the color of your brush; for your dragon’s eyes, use snake eyes as a reference, and draw the nostrils like a horizontal comma. Adding spikes to the back of the neck adds a little more detail and interest.
11. Add details to the torso and draw in the feet.
You can refine the body’s shapes based on what you already have, but you should have a good foundation to work with that you can almost directly trace. Define the arms and legs a little more.
12. Add details to the tail.
If you draw a snake with spikes down the neck, they should continue down the tail; you can also add any shape to the tip of the tail, or leave it blank! I chose to add a classic spade shape to the tip of the tail.
13. Add details to the wings.
Draw prongs that extend from the top point of the wings to each point on the bottom, similar to how a fork looks. You can also add a small spike to the tops of your wings for extra height and protection.
14. Line your artwork.
When you’ve finished sketching the dragon, use a clean and sharp tool to outline it! If you’re working digitally, create another layer above everything, or use a fine liner to create line art. Remember that your lines should be fixing your sketch, not copying it.
15. Colour in your flat colours.
If you’re working traditionally, you can use whatever medium you want; digital artists can add a layer beneath their line art for flat colors, or use the paint bucket tool set to reference the entire canvas and color the dragon this way.
16. Add your shadows.
You can create a new layer above your flat colors and set it to clipping if you’re working digitally; you won’t be able to draw outside the lines, but you’ll be able to change the color without affecting your flats. The technique shown is called cel shading, which is when you use blocks of color for shadows.
17. Add in your final touches.
You can add a background or drop shadow to your dragon to make it look more realistic, and there are many different types of dragons and poses to illustrate. If you’d like more tutorials like this one, visit our digital drawing tutorials section.
What is the meaning of Dragon in Chinese?
The dragon represents good luck, strength, health, and the male element Yang in Chinese culture. In many other cultures, such as the Western, the dragon is seen as a symbol of evil and darkness, but in China, the dragon is seen as a symbol of imperial power and authority.