The Secrets to Drawing a Dragon


The best dragons of the tutorial.
These will be the results, Remember that if you like it.At the end you can put it in Favorites and give love to the tutorial by touching the heart

You; Hi Francis! I want to know how to draw a dragon!
F; Sure, of course Miguel comes in ...
You; Wait who is Miguel?

F; You didn't want to fight a dragon?
You: No! I wanted to know how to draw a dragon.

F; I see ... but it's almost the same, we're going to battle dragons.
You; ..., whatever you say, now tell me how I draw the dragon.

F; Sure, but first, do you understand what a dragon is?
You: Of course a dragon is a lizard with 4 legs, wings, and spits fire

F; (concerned face) I see ..., I suppose I should explain it to you simply.

1. What is a dragon?

Well, as you have answered, a dragon is a lizard, without much brain, but when we refer to a dragon there are many types and very varied, for example; The Chinese who has no wings, the Westerner who has no brain, etc.

Although human creativity does not end there, there is also piasa (half human) (the most charming in my opinion)

In this sense there is no exact criterion to what we could call a dragon, if we only think of a winged lizard that spits fire, in different mythologies they have different shapes and sizes but to tell the truth, that does not matter, at the end of the day it does. What you want is your dragon and it will have the shape that you like the most.

You; Really? Tell me then how should I draw it.
F; As I said, it will have the shape that you like the most, so I wouldn't know how to explain it to you.

You ; So what are you good for?
F; I can give you the "Dragon Scroll" (I learned my techniques from there), and if it gives you powers, at the end of the day you will have your dragon ...
You; You tempt me, you tempt me ... so where is that magic roll?

2. Is the magic scroll giving you powers?

Let's start with some history, thousands of years ago an old and wise wizard gave me a scroll known as the "Dragon Scroll", and now I will pass on his teachings to you ...

A) The basic and generic

As it is generally, I will tell you the basics, every composite shape is made up of one or more figures, a dragon is no different, then I will show you a typical dragon that I draw in 20 minutes.

You; wait like 20 minutes? It looks pretty ugly the truth
F; Let's continue ...

As you will see here I used several figures.
Blue; triangles.
Red; squares.
Green; circles.

Black; spinal flow and body direction.
(As you can see, the dragon's legs stand out for the details).

Triangles and squares are the bases of almost every topology.

With that we finalize the basic shapes that most aspire to, but if you ever want to create something other than a generic dragon, the following techniques will help you.

3. In the magic scroll, are there traps?

It is an excellent question my young learner, The cheat code you are looking for is called "Brief".
The purpose of the Brief is to get to know what the problem is, the objectives to be achieved and the goal to be achieved, and thus know what actions to carry out.

B) How to define a Brief?

It is easy, as I explained before, there are certain characteristics, which in this case are intended to define what your dragon will be.

Here is an example of what my dragon will be.
A_ It has to be beautiful for me
B_Friendly and stubborn
C_What merchandising can be manufactured (Teddy bear)
D_That you can use it as Transportation
E_Have to be Strong

4. what now?

Now that we have defined our dragon, the next thing is to draw it, but doing it in a normal way is boring and tedious, (I will leave it for the end of the tutorial).
so to solve that we will use one of the techniques of the "Dragon Scroll",
The SECRET TECHNIQUE OF drawing with the first thing we imagine in our mind.

You; It's a joke?
F; No, I'm serious. The first exercise to draw your dragon is "Loosen your hand"
With that in mind create a new vectorized layer, draw some shapes and move on.

We already have the first sketches of what our possible dragon will be (don't worry if they are ugly), although it is evident, it is not the best technique, because you end up repeating the forms.

A) what now?

Now we will turn to The Second Technique of the "Dragon Scroll" Basic forms.
You; Wasn't it a bummer?

You just have to draw basic shapes (dragons in the shape of a circle, squares, long, etc), it is an interesting method and can lead to quite good results, the point is to try to quickly draw as many shapes as you can in 5 minutes ( after 5 minutes I got the following sketches)

B) I don't think the roll gives me powers.

Calm down, calm down, if you can't stand talking to me, go to Point 8 of the tutorial, otherwise I will continue to tell you about the "Dragon Scroll" techniques.

C) what now?

Now we will use The Overlay Technique.
You; which?
First create a folder and place the vector layers inside (Tap this icon and drag the layers inside)

Draw above / above the 2 layers you were using, it is said by expert draftsmen that "some things are hidden between the lines".

Here you see how I put the layers in different colors and New shapes were obtained, of course this is not limited to 2 or 3 vector layers, you can make as many as you want.

5. What is the 4 technique?

The silhouette technique, which consists of 2 stages. It works when you do not have (idea of what you are doing) a clear image of what you are looking for in your dragon.

You, the silhouette, it looks pretty ugly the truth.

It is a very good way to create surprises, the advantage of this technique is that by not having details you can add or subtract shadow as many times as you want, in the following example you can see what I want to say better.

This can be done in a single vector layer, but I recommend using whatever layers are necessary.

The next thing will be to refine the shadows by adding or subtracting shadows, once finished we choose the shadows that we like the most and eliminate the others.

A) I already refined the shadows that I liked. How do I continue?

Now that you have the silhouettes you liked the most, it's time to add details
You; How do I do that?

You lower the opacity of the folder to 32% and draw on the shadows, the details that you imagine
here some examples;

You; they are honestly ugly.
F; I know, I know but these are just sketches, not very detailed.

6. Sort, Analyze and Discard Sketches

Order the shapes that you like the most and erase the others, then place them on a new layer

These were the finalists

Then combine in a new folder all the remaining designs (What we did in the other techniques)

7. Finishing the dragon scroll

The dragon that best suits the Brief is chosen and detailed to later give it a gray finish.

A great change

With that we finish the basic techniques to create a dragon from scratch and make it original.

Remember that if you like At the end you can put it in Favorites and give love to the tutorial by touching the heart

Now I will continue with the basics of any tutorial

8 the head

the head, the most important part, or to tell the truth not so much, the shape of the head. Define your dragon, the most basic shapes are 3;

The Circle Head; is used mostly for friendly and obedient characters. (Like a certain black dragon that we all know).

The Head of Square; They are used mostly for stubborn and strong characters. (Natural forces for example).

The Triangle Head; They are used mostly to express danger, or characters sure of their power, but more than anything they are dangerous. (The typical fire-breathing dragon)

Of course there can always be variants. I leave some example

9. Arms, legs, hands, fingers and paws

As we already know, we saw that legs and hands are not my thing,

Often the cartoonists say "copy is wrong", (But then you see them copying a guitar hahaha)
Now I will tell you the truth, Plagiarizing is wrong, but copying is not.

You; why do you say that?

Well, we all copy, all the time. Our goal in this tip is to improve ideas that we already have naturally. Therefore, if at some point in the drawing something does not come out, you can always use references.

As the image indicates that you only have to follow a flow, it looks like a shape (the one marked in green) is repeated to give a dragon's leg

Here another example

With the hands and arms it is the same (You can only see yourself in a mirror but if you need to be detailed, look for references) (Although believe me, you can do it only with imagination, but of course it will take you more time).

you just have to think, what is the shape of the limb that I want to draw?

Square?, Circular? with ovals? and then combine them, the limit is your imagination. (Although for that the references are used, Nobody knows everything)

10. Alas

The wings will be the easiest part to do, since they are only very long nails, you can
Use the wings of bats, birds, dinosaurs or even the flying squirrel as references.

As we can see, it consists of 5 fundamental parts, 1 the arm, 2 the hand, 3 the long fingers, 4 the skin and 5 the nails, the rest are pure details that you can add.

As expected, the dragon will not always have its wings open, so if it wants to close them it will fold them in 2 or more folds, here is an example:

The wings can be aesthetic or functional, the difference is that the aesthetic ones are only ornaments, and the functional ones are used to fly, so if you want it to fly, use wings proportional to its size.

11. Horns

The horns can make your dragon look aggressive, defensive or friendly, depending on which ones you think are more suitable, they also give an idea of its age, gender, personality.
My best advice is to look for references, but here I will give you the most basic examples.

The female dragons are at the top and the males are at the bottom, we also notice that some dragons look more violent than others, thanks to the horns.

12. Scales

The truth is that I don't usually put much emphasis on scales, but if you want your dragon to look like a knight, it should take a couple of them, (my advice looks for references and combines them).

Here are some examples of scales, although it depends on the size and the time invested (in my case 30 sec) how well the result of your scales will be.

There are also 2 default brushes (well I think so) that I use to paint in case I have to, we are talking about:

The Pointillista brush: Perfect brush for details in waves, just adjust the parameters as you like.


The one with dry watercolor; I use it with a maru brush and paint it underneath and in my opinion it looks fine

Obviously being just an example, it does not bother me that the colors do not match

Also Thanks to the clip studio community you can find brushes and textures created by people who love scales, (although the truth is I don't use the community much, My sin is pride). You can also create your own brushes, but that will be in another tips ...

13 the beginning of the end

Scales, Horns, Wings, Arms, legs, hands and the head, we only need the tail.

A) The queues

The queues can be very varied but my advice is that ...

You; I know, that I use references right? ...

No, I was going to say a line but hey, use a reference if you want, a line, every queue begins with a line, so at the time of drawing you only have one line and go giving it details, here I will leave you an example of some queues

You; wait, that's not a neck ?.

F; YOU haven't seen anything.
Yes, it is the neck, but what I mean is that the tails are mostly oval lines, so they can end as you want in points, circles, triangles and squares, etc.

14. The colors

As someone once told me, the order of the factors does not alter the product.

I usually use a gray base, duplicate it and put it on dodge (Gloss).

then with the paint pot and without color, erase the desired areas.

On Layer 2 (Dodge Gloss) so that Layer 1 is the base (Gray Base)

Nature by color

Colors will always represent the nature of dragons, but it is best not to get carried away by appearances, here are some examples.

From right to left dragon of the type, Plant, Electric, Fire, Water

If you do not know what colors to use in your dragon, you can always look for references of animals, plants or any other living organism that uses the desired element, such as the salamander (a black and yellow one appeared to me, I calculate that it spits fire hahaha).

Final Screen and Links

If you got this far, I'll leave you my instagram, in case you want to tag me in your dragon.

Now give Love to the tutorial with a Heart.
Good day.



New Official Articles