Fantasy creatures may not be real, but that doesn’t mean we can’t draw them in a realistic
way. Two mighty wings, sharp teeth, fiery breath, and gleaming scales—when you think of a
dragon, these are often the first characteristics that spring to mind. There are no limits to
what a dragon can look like. After all, they are fictional creatures that are only brought to
“life” in series, films and books.
If you take a closer look, you quickly realize that all these dragons are different from each
other. But what exactly do these differences mean? The real question is: how to draw a
dragon step-by-step? We prepared an easy tutorial for any beginners. There are only 20
steps and if you follow them, you will quickly have a dragon in front of you.
Step 1: Split your canvas vertically
Dragons have unusual proportions and complex bodies. Since you are going to be drawing
the entire body of the dragon, you should use a trick to get everything in the right place.
Take it slow and go step by step.
First, dividte the canvas into three equal parts.
Step 2: Split your canvas again
Divide your canvas horizontally into three equal parts. Now you have a very familiar
composition grid and the perfect help for drawing complex pieces.
Step 3: Draw an ellipse
Draw a moderately sized ellipse on the lower left side of your canvas. This will be the central
part of dragon’s body.
Step 4: Draw a circle
In the upper left part of the canvas draw a small circle. This will be dragon’s head.
Step 5: Connect the body and the head
Connect our dragon’s head and body with a long curved line. Draw two more circles to mark
the position of the limbs.
Step 6: Draw a distorted rectangle
Now draw the structure of the head. Add a distorted rectangle to set the shape of the head,
then add a small triangle right next to it.
Step 7: Complete the neck
Complete the dragon’s neck with two more lines. Make sure that one connects the center of
the head circle to the left side of the body and the other leads from the right side of the
Step 8: Draw the front leg
Using two bean-like shapes, draw dragon’s leg.
Step 9: Adding the Claws
Now add the claws. Use three different sized lines to mark the claws.
Step 10: Repeat
Repeat the above steps for the other leg, noting the intersecting shapes and erasing any
Step 11: Draw the other leg
Draw the other leg with two ellipses. The hind legs are thicker than the front legs and their
claws are shorter.
Step 12: Adding the Tail
With a curved line, outline the tail and draw the end with a rhombus.
Step 13: Draw two triangles
Now start drawing the wings. Draw the first part with a triangle and the second with an
Step 14: Draw the mouth, eye and horns
Add the mouth with an elongated W shape starting at the top of the triangle and ending at
the halfway point of the head circle. Add the nose in the shape of a small V.
Draw the eye with another rhombus and draw a semicircle inside.
For the horns, you can use the following shapes or choose your own. It’s important to
remember that horns are mostly symmetrical and both sides should look the same.
Step 15: Draw the Head
In this step, you can let your imagination run wild. Dragons come in many shapes so you can
make them bigger, smaller, etc. Keep in mind that dragons are primarily reptilian inspired,
so the lines in the head will not be smooth or curved, but rather rough and irregular.
Step 16: Draw the legs
Now draw the legs and add small spiky bumps near the joints to add more detail to the
Step 17: Add the Tail and Claws
Draw the tail and add the claws. Also draw the visible part of the other wing. Remember to
keep adding the spinal protrusions on the tail.
Step 18: Shading the Wings
Now shade the wings, fill them with graphite and blend them. Shade more heavily under the
Step 19: Adding the Scales
This part will take the most of the time. You can add a few scales here and there if you don’t
want to spend a lot of time drawing the entire body of the dragon.
Step 20: Draw the Floor
Add soft tracks under your dragons and mix them up to mimic the ground.