Dragon Drawing

The complete picture of this dragon drawing may look quite complex but do not get repelled by that. I am going to show you how easy it is to draw a dragon.

As you know there are many kinds of dragons and they differ according to the culture.

Imagine the dragon as a huge serpent with legs or wings and fire all-around…or to say it more simplistically, as a huge decorated snake.

The following picture I made is a Chinese Dragon.

It is a very simple drawing, although it may not look like that at the first sight…but…if you follow the steps, starting from one simple winding line you will eventually end up with a perfect dragon drawing.

Your drawing may be slightly different from this one, which is perfectly OK.

You are here to draw your own dragon, not to copy like a scanner. The hair on the dragon, its face, etc will be slightly different on your picture and, that is good.

click the image to enlarge

Drawing a Chinese Dragon is not just some dragon drawing. It is actually a connection with the Chinese culture. Make it nice, make it fun and make it better than mine ;-)

OK, go ahead, click on the thumbnails to enlarge each one, if necessary print them out as you wish. You can draw it directly or use a tracing paper.

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click the image to enlarge

Observe well the above ready picture first. See how the body of the dragon is winding. See the shape of the curves and imagine a central line (a kind of axis) going through the entire length along of the body. Now draw that line.

I draw that central line by several pencil strokes. Make as many strokes as necessary, you can always erase them later. The more you practice the fewer strokes you need.

click the image to enlarge

At this stage you should have a “S” shaped winding curve. Now add a bit of volume to that S-shaped-line. Notice how the body of the dragon is winding, tilting or bending.

click the image to enlarge

As the position of the dragon on this picture suggests it is much convenient to start to draw and work out the body parts from the tail. Dragon has a lot of thick hair on its head and it continues till the tail.

This drawing is rather a symbolical drawing so the back of the dragon may appear like spiked or as if there are flames or simply furry.

The fur on the back top continues from one side of the body to another, as the dragon bends.

click the image to enlarge

Head of the dragon is easy. Click on the image and see how simply I sketched the very approximate outlines of the head. Yes, there are many strokes on this dragon drawing…as many as I initially needed.

click the image to enlarge

You only need to mark out 3 basic parts on the head. These are: the eyes, the nose, and the mouth. Make them all visible by weak pencil lines.

click the image to enlarge

Now you can go deeper into detail. Outline the shapes of each 3 parts. If possible start with eyes, then go to nose and finally draw mouth.

You are still drawing by very gentle weak pencil strokes; so do not push the tip of your pencil too strong.

click the image to enlarge

Chinese dragon has mustache, beard, thick hair and a pair of long whiskers on each side. On its head is a pair of antlers. At this stage I just forgot them to draw but I added them later (see the fourth picture from below).

click the image to enlarge

When the head is roughly ready you can start to draw the hind legs. Use an extra sheet of paper under your drawing hand not to blur your dragon drawing. The legs slightly resemble to a bird’s legs so try to make their shape like that.

click the image to enlarge

Draw the front legs. Chinese dragon has 5 talons on each leg, but here they are hidden so we cannot see them all.

click the image to enlarge

Good. Your dragon drawing starts to emerge in its full scale. Now you can start to gradually emphasize by thicker and darker lines the body of the serpent. Begin from the tail.

click the image to enlarge

Chinese dragon has scales throughout its entire body. Open the thumbnail and see in detail how I drew the scales. I made 2 lines on each scale on purpose so that it looks more sharp and crisp.

When you draw the scales always work out towards the tail, it will be easier. I would suggest doing a little sketch/study on a separate paper to see how it comes out.

click the image to enlarge

So, here is the place where I actually corrected the head of the dragon, namely I added a pair of very simple antlers. Can you see them? They are hidden in thick hair so they may be hardly visible but antlers should be there.

If you do the dragon drawing only by pencil you can start to shade the dragon’s body as it is outlined here. Simple strokes will do the job perfectly.

click the image to enlarge

Since all this drawing is by graphite HB pencil, most of the body parts appear blackish. Parts that look as if they were piled up on each other may be difficult to distinguish one shape from another.

I suggest leaving a tiny (very slim) borderline around those parts, especially on the hair of the dragon’s head. Hair and antlers would be otherwise impossible to distinguish. Enlarge the picture and notice this important step.

click the image to enlarge

Make sure you have the thin borderline, especially on the head. Too much hair and other elements are just bundling in that area.

Use a sharp pencil and pencil-shaped-eraser to draw the borderlines. Using these two simple tools will help you tremendously, you’ll see.

click the image to enlarge

OK, your dragon drawing is ready. Erase the last grey dust from around the body so that the white parts on the paper remain as white as possible.

You can do the same drawing by using color pencils or pastel.

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Another Dragon Drawing

Simple Technique To Draw And Paint
A Chinese Dragon


I want to share with you one simple technique for drawing and painting your own copy of a dragon symbol (or whatever you chose).

This one was a gift to my friend who is a Chinese Restaurant owner.

The original small print is in one of my books about dragons.

I liked the picture instantly but to create an original dragon drawing from that print is just too much work. Especially the round border. The character of the dragon is very easy. I was not willing to do it, so…

…I enlarged the original print on a copy machine and printed out the enlarged version.

As you can see it is only black and white.

only small image available

I decided to make the new dragon drawing (painting) on a thick red art paper.

Size: A2.

One of the best techniques to transfer the original contours to the thick paper is to tape the dragon print on your windowpane. Possibly on that side of a house from where the most of the sunshine comes in.

Then I taped the red paper over the print.

Strong sunlight (or daylight) was sufficient enough to see clearly the original print contours through the thick red art paper.

I could easily copy them over the red paper using yellow color pencil.

These yellow contours are now the perfect basic sketch for the dragon drawing or painting.

I was ready with this contour sketching in less than an hour…and I was working pretty fast.

click the image to enlarge

Now comes the time consuming part.

In the dollar shop I bought one Gold Pearl Acrylic Color (size of 20 cc). That was quite enough to complete the whole painting.

I painted the whole picture in two (layers) and some parts in three layers.

Paint the first layer, dry it, and then second layer over the first so that the golden color looks thick enough and shiny enough.

click the image to enlarge

This is a very simple technique commonly used among artists. Use it to make your own copy of virtually anything.

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