How to Draw Dragon Drawings

Dragon drawings cartoon image

Dragon drawings don’t necessarily have to be difficult to create. Sure, I understand a dragon is a very complex creature and all, but take a look at this lesson and hopefully you’ll see things a bit differently!

The idea of using a framework or some sort of guideline to work from when drawing something, is often a very good one! In doing so, you can keep proportion and symmetry as you motor on through… especially if you’re just starting out.

This lesson uses a special sort of guideline where instead of drawing a framework of simple shapes, you’ll use simple curved lines to develop dragon drawings.

This is neat because one curved line can be referred to time and time again as you slowly develop your dragon in and around it. Essentially, every line you draw can be related back to your guideline.

Alright, ready to see how this works? Excellent – yet another sweet dragon drawing in the making!

Drawing a simple framework for your dragon

First Step – A Dragon Skeleton?

Nope – not exactly a dragon skeleton, but certainly a guideline that will help you draw neat dragon drawings.

Just as I’ve done on the left, draw a triangle to represent the head of your dragon. Then, from this triangle, create a curved "S-like" line extending out, down and away from it. Keep it light for easy erasing when you’re finished.

Don’t be worried about trying to get your curved line so that it’s exactly like mine. Just get something going on that’s similar. Do make sure however, that for the main part looks like a big "S".

Take a second and have a look at the finished, colored dragon up top. You can see how different parts of this line are to become the various parts of your dragon – the head, neck, belly, and tail.

Keep in mind, this is just another way that can help you with your drawings. We could very well tackle dragon drawings in other ways. Just know that there are all sorts of different methods to create different types of drawings. See other lessons on the site to see what I mean. Alright, on with our dragon…

Developing a framework to draw dragons

Second Step – An "S" and a Backwards "2"

So, can you see the big "S" in the line that you drew? It’s the longer vertical part of the curved line – the part that will soon become the neck, torso and belly of your dragon.

Using preferably a pen, go over this line just enough so that you make the S easier to see. After that, draw what looks to be a backwards "2"… the start of one of the legs of your dragon.

Have another look up top if you like… just so that you can visualize how this "2" is to become part of the leg. The top curved part serves as the actual leg, while the line that extends down and to the left is actually the top part of the foot of the dragon.

Again, do make yours like mine, but don’t worry about getting it to be exact! Your dragon drawings will come together in the end.

Third Step – Draw the Legs and Arms of Your Dragon

In previous drawings… take the cartoon butterfly for example, a center line was used to easily keep symmetry in your drawing. Well, that’s basically what’s going on here. After you’ve created the first leg, draw the other one – nearly the same, on the other side of the guideline.

Sequentially, here’s how to draw the rest of the limbs on your dragon…

Drawing the feet of your dragon Drawing the arm for the dragon Drawing the hands for the dragon

In my case, I’ve drawn the dragon limbs so that they’re fairly curvy-looking. But keep yours straight and rigid if you like. It may be easier to do so. The important thing here is that you keep the left leg and arm relatively similar to the right leg and arm.

Drawing the tail for the dragon framework

Fourth Step – The Tail of Your Dragon

Next, use the remaining part of the guideline to give your dragon a tail.

Starting at the back of the foot, go over the guideline right up until the very end. Now, the bottom part of the tail is clearly visible.

For the top portion of the tail, just follow the line back towards the foot of the dragon.

Keep in mind though, just like a crocodile’s tail, a dragon tail is thicker towards the body and skinnier towards the tip. So, make sure that as you’re drawing the upper part of the tail, gradually increase the distance from the bottom part.

You should end up somewhere near the top of the backwards "2" that you drew previously.

Alright… your dragon is looking good! Let’s go ahead and complete the figure now…

Completing the neck of your dragon drawing

Fifth Step – The Back and Neck of the Dragon

Two more lines and BAM… you’re going to have something that really looks like a dragon!

The first line will become the back of the dragon. Start where you left off from the tail (wherever that may be), and draw simple line going up til around the elbow. If you like, give it a bit of a curve so that your dragon’s back looks arched.

For the neck of the dragon, do pretty much the exact same thing you did with the tail – thicker near the shoulders… and thinner as you make it towards the head. Simple.

At this point, you can sit back and appreciate how the guideline helped you to create the figure of your dragon. Sure, you could’ve done it without the guideline, but in using it – you pretty much assured both proportion and symmetry.

Alright, now the fun begins! Drawing in the features of the dragon is what makes dragon drawings all the more fun and rewarding!

Drawing the head and neck of the dragon

Sixth Step – Simple Dragon Wings

Well, you used this technique with the dragon head, the body and the tail, so why not do the same with the dragon wings?

Starting at around the shoulder of your dragon, go ahead and draw a nice big arc – just like the one to the left.

Make sure that you keep this line nice and light as it is only to be used as a guideline… you’ll erase it later on.

Now, go ahead and sketch out a simple-looking dragon wing. Keep in mind that it’s the under-side of the wing that we’re looking at… so you’ll want to draw in the finger-like protrusions, similar to the one’s on a bat’s wing. Remember to keep it simple!

Drawing the first part of the dragon's wing Draw the rest of the dragon's wing

If we were creating more realistic looking dragon drawings, the wings would have a lot more to them. This one is extremely simple, and so it doesn’t take much to draw it. And of course, that’s a good thing! Get yours to look something like the one above.

Drawing the head of a cartoon dragon

Seventh Step – Easy Dragon Head

Strange… we saved the head of the dragon until the end! Usually dragon drawings, as well as with many other drawings – the head goes on first!

Actually, I did this on purpose. As I’ve mentioned before, a dragon can look all sorts of different ways, so I was hoping that by this point, you’d have a pretty good idea of how you wanted your the head of your dragon. Check out the dragon head drawing lesson for ideas!

Zooming in for a second, take a look at how the triangle is used as a simple guideline to map out the head of your dragon.

By having that triangle there, you can get really creative – giving your dragon head a truly unique look, while at the same time keeping proportion, so that it doesn’t look too small or too big in relation to the rest of the body of your dragon.

I recommend you take your time here and see if you can come up with something uniquely yours! Again, that’s the fun thing about dragon drawings, and the head is often the best part!

Dragon drawing cartoon picture

Final Step – Dragon Details!

Alright, at this point pretty much anyone would look at your drawing and say… "Yup, it’s a dragon!"

But what about all those cool details that truly give that "dragon like" appearance? Let’s add them now!

First, get rid of the light/dotted lines you used as guidelines. This is a snap with a decent eraser.

Then, give your dragon detail!

Start by giving your dragon some stripes along his under-belly, similar to those of a crocodile’s. Start by drawing lines adjacent to your central guideline. Then, draw in the horizontal stripes.

Dragon Drawings

After the stripes… how about some spikes!? Sounds good… start just behind the head and work your way all the way down to the tip of the tail, spike after spike after spike.

Notice how at the very tip of the tail, I changed the positioning of the spikes? Do the same if you like, or keep the same pattern throughout. In doing so, it suggests that the dragon tail has turned as it curves around.

Anything else? Ah yes… the other dragon wing. Using the first wing to compare, draw a second wing in behind.

OK – that’s pretty much all pretty much all there is to it… how to create simple dragon drawings!

Now, as many of us dragon lovers know… the color of the dragon has a lot to do with it’s true character. Many people associate a red dragon with evil, and a green dragon with goodness. But really – it’s up to you to decide. Out come the pencil crayons!

I hope you enjoyed the lesson, and I encourage you to venture back soon for yet another tutorial on how to create dragon drawings!