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How to Draw a Cartoon Dragon

Easy, step by step Cartoon Dragon drawing tutorial
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"It simply isn't an adventure worth telling if there aren't any dragons."
- J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings

Myths of dragons can be found in almost every culture. Like the one in this cartoon drawing guide, many dragons were depicted as scaley reptiles with wings like those of bats. Some were said to have magical abilities or fiery breath.

Where did legends of dragons come from, and why are they so widespread? Some researchers believe it is do to the common fear of snakes, and that dragons were exaggerations of real reptiles. Others point to the giant fossilized bones of dinosaurs and ancient mammals. In many cultures, dragons were once revered or feared as deities.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

Today, dragons remain a key element in science fiction and fantasy stories. This easy, step-by-step cartoon drawing tutorial, for example, resembles the characters from Disney’s Pete’s Dragon and The Sword in the Stone.

Would you like to draw a cartoon dragon? Sharpen your pencil and grab your eraser - it's time to fly on dragon wings!

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Baby Dragon, Chinese Dragon, and Dragon Head.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Cartoon Dragon

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 1
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 1

1. Begin by drawing a circle. This will become the dragon’s head.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 2
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 2

2. Draw a large oval or egg shape below the head. This will become the dragon’s body.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 3
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 3

3. Draw a line between the two shapes, forming the neck.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 4
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 4

4. Draw two smaller ovals overlapping the original oval. This will help form the dragon’s legs.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 5
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 5

5. Draw curved and straight lines to form open half-circle shapes overlapping the small ovals. These are the dragon’s feet.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 6
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 6

6. Extend pairs of curved lines from the head, allowing them to meet at points. This forms the beaklike mouth.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 7
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 7

7. Extend two curved lines from the point that the body oval meets the neck. These will become the dragon’s arms. Draw curved lines at the end of each to indicate the hands.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 8
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 8

8. Draw a long curved line extending from the rear leg. This will become the tail.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 9
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 9

9. Flesh out the dragon’s neck by drawing two curved lines from the body to the head. Use the original line as a guide.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 10
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 10

10. Flesh out the arms and hands. Use the previous lines as the top, and extend new lines to form the bottoms of the arms and “C” shaped hands.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 11
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 11

11. Draw curved lines on each side of the head. Draw a series of short lines at the corner of the mouth.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 12
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 12

12. Draw a long, curved line roughly parallel to the line of the tail. Allow the lines to meet at a point.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 13
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 13

13. Draw a smaller oval within the original oval of the body, outlining the belly. Then, draw a long curved line down the tail, also outlining the underbelly.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 14
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 14

14. Draw two ovals within the face to form the eyes. Within each, draw a circle within a circle and shade between them, indicating the pupils. Use pairs of curved lines to draw the eyebrows, pointed on each end.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 15
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 15

15. Erase the guide lines, leaving a clean outline of your draconic character.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 16
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 16

16. Use curved lines to flesh out the lower jaw. Draw a curved line through the mouth and shade above it. Use short lines to enclose the small triangular teeth. Above the mouth, draw “U” shaped nostrils, with a small oval inside each. On top of the head, enclose two semicircles to form the bases of the horns. Enclose the horns using pairs of curved lines that meet at gentle points. Finally, draw a flame exiting the dragon’s mouth. Use curved lines that meet at jagged points to enclose the irregular shape.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 17
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 17

17. Draw the dragon’s batlike wings. Use long curved lines that meet at points.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 18
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 18

18. Detail and texture the wings. Draw a triangular claw on the top of each. Then, contour the wing membrane with curved lines that meet below the claw.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 19
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 19

19. Use curved lines to indicate the claws and toenails. Enclose triangular spikes on the dragon’s head and down the neck, back, and tail.

Cartoon Dragon drawing - step 20
How to draw a cartoon dragon Step: 20

Color your cartoon dragon.

For more great Dragon drawing tutorials, see the 50 Best Dragon Drawing Tutorials post.

Printable Drawing Tutorial

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