How To Draw Dragon Scales

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  • Sketching / Drawing
  • Level: Beginner
  • Subject: Dragon Scales

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

As mentioned earlier, after drawing the main body of the dragon, it would look bare and naked without all the addons like scales, horns and wings. In this short tutorial, you can learn how to draw scales on the dragon’s body you constructed.

Construction Lines

It is quite simple to draw construction lines if you want to draw a patch of scales.

Dragon Scale Construction Lines Type 1

You should actually take care of the angle and curve of the cross hatched lines – but for practice, just have two sets of straight lines perpendicular to each other.

Sketching Scales

Dragon Scale Sketching Type 1

After that sketch over it. Do it in a separate layer if you are doing it in digtal medium. Use the construction lines as guides, and draw the ‘U’ shaped lines.

Scale Types

Dragon Scale Construction Lines and Sketching Type 2

Drawing the construction lines with a different angle between the two sets of straight lines, gives you a base to draw a different type of scale. After you experiment with those angles, you should be able to draw patches of scales of varying types.

Dragon Scale - Line Art of different types

Drawing a patch of scale is easy – but wrapping it around the dragon body is a bit tricky.

Shape The Scales

Let us consider the neck (or the tail part) of a dragon.

Dragon Neck Or Tail

Now we need to draw the construction lines of the scales – but remember that the area is curved and not flat.

Dragon Neck Or Tail - Scales Construction Lines

When you draw one set of parallel lines, it will be curved around the part of the dragon – it might be a bit tricky, but visualizing and practicing helps. This is the important step and take your time and practice.

Dragon Neck Or Tail - Sketching Scales

Once the construction lines are layed down, sketching the actual scales is an easy exercise.

Dragon Nect Or Tail with scales - Line Art

Practice applying different types of scales to different parts of the dragon. You will need to experiment with the ‘flow’ of the scales – which go from the tip of the nose to tip of the tail.

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  1. David W.’s avatar

    Thanks! Helped me a lot


  2. Vyoma’s avatar

    You are welcome, David!


  3. helen’s avatar

    a bit lumpy … but if you smooth it out and minimize the scales it could be even better …


  4. Ian’s avatar

    All your dragon parts have helped me no end, Thanks


  5. Chris’s avatar

    Thanks for another very useful part of the dragon workshop! (Also, sorry about the double post on the dragon head’s page, feel free to delete one of those comments!) :)


  6. Vyoma’s avatar

    You are welcome!

    And Chris – no worries of that double post. Only the first comment from a reader gets held up in the moderation queue. :)


  7. Scotty’s avatar

    THanks, man this will help tons on my new sketch.


  8. Vyoma’s avatar

    You are welcome Scotty!


    1. kayla wright’s avatar

      these scales help alot because i am trying to draw a dragon and i dont know how to do the scales so thanks


  9. johnny’s avatar

    ok i got that and it seems easy but when i draw dragons mine are not only coiling but also twisting as well and i cant figure it out. some times i can get it but when my dragon is coioing and twisting it gets really hard and i give up…


  10. Kris Camden’s avatar

    I was prepared to be trawling Google for hours looking for some assistance with this, but I found you straight away x

    I’m going to be using your tips to help me design my very first tattoo x
    Thanks a lot x x


  11. janok’s avatar

    wow, great tutorial! My dragon sketches will really improve! But I wonder where I can find a tutorial about coloring dragons because I can only shade them…please help me!


  12. Sarah’s avatar

    Thanks so much! I WONT FAIL ART NOW! We had to draw a dragon, and I couldn’t get the scales right…. now Ill look at the rest! THX AGAIN!


  13. colin’s avatar

    this realy helped thx


  14. dragonfolf234’s avatar

    Again this will help me out in making my fursona. So thank you!


  15. dakota shafer’s avatar

    jhonny you just curve the lines wherever you are twisting the dragon and then do what he does up there… i dont know if that made any sense butt hope it helps a little…XD and this helped me im also twisting my dragon im practicing fantasy! :D



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