How To Draw A Dragon Body

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  • Sketching / Drawing
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Subject: Dragon Body

Dragon Workshop: Head | Body | Scales | Wings | Limbs And Talons | Horns And Other Addons | More…

Continuing from the previous post on designing a dragon head, this will be a study on how to draw a dragon body.

Construction Lines

Let us look at the body of a medieval dragon and draw construction lines.

Medieval Dragon Body Construction Lines

It might look a bit complex, but let me break it down a bit.

The spine that runs from the head to the tip of the tail is drawn first to get a general posture. It will be a curvy line; sort of one ‘S’ drawn at the end of another. Or the mirror of ‘S’ depending on which side you are looking at. At the tip of it, draw the construction lines of the head (as explained earlier). Draw two ovals touching each other, the hind one a little bit smaller than the front one. At this point you should be having the rough shape of the dragon. I will explain the construction of limbs, wings and other things in detail, in future posts. For now, just try to replicate them. Draw the construction lines for the front limbs, the hind limbs and the wings.

Line Art

The above is ofcourse not the final image, but just the construction lines. Now, start drawing darker lines that actually define the body fo the dragon.

Medieval Dragon Body Construction Lines + Lineart

Use the previously drawn construction lines as guides and draw the different parts, taking care of avoiding those lines that fall below other parts (like the folds on the hind legs).

Style

You can use the same approach to draw the body of a chinese dragon too.

Chinese Dragon Body Construction Lines

The key would be to make the curves of the two ‘S’ less tight and more open as the chinese dragon traditionally have long slender snake like body. Also, the ovals where you would attach the limbs are far apart. The chinese dragons usually do not have wings.

Chinese Dragon Body Construction Lines + Lineart

You do not need to limit yourself to these two styles. Draw the base spine construction lines and the ovals to signify the different bulk of the body. If the dragon from your imagination has six legs instead of four, use another oval shape in between.

Clean up and more

Medieval Dragon Body Lineart

If you have been using traditional medium, erase of those faint construction lines. If you are using digital medium, you can switch off the layer where you have drawn the construction lines.

Chinese Dragon Body Lineart

The body may still look bare and boring. But we are going to fix that by doing a bit more study on things that are part of dragon designs.

  • Limbs, talons
  • Wings
  • Scales
  • Horns, Fins, etc

I will be exploring these in future posts. Get updates by subscribing to KalaaLog Feeds or using email susbscription (pop in your email address at the top and hit ‘Subscribe’).

Keep practicing the different body styles until you are comfortable.

If you have any questions, or would like to share some of your works, feel free to post a comment here.

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  1. poppy’s avatar

    those things are ugly and suck!

    Reply

    1. I am I’s avatar

      poppy, IF YOU DON’T LIKE, WHY ARE YOU VIEWING THIS?!?!?!?!?

      Reply

    2. demacleze’s avatar

      there probly better than what you can draw

      Reply

  2. Vyoma’s avatar

    All the more reason to consider adding other stuff to it like scales, wings and other things, poppy.

    Reply

  3. Kaihaku’s avatar

    That was a bit uncalled for… Tutorials often use simple unfinished images to make it easier to follow the steps. Showing the finished product, all polished and fancy, wouldn’t help me in the least at all.

    I’ll take the “ugly” steps showing me how to fundamentally draw something over the “beautiful” finished product in a tutorial anyday.

    Concise and nicely done, thanks for the tips.

    Reply

  4. Vyoma’s avatar

    Glad that you found it helpful, Kaihaku.

    As you said, showing polished works makes it difficult to learn.

    Also – I too am just learning the subject. I have not gone through formal art education, so it could come out a bit sloppy until I practice. :)

    Reply

  5. csn’s avatar

    Yah, these tips were very helpful. I don’t know what poppy’s talking about. I thought they were great!

    Reply

  6. Vyoma’s avatar

    Thanks, csn. Do check out some of the posts in the series published after this. :)

    Reply

  7. arzkttn’s avatar

    I think this has been very helpful! You have to have the “bones” to add the “meat”. Good job!! Thanks!!

    Reply

  8. Vyoma’s avatar

    You are welcome, arzkttn!

    Reply

  9. Brandon’s avatar

    I personally thought they were really helpful. They are the best insructions ive gotten yet. Great Job!

    Reply

  10. Vyoma’s avatar

    Thank you, Brandon! Do not hesitate to post links to your works on dragon body here. :)

    Reply

  11. Cassie’s avatar

    Hi your tutorials are great. I want to draw a dragon for my new novel I am writing. I can picture the dragon in my head but your tutorials mean I can make her a reality. Thank you.

    Reply

  12. Vyoma’s avatar

    Hey Cassie, you are welcome. :)

    Working on illustrations for your own novels can be interesting project. Do go through the Dragon Workshop page and you might get some more useful pointers.

    Reply

  13. jose’s avatar

    thanks!!!!!!!This is the best dragon tutorial i’ve ever seen.It’s really helpfull because i’m making a video with my friend on youtube.

    Reply

  14. Vyoma’s avatar

    Great jose! Don’t hesitate to send me a note when you have the YouTube video uploaded. ;)

    Reply

  15. Samara’s avatar

    Hey!
    I like your style. It’s very big and imposing, almost cartoon-like. I go for the skinnier, realistic type. If you want to see them, you can see my Photobucket Account. I have it as my site. =)

    Reply

  16. Vyoma’s avatar

    Thank you, Samara! Yup – I do see your Photobucket account. :) Nice gallery you have got there.

    Reply

  17. Addaline’s avatar

    oh my god this is just what i needed!!!!! i am creating a art journal as background for my writings and i have been looking for a good dragon body tutorial everywhere. thanks so much!!!

    Reply

  18. Vyoma’s avatar

    You are welcome, Addaline!

    Reply

  19. Caleb’s avatar

    Hi i found this was very helpful . I was wondering if you can take it in peices like start with this circle first thanks.

    Reply

  20. Vyoma’s avatar

    Thanks, Caleb. Check out the other tutorials – they use a similar approach. :)

    Reply

  21. Chris’s avatar

    Thanks for another great tute! The spine and balls approach seems to give the dragons a good energy too, and reflects that serpent like flexibility. I read through the wings and limbs tutes first though, so I understood what I was trying to do with the construction and outlining. First attempt (wings strayed a bit from the construction lines :P ) : http://img101.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dragon2xd3.jpg

    Reply

  22. Vyoma’s avatar

    You seem to be really getting the hang of it!

    This is a great drive for me to keep writing more tutorials – with more focus on “Workshops”. :)

    Reply

  23. rugnymph’s avatar

    I have had many years of formal art instruction, and I found this tutorial to be so helpful that I bookmarked it so I can come back to it over and over as I improve. When I’ve learned to draw dragons, I’m going to go through the peacock tutorial. Thanks!

    Reply

  24. Vyoma’s avatar

    I am glad you liked it, rugnymph. I would suggest though to go ahead and start on the Peacock tutorials – it helps to give a fresh eye when you switch between two studies.

    Work on Dragons and sometimes switch to work on Peacock. That way, you will start noticing things that you sort of get used when working on just one project.

    Reply

  25. father-of-two’s avatar

    I’ve never drawn anything in my life before. But with a Google search and this tutorial, I was able to draw a dragon in a birthday card for my daughters to colour in, that both they and myself are very happy with. The winged beasty perfectly matched the plastic toy that had inspired them.

    So thank you for taking the time to post the tutorial. It was perfect for us.

    Reply

  26. 10-year-old-girl’s avatar

    This is very helpful. I just followed the steps and I drew a very finished drawing!!! Thank you so much whoever posted this!!! I can FINALLY draw a dragon! My friends would love this drawing!!!!

    Reply

  27. lea’s avatar

    I have just drawn my first beautiful dragon and i used all the tutorials on here, thank you!

    Reply

  28. me’s avatar

    im still practicing this thing its just that i haved to look at the thing carfully
    and then i can draw it indevullyy:)

    Reply

  29. jason’s avatar

    your tutorials rock! now i can draw a dragon properly! thank you so much!

    Reply

  30. Amy’s avatar

    this is a really good website and when you try it it turns out really good!!!

    By Amy gear
    age 9

    Reply

  31. Debbie’s avatar

    Thanks Vyoma for the tutorials they really helped me to really see what should be within the outside of a dragon. It kind of helped me to give it a more shape and in porportion , which balanced it out for me. I still have some practicing to do on it but, I can see a difference in my detail of a dragon. I’ll try and get a decent one finished then show it to you. Thanks I hope to keep learning and improving my drawing skills.

    Reply

    1. Vyoma’s avatar

      I am glad it helped you, Debbie!

      Reply

  32. anonomus’s avatar

    this rilly helped me with the sinue( srry cant spell) and musel(lol srry Im stupid) so dont stop!!!! :3

    Reply

  33. Anna’s avatar

    the back leg on the larger dragon doesn’t look like it could support the weight of the dragon’s body…

    Reply

  34. Me’s avatar

    This tutorial sucks

    Reply

  35. kayla’s avatar

    yeah i have been drawing my own dragons lately and it just getting harder for me to do

    Reply

  36. Skyler’s avatar

    OMG THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCCH!!! This helped so much! I had to draw a dragon for a class asignment for extra credit. This helped soooo much! My dragon turned out amazing and I cant even draw!!!!

    Reply

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