Dragon Head Drawing Lesson
How to create a dragon head drawing! Dragons are very unique creatures and when it comes to drawing themthere's really no end to just how unique it can get. With literally an infinite number of ways to draw a dragon, drawing a dragon head is different by no means.
Before you get started, please know that this is an advanced lesson. Each step is explained in great detail, however the actual style by which it's drawn is different than in other lessons.
Instead of showing you how to draw each individual line, step by step - there's a lot extra that's left for you to figure out.
But certainly --- do give it a shot! Who knows, maybe this style is just what you've been waiting for!
One more thing. There's no erasing in this lesson until the very end. In fact, before you actually go ahead and draw your dragon head, you're first going to create the entire simple framework of basic shapes that compose it.
You'll use this framework as a base for your drawing as it will keep the proportion and allow you to focus more so on the intricate details of your soon-to-be dragon head.
Alright, let's begin!
First Step - Draw Two Circles
In the beginning, the first thing to do is draw two circles - one big and one small. I recommend that when drawing the original shapes that will make up the framework for your dragon head, not just to keep your lines light - but also, to use a dotted line instead of a solid line. If solid works better for you - no problem.
Oh, and make sure that you're using a pencil for these first steps. Much easier to erase in the end!
OK, the bigger circle is the "core" of your dragon head. From this circle, you will draw the snout, the neck and the horns. Once you've got it drawn, draw a smaller circle positioned inside the larger one, up and to the left. This little circle will become your dragon's eye. That takes care of the circles.
Second Step - Three Rectangles
With the core of your dragon head in place, now map out the snout and the neck with some rectangles. Draw your first rectangle so that it points outwards and down slightly to the left of the large circle.
Do draw it so that it overlaps the larger circle... and the smaller one too. This first rectangle is to become upper snout of the dragon head.
And time for the lower snout. Draw another rectangle, slightly smaller than the previous one. Position it below the first rectangle if you want your dragon's mouth to be open. If not, then align it to the previous rectangle so they're flush. Actually - you can draw the dragon's mouth open or closed no matter how you position the rectangles.
It's just that leaving the gap, it becomes much more clear when it's time to draw the mouth. For now - and for the first time, it's probably best to do similar to what I am in the lesson.
Finally, draw a third rectangle pointing down and two the left of the core. Draw it so that it overlaps the bigger circle. Yes, this one will become the neck.
Good stuff... almost finished your dragon head framework!
Third Step - Four Triangles
As of now, you've got something that's beginning to resemble a dragon head. But then again, you may be looking at your circles and rectangles and saying, "Hey, that looks more like a dinosaur!" Or maybe something else too! Just remember, the purpose of this lesson is not to show you EXACTLY how to draw a dragon.
Why? Because there are a gazillion different ways to draw a dragon head! It's all about getting a framework of simple shapes together to resemble a dragon head - and from there, go on to develop your own unique dragon head drawing. It's about being creative! :-)
So, time for those triangles. I like to give my dragons horns. First, almost at the tip of your dragon's snout, draw one triangle.
Next, almost at the tip of your dragon's chin, draw another triangle. This one points down.
After that, draw one large horn emerging from the back of your dragon head... draw it as a big triangle pointing up and to the right, and make sure it overlaps the bigger circle a little.
Another thing I'm going to add is a fin. A fin? Sure, why not! Similar to a fish - this dragon's going to have a fin-like projection coming off the side of it's head. So, go ahead and draw a small triangle that comes outward - away from the bigger circle... pointing down and to the right. Have it overlap the neck (rectangle).
Right on! Your dragon head drawing framework is now complete... time to get creative!
Fourth Step - A Little Planning
Excellent. You now have the perfect blueprint for your dragon head drawing. And all it took was an assortment of simple basic shapes.
Next, take a look at what you've drawn. Have you thought about how your dragon is going to look? The reason I ask i
s because from this point on - you're pretty much on your own! Well, not really. But I'm going to be encouraging you to come up with your own ideas from here onwards. Sure, there are still steps to follow... but don't at all feel as though you need to glue yourself to them. Break free and come up with your own ideas.
There are certain things that I can definitely help you with. For example - the starting points and the direction to draw your lines.
There are certain starting points for each line - and each area of your drawing that can be much better than others. Similarly, it's sometimes better to go in one direction instead of another. You may agree or disagree. But the advice is there. So do feel free to take it!
But just remember - your lines are your own! Don't be surprised if by the end of this - your dragon head looks a lot different than mine!
Actually... let's hope that it does! :-)
Ready to continue? Great, let's go!
Fifth Step - Start with the Eye
Do you have a really good pen or marker that you like to draw with? Great - get it out. You're going to begin your finished drawing right now!
The framework of shapes that lies in front of you will act as your guide. Think of it as the training wheels on a bike when you're first learning to ride. When you no longer need the training wheels - off they go.
And same with the framework. I'll talk about this later on, but do know - that with lots of practice, many people are able to draw things without first sketching a framework, simply because they remember it. They've done it so many times that it's almost as if they "project" the framework onto the page with their mind... without actually having to draw it. Anyways, more on this another day... let's continue.
Using the circle as your guide, and with your pen/marker (not pencil), draw a dragon eye. Take a look at mine for reference.
But do be creative!
You can draw yours longer, shorter, wider, etc. The main thing is that you're using the circle as your guide.
Isn't it nice not having to worry about proportion and only focusing on the detail?! :-)
It sure is!
OK, once you've got the eye drawn up, move over to the far left of the dragon head, at the end of the snout and draw in a nostril.
Sixth Step - The Snout Horns
Have you checked out the rhinoceros lesson? If so, you'll recognize this next step... drawing two horns!
Well, I added another one as it seemed like a good idea at the time. Judging by the finished product up top, I think it worked out OK. But then again, it may have looked alright with just one... who knows.
So, go ahead and draw one, two... maybe even three - dragon horns. Position them where you like on the snout. And if you like, do check out the rhinoceros lesson here to see how I drew these horns. There's a nice little example.
Seventh Step - Upper Snout
And so it begins! It's here in this very step where the fate of your dragon head drawing resides. Time to make your mark! Literally!
I suggest you start with the very corner of your dragon's mouth. Work left and eventually clockwise as you draw in first - the lower part of the upper snout, second - the end of the snout, third - the top of the snout, and finally... up and around the eye to create an eyebrow.
In my case, the "perfect" starting point was almost directly in the center of the bigger circle, yet slightly offset - down and to the right.
Previously, you used the small circle as a guide to draw your dragon's eye. Now, do the same with the rectangle to draw the upper snout of your dragon head.
Begin. As you work your way left towards the end of the snout, feel free to deviate from the path that the rectangle creates for you. Imagine that soon, this very line that you draw will have dragon teeth emerging from it, jutting downwards.
I like to make this line rather swirvy In places where the line swerves up, teeth can be revealed! And where it swerves down, teeth are hidden - just as a drooping lip would do so on a dog.
At the end of the rectangle (furthest left), I gave my dragon head a pretty well-defined upper-lip. Then, it was upwards, again using the line of the rectangle as my guide, to create the end of my dragon head snout. When I got to the nostril, the movement of my lines changed.
Maybe it was the horns being close in sight, but instead of steady swerving lines, I decided to create spiked-like protrusions all across the top of the dragon's snout.
In your case, why not experiment with something else? You could make your lines completely smooth. Maybe bumpy? What about keeping the same swirvy lines all the way through?
See what you can come up with. And by the way... if you make a mistake - don't worry. It takes very little time at all to draw up a new framework. Besides, the more you draw, the more you practice, the better you get!
How's your dragon head drawing looking? Beginning to take shape? Great! Now it's on to the lower snout.
Eighth Step - Lower Snout
OK. Return to the corner of the mouth - the starting point for the upper snout of your dragon head.
This time, you'll work first - downward and to the left as you complete the upper part of the lower snout, second - downwards and counterclockwise to finish off the end of the lower snout, and third - back to the right to finish it off.
This step is pretty much a mirror image of the previous step. Use the rectangle as a guide and as you draw your line, use some creativity. Notice that when I came to my dragon's chin, instead of drawing a horn as I had planned, I created some more protrusions - similar to the ones on the top of the snout. Looks kind of like a beard.
Again, do something similar, or do something completely different!
As you come around the bottom of the snout - below the starting point at the corner of the mouth, it's a good idea to show some indication of a lower jaw. I did this with a few semi-circular lines dipping down and to the right. I think one big semi-circle line would do the trick.
Give it a try. End the jaw (and the lower snout) below the corner of the mouth, yet further right.
Nice work. Time to add another horn...
Ninth Step - The Back Horn
Alright. Take your pen or marker back up to where you left off with the upper snout. And at a point near or on the bigger circle (using it as a guide) go ahead and mark a new starting point.
Do make sure that your new starting point connects with the eyebrow area - the end of the upper snout line.
Notice how I connected mine near the tip of one of the protrusions? This creates the illusion that the protrusions are not only 3D, but also, that they are pointing outwards and away from the dragon head. Pretty neat.
Then, Using the circle - and the base of the large triangle as a guide, I drew some more protrusions. They cover the base of the large horn that you are about to draw.
OK... got your new starting point? Go an idea of how your horn is going to look? Great. Let's continue.
Using the large triangle as your guide, draw a larger version of the horn(s) that you drew on your dragon's upper snout. If you didn't draw any horns, but want to now, feel free to check out the rhinoceros lesson here. Quick little lesson on how to draw a horn.
Alright, keeping to the pattern of the previous two horns - curving towards the right, I've done the same with the larger horn on the back of my dragon head. Just like the snout horns, it curves to the right. Yet because of its position, it's actually curving downwards. Notice I added a few more of those protrusions at the lower base of the horn. Again, adds some depth and gives the drawing more of a 3D look.
Next, it's on to the fin...
Tenth Step - Drawing a Fin
Wait. Can dragons have fins? Sure they can. Dragons can look as unique as you want them to. If you want, feel free to leave the fin part out. Draw another horn if you like, or don't draw anything there at all. Your call! Otherwise...
Here's how to go about adding a fin to your dragon.
First, before you get to the fin - give your dragon a cheekbone. Start near the right end of the eyebrow, and draw a semi-circular line down towards the middle of the rectangle that is to be your dragon's neck.
Great - now the fin...
Follow the rectangle up and to the left until you reach the end. Move your pen to the center of the end of rectangle. It's around this area where you can begin to draw the fin.
In the example, I drew my fin to have five tentacle projections that spread down, outwards and away from the starting point. Come to think of it, they kind of resemble a fan, or even the foot of a duck.
In both cases - a fan or a duck's foot, the projections are connected by a thin membrane - whether it be paper in the case of the fan, or skin in the case of the duck's foot.
So then, starting in the same area each time, draw each projection. Start with the lowest projection first, and then work your way up to the third, fourth, fifth... or how ever many projections you wish to include.
Then, after you've got it all drawn out, go ahead and draw in the skin which connects each projection. This part is pretty easy actually. All you're really doing - depending on how complicated you want to make it, is connecting each projection to the other with a curved, "semi-circular" line.
And that's all there is to the fin.
Eleventh Step - Neck Plates
Similar to a giraffe's, the neck of a dragon is usually very long and slender. A giraffe's neck has a mane (hair) going all the way down the back-side. Dragons "could" have a mane - but look much more impressive with ridges, spikes or horns instead. And on the front-side - dragons will usually have strong "sword-proof" plates. Alright, with this info, let's draw your dragon a neck!
Alright, first thing - find your starting point. I recommend you start the neck near the upper-left corner of the rectangle from the original framework.
This is the one that points down and to the right, away from the bigger circle.
Find a point close to where the upper-left part of this rectangle crosses over the lower snout. This is the perfect starting point. You'll be working counter-clockwise from here.
Next, draw four "Ls". By "Ls" I mean the letter "L". The Ls will become the plates that align vertically down the front of a dragon's neck. They start under the chin, and continue downwards past the chest and belly, and all the way to the end of the tail. Very similar to a crocodile.
You're just drawing the neck portion though - so four plates will be enough. For the first L (or the first plate), go to your starting point and draw it so that the first line dips inwards towards the front of the neck. If it crosses over the rectangle, that's OK - but make sure it keeps in line with the rectangle. Use it as your guide.
For the second line - the one that completes the L, draw it so that it curves inwards and to the right. This line should dip downwards, and it should cross over the rectangle slightly. Mine continues right on under the fin.
OK - for next three Ls, do the exact same thing, using the rectangle as a guide. Draw each one a little bigger than the previous one. Remember, you're working downwards towards the dragon's body. So naturally, the neck will get bigger the further down you go, as will the plates. Each new starting point for each new L should be right around where the previous one changes direction - dipping down and to the right.
For the fourth and last L, draw it so that the second line curves around and to the right - in line with the bottom part of the rectangle that makes up the framework of your dragon head drawing. Draw this line so that it goes until about halfway toward the middle of the rectangle. And that's all there is to the plates!
Twelfth Step - Neck Spikes
No need to mark a new starting point. Begin exactly where you left off with the plates... halfway between the inner and outer points of the base of the rectangle - the point where the fourth plate ended.
Next, keeping parallel to the sides of the rectangle (using it as your guide), draw an angled line that goes upwards and to the left.
Stop when you come to the fin. You can draw this line fancy like I have, or you can keep it looking more simple. This line represents the transition from your dragon's neck plates, back to it's skin.
Again - doesn't have to be fancy. A simple curved line dipping either inward or outward will do the trick just fine. When you're finished that, go back to the point where you finished the fourth plate.
OK, next - continue with a line that goes to the lower right corner of the rectangle. Then, using the upper right side of the rectangle as your guide, go ahead and draw some spikes!
Draw them all the way up until you know you can't see them anymore because they are being covered by your dragon's fin. Use the rectangle as your guide. Also, feel free to draw as many spikes as you want. If you like, draw bumps instead.
Or, similar to the horns on your dragon's snout, you could draw more horns here too if you like. Again... get creative!
Once you've done that, go up to the large horn on the back of your dragon head. Add a couple more horns the same way you drew the big one. Only make them a little smaller. Then, going back to the spikes you just drew on the neck, add some more spikes in between the others. Gives the drawing some depth.
And speaking of "depth" time to add the final details...
Thirteenth Step - Details
The final details of your dragon head drawing involve giving your dragon some teeth, a tongue (if you like), and a few more lines to bring out the eye and the area near the extra horns you drew.
First, get the teeth done! This is easy because it's just like drawing horns and spikes - and you've all ready drawn plenty of those.
Go ahead and draw as many or as few as you like. Have them point left or right. Draw them in different shapes and sizes too! Creativity!
After the teeth or in, go ahead and give your dragon a tongue. Notice mine is long and forked, like that of a snake's. Yours doesn't have to be like this, nor does if have to extend out of the mouth. All you need to do for the tongue is make sure that is visible behind your dragon's teeth.
So, starting near the corner of the mouth, draw in the tongue. And every time you come to a tooth, make your line invisible - yet carrying onward, so that the tongue appears to be behind the teeth as it should. Simple. The mouth is complete!
Now for the eye. Let's zoom in for a second. The eye is also very simple. If you want, just leave it.
Dragon eyes always look cool when there are no pupils or details... just a mysterious "shine". But, if you must, a few simple lines will really bring out your dragon's eye.
For mine, I drew another line, inside and somewhat parallel to the bottom line of the eye. Makes it look like another layer, or even a lower eyelid.
Next, I drew two more lines on the extreme left and right parts of the eye, to give the impression that the dragon does have circular or even ovular eyes - but that they're begin covered by the skin - or eyelids. And that's how I left it... gotta love that mysteriously devious look it creates for a dragon head!
One final detail I added was another very small line behind the cheekbone. If anything, it makes the lower back horns appear to more 3D as they are emerging from an area further back on the head than it originally looked. Add this line if you like, or leave it out! Up to you.
Final Step - You're Finished!
Well, there's only one thing left to do now. And that's erase! Go ahead and erase the faint lines that you used for the framework of your dragon head drawing.
Because you used a black pen or marker the entire time, your final lines are really going to stand out.
Another way to do this, if you're really not keen on doing the final drawing right away, is to use a pencil for both your framework and your lines. Then when finished, go directly over the penciled lines in black before erasing. This method is of course similar to the intermediate lessons.
Still, I recommend doing it all in one shot - no practice. When you become more skilled (more advanced) at drawing, it's often a lot more fun to "take a chance" and draw the final version on the first shot.
Especially with something like a dragon head, it's always neat when you think your drawing is going to look a certain way, yet because you drew part of it different than you expected - and because you can't erase it and start over... you can end up with some crazy looking creations! It's all about breaking free and being able to tune in to that more creative aspect of yourself.
And besides, with the framework to use as training wheels, it's not as difficult as it would be if all there was were a blank sheet of paper staring back at you!
So, there you have it... dragon head drawing! Complete!
It was a long journey, but it certainly paid off in the end. Congratulations!! :-)