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Drawing Dragon Paws
A Set of Public Domain Tutorial by Dee Dreslough
Please feel free to copy and redistribute these tutorials in any form however you like!
Because paws are so complex, and have so many different poses, I have broken this tutorial down into several sections, all based around the human hand design for paws. Eventually I would like to add tutorials for the Bird-style foot, and for the Cat/Dog style dragon foot, but that will take some time.
Drawing the Dragon Forepaw (Front View)
---- Drawing the Dragon Forepaw (Side View)
Drawing the Dragon HindPaw (Front View) ---- Drawing the Dragon HindPaw (Side View)
|I base my dragon hindlegs on the hindlegs of lions and tigers. The long foot is perfect for leaping, and since
my dragons have forelegs and wing claws, the hind legs are not as critical for perching, as they would be in a
Wyvern or a dragon without forelegs. Some folks add one toe off the heel, and in Dimar there are two thumb-like
toes off either side of the heel. For the sake of simplicity, I'm only going to be drawing the three toed foot
you see here.
Check out this wonderful picture for help understanding the bone structure of cats!
Cat Skelton Pic by Cheryl R. Dhein, Washington State University
You can see from this diagram that the dragon's forepaw has all the same elements as a human hand. It even has similar bone structure. The great thing is, you can use this to help you draw your dragon paws. Pose your hand how you need the dragon's paw to be posed, and sketch it. You can lengthen the fingers, add scales and claws, and voila : you have your paw. Hands make perfect models for lighting and shading -- remember, there is no substitute for drawing from real life.