Welcome to Part Two of our three-part red dragon drawing lesson.
In Part One, you mapped out a simple framework composed of shapes and lines. Now it’s time to give your dragon drawing some shape as well as to add a few details along the way.
Remember, as you’re working through Part Two – don’t get too carried away with detail. Developing the shape of your dragon in accordance with your framework is most important at this stage. It’s Part Three where you really go to town with all the intricate little drawing details you could possibly desire!
Saddle up… Part Two begins!
First Step – Dragon Head Features
You may have heard it before… "the eyes are the windows to the brain." Well, I quite agree with this and I think that drawing the eyes first is the best way to go.
Quite often, the eye that you draw will immediately set the tone for the rest of your character.
Use your dotted line cross to position the right eye of the dragon – just as I have done. Note the position of where the left will be but don’t draw it in yet! The dragon’s head is tilted up and to the left – and so… the snout is seen to be in front of the left eye. Only a portion of the left eye will be visible.
With this in mind, let’s move on to the snout for now. Start just to the right of the eye you just drew. Use the framework lines as your guide as you work clockwise, completing the snout. Here’s a step-by-step walk through for drawing the rest of the head…
When you’ve finished drawing the upper snout, move on to the lower snout (lower mouth). Note – the upper snout is positioned such that we see more of it’s right side. The lower snout drops down to a position where you should take the centerline into consideration. Try and balance the left and right sides of the lower snout so that there is less distance from center to right than there is from center to left.
You can see how I go ahead and draw in the eyebrows, some cheek protrusions, two large horns, and even a few spikes on the top of the dragon’s head. I plan to add even more detail, but this is more than enough to help guide me along in Part Three. Do the same, and keep it simple!
Everything alright then? Very nice… on to the next step.
Second Step – Moving on Down the Dragon… Neck and Arms
Now that we’re moving down and away from the head, the centerlines as well as the shapes of your framework are going to play a bigger role. First, the neck…
With the "left side first – right side second" mentality in mind, start behind the head of your dragon and draw a nice curved line for the back part of it’s neck. Stop above the wing framework line. After, draw the other neck line on the right side. Keep it curved and smooth.
When you’re happy with the lines and position of your dragon’s neck, take your pencil over to the part of the framework where your dragon’s right arm begins… on the left side of the drawing.
In the case of the arms (as well as the legs very soon), work in baby steps – small adjustment to the left side followed by a small adjustment to the right side. This way you will be more successful at keeping the balance between the two and I think – more happy with the results! 🙂
To be more specific then, begin with the shoulder and work your way down towards the elbow. Bit by bit, switch back and forth between the left and right sides and only move on to the next portion of the arms when you are satisfied. Take your time!
After you’ve got the outside of your arms in place, move on to the inside of each arm. Make sure the shoulder area of your dragon’s left arm is slightly hidden by it’s body as it is facing slightly to the left. Save the hands for after you have completed both the right and left arms.
And so… how’s your dragon drawing looking up to this point? I do realize that it’s more difficult (more tedious actually) than some of the other lessons on the site. No worries though… keep it slow and steady and you’ll do just fine!
Third Step – Complete the Body
Alright, this line is perhaps the most important line you’ll draw in this entire lesson. It basically completes the line of action for your dragon. It’s the chest/stomach/groin line and it begins just left of your dragon’s left arm.
This line is important because it ties all of the other parts of your dragon into one.
Bounce off the framework and centerline as you sketch out this line. Ensure that the chest area is curving outwards, that the stomach area is being sucked inwards, and that the groin area again – is curving outwards. Use the chest and groin circles from your original framework drawing to help you map this out correctly.
After that, move on to the legs. This step is actually very similar to how you drew the arms, and so I won’t go into too much detail here. Look at the example on the left and refer to the previous step for guidance.
After that, draw a small curved line for your dragon’s back. Draw it between your dragon’s right arm and right leg. Ensure that this line is further away from the centerline on the left side than the stomach line is from the centerline on the right side. Got it? Good.
Now let’s tackle those wings once again…
Fourth Step – Wing Shape
Alright – back to your dragon’s wings once again. And this time around, we’ll focus on giving them some depth, using your stick-like framework as your guideline. Here we go…
Keeping with the "left then right" mentality once again, let’s tackle the wings in three separate phases.
Go to the right shoulder of your dragon – the line where the left side of the neck ends. Now, begin with the core frame of the right wing. Because it has four segments to it, I recommend drawing it like you did with the arms earlier. A little on the left – a little on the right… etc.
After the first phase – completing the core frame of each wing right out to the tips, move on to the inner fingers/protrusions. Start at the area at the end of the second segment of the core frame – the part where I drew the little horn extending out. Then, simply go over the blue lines from your original framework once again. Straight simple lines – no problem.
Very nice! Now the skin that connects between each "finger" of the wing. Start on the left side where the back meets the right leg. Then, connect each finger with deep, smooth, curving lines. Left side – right side rule is still in effect! 😉
Satisfied with your wings? If yes – great! If no – great! Either way, it’s all good as you’re not finalizing anything at this point. Nope – that takes place in Part Three!
Final Step – Finalize the Shape of Your Dragon
Almost finished. Now, in Part One you either did or didn’t sketch out a tail for your dragon using a lightly dotted line. If you didn’t, do it now. This is the final step in this part of the drawing anyway as the tail is set in behind the rest of the dragon – and it usually stays that way.
Here’s what my dragon’s tail looks like…
For clarification, I began at the lower part of the groin circle from my original framework. Then, using it as well as the tail line to guide me, I drew the tail swooping up into the air behind the dragon. I drew the outer left line first, and then continued back on down with the inner right line.
Do the same, or if you like… change the position of your dragon’s tail slightly.
And… you guessed it!
Red Dragon Drawing – Part Two is officially over – get ready to move on to the by-far-most-awesome part of the lesson… going ballistic with details and color to make your dragon drawing extra special and extra cool!
Click here for Part Three – the third and part of the lesson.