How to Draw Dragons - Design Your Own Flying Beast! | Winged Canvas Art | Skillshare

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How to Draw Dragons - Design Your Own Flying Beast!

teacher avatar Winged Canvas Art, Classes for Art Nerds

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Brainstorming Your Dragon

    • 3. Sketching Your Dragon

    • 4. Colouring Your Dragon

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About This Class

Have you ever tried to draw a dragon and struggled with capturing its proportions and posture? This class will guide you through creating a dragon taking flight in a step-by-step process. Dragons are one of the most interesting fantastical creatures to draw because they’re so dynamic! By the end of this course, you’ll have completed a cartoon style dragon that will help you with all future fantasy drawings!

By the end of this course, you will know how to:

  • Draw a dragon
  • Capture proper proportions
  • Break down a dragon in simple shapes
  • Use a monochromatic colour scheme
  • Explore value through shadows and highlights


  • My demo is drawn digitally using Medibang Paint Pro, but you may use any medium
  • If you're working traditionally, I recommend pencil, fineliner and coloured pencils
  • To learn how to use digital techniques, see our lesson: Intro to Digital Art in MediBang 


[Sketching the dragon]


[Colouring and shading the dragon]

About the Instructor:

Felicia Bielby is a concept artist and art instructor. She specializes in 3D modelling and game development with a passion for the world of magic and fantasy! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Winged Canvas Art

Classes for Art Nerds


We are an online visual arts studio based in Ontario, Canada, and we represent a roster of professional illustrators, designers, and animators with a passion for teaching. We host virtual art parties, online events and custom workshops for schools across North America. We also design art resources‍ for classrooms and provide free art tutorials on our YouTube channel, helping self starters, teachers and homeschoolers access quality visual arts education from home. 

At Skillshare, we're bringing you special programs in illustration, character design, figure drawing, digital art and cartooning -- designed exclusively from our roster of talented artists! 

About our Instructors:

Fei Lu is a figurative artist specia... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Are you a fantasy lover who loves drawing dragons? In this series of lessons, you'll be guided through exploring and drawing your own fiery creature in action. My name is Felicia and I am a concept artist and instructor at when Canvas, I'll take you on a step-by-step journey through choosing dragon references, sketching, coloring, and even shading in your final drawing. By the end of this course, you'll be confident in drag and drawing skills. You'll learn crucial tips that will help you in all of your drawing endeavors. You're welcome to follow along with me if you're a beginner. Otherwise, you may also freestyle and create an original piece of your own. Although this class is taught digitally, you are free to use the medium of your choice. I'd love to see what you create at the end. So please share your artwork with our community. Have fun in class. 2. Brainstorming Your Dragon: Welcome, we're drawing dragons today. We'll be taking a look at Dragon anatomy, their scales, some examples of how they're depicted in culture as well. I have some examples we're going to take a look at. But these flying bees are super interesting creatures. I'm excited to draw on today. You can choose to have these dragon wings out or you can just have them to their sides. Think of a pose that you'd like to place them in. If you'd like to do a dragon without wings, you can do that as well. So I believe they're called Drake's. If they don't have wings, you can choose to do a trach if you'd like. I know there's lots of different types of dragons, but I'll be doing one with wings today. There's some great examples here. So here are some great dragon head height of a mythical dragon ish creature. So of course, these ones, I believe are elemental, inspired by or a different element, dragons. So these ones pretty neat and they have some little spots on them that kind of allude to the elements. If you'd like to do maybe not a fire-breathing dragon, maybe you have an ice breathing one. That would be interesting, but it's all up to you. This one over here has whiskers as well. That might be a trait or a little addition that you'd like to add. Dragons have horns, they have little things at the side. Thumb have a different sort of features coming up from the top. Maybe they have some interesting patterns, but they are all unique and all very different. So their horn placement is completely up to you. You don't have to have anything perfect because dragons are all different. So if you'd like to have certain things coming out from the face anywhere, don't worry about if it's right or not. Dragons are all very unique. Here's some simple designs. So this is a dragon in the same pose, but just depicted differently in four different colors. So this is kind of what we're going to be doing, just a simple drag and pose with some wings. And I comment out from the side. This is just gives you an idea of the textures that you'd like to include. So this one has an interesting pattern over here. Alors. You can have it not as vibrant if you want to take it and do maybe a black dragon, neutral colors is okay too. So here's another simple pose, dragons. So this one doesn't have as much detail. But you can definitely see this really interesting pose with a tail very long coming there. The wings are on display as well. So this make that as an interesting sort of posts to this dragon. I like the color, the red and the black work very well with the yellow glowing. I very interesting, but this is just a simple drag and pose that you can recreate and maybe add your own spin to it, your own style. Different types of dragons. This one is a more advanced one. But I wanted to show you how interesting dragon anatomy really is. What the details on here. So we have lots of different textures. You got all around. Not exactly scales, but this one has some bumps on here. So if you were to run your hand across this dragon, it'd be super bumpy, super rough. And its wings here, you can almost see as if it's a another arm of poking up. So it does have his arms are four legs, I guess. And where the wings are, it's almost like it's a stretched out arm up top as well. You don't have to go super detailed with this, but I wanted to show how interesting it is as its fingers are kind of like the bones of the wing. So it's almost like a very long fingers, some fingernails on the edges that make up and stretch that wing out. Yeah, I really thought that was interesting with the patella bone placements here. I thought it was very cool. Dragon anatomy is very different, but it can go any way if you're doing a little simpler one. So this is another super-advanced stuff, Dragon here. But again, the, the bones I thought were super neat how they come up on those wings. If you'd like to have those lines that kinda showed the break in-between these wings. So we have a curve here going from 1 to another. Those are some bones there. Here we have, here's our another example. So we can start drawing. 3. Sketching Your Dragon: I will start with my sketch today. Alright, so let's draw this dragon at the bottom here I have some Head references that we looked at. I think I'm going to be taking a look at the green one. I like the shape of it and where it is. And I'll be drawing a body with it as well. I'll start with my sketch and a zoom in on my canvas since then. Start with Ed. Since we're just doing a sketch, you don't have to worry about your lines being completely perfect. We're just going to pick some rough those first. And then we'll start lining or coloring if you'd like. If you are not using any digital programs and you're working on your sketchbook. Make sure that you have a pen, pencil, crayons. Make sure you have all those supplies ready. I will start by dragon head. Starting with simple shapes here. Bring a circle. As these are base of the head. I'm trying a simple shape as the skull. And then I will continue with the deck and snout. Move. From this circle. I'm going to bring it down here. I'm going to start drawing. It's out as part of Gen. Since it has its snows. It's not similar to a horse, but I suppose it does have a longer skull base. So I'm going to continue with this node here. I'm just continuing with my circle. I made here, bring it down. So starting on this side of the circle, bring that down. So this is where his hen would be underneath his chin. This is where we're going to have our neck attached as well. My out here. So this is where my nostrils are gonna go. Right. So here's where I'm going to have I placed here. Form this. I'd better. So now that I have my circle base, I can go ahead and erase that part. It says Little chin here, so it'll start where the neck will be. So I'm going to redo the eye shape if something doesn't turn out exactly how you'd like it to, you can erase and make adjustments where needed. Or your dragon, if you are trying to think of some ideas or certain dragons that you'd like to friends. Really good examples are from the habit. If you know that film series, Lord of the Rings, smog is a really cool dragon. Might want to take a look at it. It's an inspiration. I predict, kind of dragon that you'd like to do is a really cool little character is very neat. Umma, interesting features on the back of my dragon head here I'm going to add some porins. I liked the wavy lines in this green dragon here. Interesting inspiration from that as well. Think about all the different features that you'll add to yours either in the face, the body on, if you'll have scales on your dragon or those bumps. Texture, maybe, maybe yours is a really silky smooth sleep. Definitely think about cat as the wispy eyebrows. Like that. Facial features. My horns and all these other features that are coming off the back, this head. Oh, very round. I'm using lots of curvy lines to do this part. I don't have any straight edges really invented then organic shape. And it's more loose, flowy that of a battle. Objects like that. This is ATA curvy lines as straight right at the base here. This is how big my neck it is before I continue. One wing on this side, one wing on the other. Thing up. This curvy lines, not straight lines. Wings do have lots of curve to them. This wing here will be behind the body from continuing body La Crosse. Well, this one is going to be all connect how I have this one coming out from it and this one all the same curve, just like the other one. And I can also bring this into. The swing will be pointing downwards. A curve is kinda moving down. Things are up. At this side. Curve is moving upward like a bird, perhaps. Bones. Instead of having one line to almost like a border. And we'll do the exact same thing how I did the other way. First-line. Then underneath it where they're taking up bone, all the way from the body. Trying to see where I would like the conditional loops. Where the wings are kinda spread out like this, like a wave pattern. I'm adding in long lines for the bones down the wing from one end to the other. These will start to showcase the skeletal structure of the dragon. Now I'll start forming the dragons legs. These legs are very similar to the ones of a lizard or an alligator. As Dragon's feature is take inspiration from reptiles. I can add in the belly of the dragon. I add some baby line, maybe some additional ones from this line I created here up until the neck. Errol have here. And now that I added those kinda basic guidelines for myself, I can go back and those toes. Here's my son for details. Now that I have its final form. Stretching. I add a curves, can just defining some features on the face. So adding darker blacks to it. On the sketch layer. Working digitally on your sketchbook. Just me using a unsold going over it with a darker lines. 4. Colouring Your Dragon: Here is my final dragons edge. Would like to add some color to him. Without the lining, I'll just add some color. I'm just adding flat color to my dragon right now. So I'm not worried about any shading or values. Um, I'm just working with this similar blue color to cover everything. Not sure what color I should make. I affirm it again. I think I'll keep it. Maybe add some glowing effect to be entrance. Maybe that's something you'd like to add to yours as you begin to color. Then add a glowing effect with pencil crayon, a slightly circling over the area. Look to it. If you are on a digital device and softer brush also are for that as well. So an airbrush, any sort of soft round brush, lightly go over something, kind of create a softer appearance to it as well. Adding a darker blue owns kind of separating the colors, adding more value to it. Interesting, not exactly shading, but adding some different colors. Along the tips of the horns, I'm using a lighter purple tone to achieve the IC appearance to the dragon. Going very softly along the larger wings sections and tail, I'm applying a brighter purple for a more whimsical and shiny look to the body. I'm going to take my airbrush to soften up the shadows going very lightly so it doesn't appear too harsh. And I'll zoom in here to get a better look at the stripes going along the body where it can add that same purple tone as I did before. I'm adding some darker thin lines around the form of the body to further show the dragons rough texture. Leg is behind the body. I'm adding more darker colors to it rather than the one in the front is getting lots of light. On the back. One isn't getting as much. Jeff, I want to add a border to maybe a lot of board. To add a simple border around my page. I'm making a marquee selection all the way around and inverting it by hitting Control I on my keyboard. This way I'm working within only the edges of my page and not ruining my dragon. Now, I'll take a blue color with my brush and color in the border. There have my background. I think some final little finishing. Touch it. Thank you all so much for joining as we made these lying BCE or dragon creatures. But I hope you all have a great rest of your day. Bye everyone.