How to Draw a Japanese Dragon

Artist: KingTutorial / November 15, 2012

Step 1.

Ok, let's start with some basic guide lines. The main things here are the head, the lower jaw, the snake-like body, and the legs. Because of the serpentine look of this dragon, I want a flowing shape to the body. Having the neck curve sharply behind    

Step 2.

I like to start with the eyebrows and eyes whenever I'm drawing a creature like this. The Chinese dragon will have flowing, hairy eyebrows. I mainly draw teardrop shapes for each little clump of hair. Give him a round eye and go heavy with the black    

Step 3.

Close in the forehead flesh. For the snout, draw a row of scales down the nose and end it with a pig-like nose. Draw in a small, bushy moustache to cover the lip, and then add the long, streaming moustache on each side of the nose. It's good to think   

Step 4.

The Chinese dragon has antlers that grow back, from behind the eyebrows. I've seen these illustrated like wood, somewhere, so I kind of made these antlers look like gnarled tree branches. First draw the long, pointy part. Then add a blunt offshoot on   

Step 5.

Time to draw in the cheekbones and the flesh on the sides of the snout/face. Next draw in some bushy sideburns behind the cheekbones. The front of the hair is made up of smaller shapes, and the strands get longer toward the back, with a few very long   

Step 6.

This step is mainly about the upper teeth and tongue. Instead of all sharp teeth, I wanted to give him a few normal teeth in the front, like what we have -- four incisors between the canines. For the tongue, it's good to thing of that ribbon shape ag   

Step 7.

Now draw in the lower teeth. It's important to try to match the shape of the lower jaw to the upper jaw. This really just takes practice. In fact, these jaws may be a little off. It can be tricky. For this guy, just try to draw them as if they're bor   

Step 8.

While the head of the Chinese dragon is almost lion-like, the body is obviously like a snake. You need to split it between the back and the underbelly. The belly usually has larger, horizontal scale shapes, while the back is covered in smaller scales   

Step 9.

Ok, now the body and front legs. Use small scales to outline the body, rather than just drawing a smooth line. This breaks up the shape and gives it some more dimension. continue the wrinkle along the side of the body, separating the underbelly from    

Step 10.

Ok, there's a row of spikes going down the spine of the dragon. At first I was just going to have hard, shark-fin shapes, but I decided to break them up and turn them into tufts of hair, just to get some more detail in to the drawing. The hair is ver   

Step 11.

Continue the shape of the body, and taper it toward the end of the tail. We'll end the tail with a large poof of fur and hair. The overall shape is like a leaf, actually, so think of it as being fairly flat. A leaf blowing in the wind... or something   

Step 12.

Draw in the next section of the underbelly. The body is getting a bit skinnier here. Try to shape the hind legs like a dog's legs, or something similar. I have them a bit thinner than the front legs. Really exaggerate the pose on that back leg to giv   

Step 13.

...and that's it! Here's how it looks in black. I packed a lot of drawing in to each step, but I hope everyone was able to follow along. As always, try to take some of the ideas from this tutorial and use them to create creatures of your own. If you    

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Artist: KingTutorial
Date Added: November 15, 2012
Steps: 13
Favorited: 1 (view)
Views: 0 in last hour, 12 in last day, 88 in last week, 113242 total
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Tags: dragon drawing, how to draw chinese dragons, dragon drawings
Description: Hey guys. It's been a while, but I'm back with a new tutorial. This time I'll be drawing a Chinese-style dragon. This will be a more intermediate level drawing, but I hope everyone can take something away from it. Enjoy.