Dragons have captured our imagination for centuries, but have you ever tried to draw one? Whether you feel inspired to create a fearsome fire-breathing monster or something a little more cute and cuddly, we’re here to show you how easy it can be to create your own dragon drawings.

How to Draw a Dragon

Step 1: Choose Your Style

dragon sketch
Dragons are easy and fun to create from scratch!

When you’re learning how to draw a dragon, the first step is to decide what kind of creature you want to create. To make your dragon drawings easy, start by choosing something simple like baby dragon drawings or cartoon dragon drawings—the more complex designs can come later!

For this “how to draw a dragon” step by step tutorial, we’re going to work on a quick 10-minute sketch of a friendly dragon.

Step 2: Outline the Body

dragon outline
Use basic shapes for the body outline.

The easiest place to begin is learning how to draw a dragon body. Start with a swooping line from the top right to the bottom left, a little like the beginning of a sideways S. This will be the basic outline that guides the rest of your dragon’s body parts.

dragon sketch
Don’t worry about the details when you’re just getting started.

From there, draw a small circle at the top of the line for the head, followed by an oval in the middle of the curve for the torso. Make two more ovals on the head circle at right angles to each other; this will be the mouth and the nose. Then add two extra circles within the torso oval, with a slight dip in the top to create the back.

Step 3: Add Arms and Legs

dragon sketch
Curves and lines form the basic shape of your dragon.

From the central ovals, add two sausage-shaped ovals pointing down and one just under the neck pointing out. Add smaller ovals to the ends of these, with a circle on each of the front two. This will give your dragon arms. The back oval should have more rigid rectangles coming off it, to give your dragon a strong and powerful back leg.

Step 4: Sketch in the Tail and Wings

dragon sketch
Sketch in the final pieces before adding the key features.

Before we can dive into how to draw a dragon face with detailed features, we need to finish our outline. Draw a swooping line around the back of the dragon and under the legs for the tail, before adding an upside-down triangle (without the pointy tip!) on the dragon’s back for the wings.

Step 5: Give Your Dragon a Face

dragon sketch
There’s nothing like a smiley cartoon dragon!

One of the best parts of learning how to draw a dragon head is giving your creature a fun face! Some dragons can be terrifying, but we’ll show you how to make your dragon drawing cute instead.

Fill in the facial structure with eyes above the cheek area and curvy eyebrows. Don’t forget the large nostrils at the end of the nose just waiting for some fire-breathing! Finish the face off with a couple of bony spikes too.

Step 8: Finish the Body Details

dragon sketch
Add in the rest of the details to complete your dragon drawing.

Once your head is complete, you can start working on the rest of the body. Go back over your original outline with a darker pencil and add extra lines to create the body structure. Think about how the dragon’s skin will wrap around the bones of the arms and legs, as well as anywhere there may be more exposed bone structure like the wings and fingers.

Add a few spikes along the dragon’s spine and any other details you’d like to include, like spots or stripes. Once you’re happy with how your dragon looks, you can either erase your guidelines or place a new sheet of paper over the top and trace your dragon using an ink pen.

Congratulations, you’ve just finished your first dragon drawing!

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Other Dragon Drawing Ideas

Now that you’ve mastered dragon drawing step by step, it’s time to move onto more complex sketches. There are plenty of ways to make how to draw a dragon easy, so find a style that works for you and get those pencils sharpened!

Simple Dragon Drawings

purple dragon
Start small and work your way up to more complicated techniques.

Make your dragon drawing easy by working on a side profile first and mastering those skills before moving onto the rest of the body. Making a rectangle or oval for the head shape, with two lines coming down from this for the neck is a great first step, before adding in details like eyes, scales, and horns.

Simple Chinese Dragon Drawings

chinese drawing
Chinese dragons have a unique and distinctive style.

Chinese dragons are a staple of Chinese mythology and folklore. They’re most commonly depicted with scaled bodies, long horns, and large fang-like teeth. 

Cute Dragon Drawings

dragon sushi man
Source: Instagram 
Kawaii-style dragons are some of the cutest artwork around!

Try your hand at Japanese cartoon drawing and learn how to draw a cute dragon character. Kawaii art is incredibly popular all around the world for its soft, rounded edges, with cartoons featuring large heads on small bodies and a pastel color palette.

Cool Dragon Drawings

purple dragon
Concentrate on key features like the face before drawing the rest of the dragon’s body.

Dragon drawings don’t have to be handmade! If you’re more comfortable using digital tools like Photoshop or Illustrator, try creating your dragon using software to help you. You can create the same great effects like shading, defined bone structure, and distinct features using these tools instead of a pencil.

Japanese Dragon Drawings

Source: instagram
Try your hand at Japanese dragons for a beautiful artistic look.

Japanese dragons are similar in style to Chinese dragons, with long limbs and sharp facial features. They don’t always have the intricate scaling that’s common with Chinese dragons, though, which gives you more flexibility to design your dragon however you’d like. 

Bearded Dragon Drawings

bearded dragon
Source: instagram
Bearded dragons look more like lizards, making them perfect for scale-practice!

Bearded dragons, despite their name, find a home in the human world throughout much of Australia and are often kept as exotic reptile pets. When you’re learning how to draw these creatures, you can use many of your hard-earned skills like learning how to draw a dragon eye or sketching realistic scales.

Baby Dragon Drawings

green dragon
Source: Instagram
Who could say no to such a cute baby dragon?

Baby dragons are a cute way to learn to draw a dragon, for both kids and adults. They’re similar to cartoon dragons in that you can choose any style of drawing that you’d like and use both digital or hand-drawn techniques to complete your artwork.

Cartoon Dragon Drawings

blue dragon
Source: Instagram
Cartoons are excellent for beginner artists as they’re quick and easy to draw.

Cartoon dragons are an excellent place to start when you’re an amateur artist and looking to understand how to draw a dragon—easy is the name of the game. You can make your dragon look any way you’d like, from realistically terrifying to soft and squishy.

Flying Dragon Drawings

dragon drawings
Flying dragons are a great stepping stone to illustrating your drawings.

Learning how to draw a dragon flying is the perfect first step if you’d like to try your hand at animation. Even without moving graphics to bring your creation to life, flying dragons are fun to draw and give you plenty of opportunity to practice your newfound dragon sketching skills.

Realistic Dragon Drawings

Practice your skills by drawing realistic dragons from scratch.

When you’re learning how to draw a dragon with realistic features, the best place to start is to hone your face-drawing skills. By focusing on one specific area before working on a bigger design, you can practice your lifelike drawing until it’s perfect. This is also a great technique for learning how to draw a dragon wing, whether you’re after a feathered look or trying to pin down the perfect shape.

Fire Breathing Dragon Drawings

dragon breathing fire
Fire-breathing dragons are the next step in creating memorable artwork.

When you ask anyone to describe dragons, the first thing they’ll probably say is, “they breathe fire.” You can learn how to draw a fire-breathing dragon quickly and easily, from scary sky monsters all the way down to cute baby dragons.

Sea Dragon Drawings

sea dragon
Source: Instagram
Taking inspiration from seahorses, give seadragons a go next time you’re looking for a sketching idea.

Like the bearded dragon, sea dragons are found in the real world. But this time, the clue is in the name! These creatures are related to the seahorse, which you can use as the basis for your design if you’re looking for a simple way to start.

Fantasy Dragon Drawings

Whether you’re drawing by hand or with computer software, fantasy dragons never fail to impress.

If you love the fantasy genre, why not try your hand at drawing a dragon that looks like it walked straight out of Game of Thrones? Make use of some of the techniques you’ve already learned, like perfecting the wing shape or drawing snake-like scales to give it a fantastical edge.

How to Draw a Dragon for Kids

green dragon
Even kids can get in on the fun by drawing their own cartoon dragons.

Dragons don’t always have to be big and scary. In fact, they’re the perfect magical creature for kids to draw when they’re learning how to put their imagination on paper.

Now It’s Your Turn!

No matter what type of dragon you want to create, there are plenty of options out there for you to give it a go. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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Written by:

Holly Landis