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Drawing Dragon Bodies
[ Dragon Bodies ] [Legs
] [ Finalizing the drawing ] [ Skeletal
[ Adding Dragon
[ New! Drawing
Dragon Bodies 2 - Front View Sitting ]
Another drawing tutorial by Dee
Feel free to email me, but no criticisms or flames please. I
don't get paid for this y'know... :-) Feel
free to use the art in this tutorial however you like.
Drawing the main body
of a dragon
Every dragon starts from an egg... This oval
represents the ribcage of the dragon.
Next, you draw another egg next to the first..slightly
overlapping. This represents the space where the hips are. Tails
are easy to add from the hips...just draw two lines that join
at the end. Try to taper the tail evenly all the way to the
end. If you draw the lines parallel and then end them in a point,
it'll look a bit like a cat's tail.
Add an oval to the front of the ribcage. This
is the meat of the shoulders of the dragon. From there, you
can place the head's main circle, and a smaller circle for the
end of the muzzle. Connect the muzzle to the head with two lines.
Then, you can create the neck with the two lines going from
the back of the head to the shoulders. If this was a short,
horse necked dragon, I'd have brought the lines down from the
head directly to the shoulders, but he's a long necked dragon
with his neck proudly arched. Now you've got the basic form
of the main body.
Legs are tricky. Depending on your 'beliefs'
about dragon anatomy, leg designs can vary widely. In this tutorial,
I make the basic assumption that dragon legs are like cat or
dog legs. From the base of the shoulder circle, draw a small
oval. This represents the bicep. From there, you can draw a
longer, thinner foreleg oval. The oval for the thigh should
start higher on the hip oval, as it connects directly to the
hips. I'll go into skeletal theory later, which will explain
why the forelegs start so low in the drawing. But, in the case
of the back legs, they connect up toward the hips. The second
oval is the equivalent of a human calf muscle.
Next, you can draw two circles on the ends of
the forelegs. These are the base for the front paws. Then, you
can draw a long almost rectangular oval off the end of the calf
muscle oval. Where the calf and the rectangular oval connect
is the heel. The long oval is the long bones of the foot of
the dragon - perfect for leaping. The ovals at the end are the
paws and toes.
Tracing the Form - Finalizing
Now that you've got the forms down, you use
these as guides for the true drawing. Where the ovals connect
under the skin, you don't follow the curve. For example, on
the upper oval for the thigh. You just trace along the outside
edges, allowing a nice wide area to meet the body. You can even
curve the lines out to give an even stronger feeling of connection.
I've used the shoulder oval as a guide for some detail lines
as well. That oval isn't separate from the meat of the ribs
and neck, but it bulges out, so the two dark lines along the
shoulder help emphasise the muscle. They'll also provide a guide
for shading later on.
Here I've added the toes, and some more detail
lines...and, alas, I thought I'd saved the pic before I did
this, but I erased the brown 'pencil' lines.
Next, I do some basic color work.
From those lines I drew in black, I have a guide
for adding shadows. As you can see, just a little shadow work
really makes the form jump out. From here you can use myshadow
and detail tutorial for dragon heads to make this dragon
even more real.
The red dots represent points on the skeleton
below where the dragon can bend - elbows, knees, hips, shoulders,
spine, etc. As you can see from the skeleton on the right, there's
a long bone that connects the foreleg to the weight bearing
portion of the shoulder. It's the equivalent of our scapula
and collar bone structure in humans. Since this dragon does
not have wings, I didn't bother drawing in the sternum (breast
bone along the middle of the chest between the forelegs), which
I think would be quite large to support the weight of the wing
muscle along with that of the shoulders. I'll cover that in
the wings tutorial.
Some day, when I'm rich, I'll make a mannequin
of a dragon. A mannequin is one of those wooden posable little
doll people you see in art stores for helping to draw humans
in proportion. Now, with one of a dragon, you could pose it
and draw your dragons in any pose! :-) I'll try to create a
poseable rendered dragon body as well for those of you lucky
enough to have rendering engines, so you can pose it in virtual
space and use it as a guide for your drawings.
[ 3D Rendered Dragon Skeleton (Coming Soon!)
[ Adding Wings - Coming Soon! ]