How to Draw a Dragon Tattoo

Easy, step by step Dragon Tattoo drawing tutorial
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Dragons have long mystified mankind. These monstrous legendary creatures are typically seen as serpent-like, many having wings or the ability to fly.

In fact, the English word "dragon" is derived from the Greek word drakon, referring to a large serpent. Some have legs or the features of terrestrial beasts. Many had "extraordinary breath," able to exhale smoke, fire, water, ice, or wind.

In various cultures, dragons were seen as either evil or benevolent. In Western legends, brave knights slew dragons to protect innocents, especially beautiful young maidens.

Christian symbolism linked the dragon with sin and the devil. In much of Asia, however, dragons represented gods or "the deified forces of nature."

These might be appealed to for rain or other beneficial gifts. Norse warriors carved the heads of dragons onto their shields or the prows of their sailing ships, seeking their protective strength.

This dragon is drawn in tribal tattoo style. Before the advent of the modern tattoo pen, many peoples decorated their bodies with permanent decorations.

They used a sharp object to pierce the skin and employed charred wood or other dark pigments. It can also be noted that while the tribal dragon resembles Eastern representation, tattoos are associated with gang activity in some Asia lands.

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Would you like to draw a cartoon of a tribal dragon tattoo? This easy, step-by-step cartoon drawing tutorial is here to show you how. All you will need is a pen, pencil, or marker and a sheet of paper.

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

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Dragon Tattoo

Dragon Tattoo drawing - step 1
How to Draw a Dragon Tattoo Step 01

1. Use curved lines that meet at jagged points to enclose a flame-like shape. This outlines the top of the dragon's head.

Dragon Tattoo drawing - step 2
How to Draw a Dragon Tattoo Step 02

2. Use a series of curved lines that meet at jagged points to craft the dragon's lower jaw. Then, use pairs of curved lines to enclose curved triangular teeth inside the mouth. Use curved lines to enclose the eye in the shape of a crescent moon.

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Dragon Tattoo drawing - step 3
How to Draw a Dragon Tattoo Step 03

3. Draw the flames of smoke emitted from the dragon's mouth. Use a series of curved lines that meet at jagged points.

Dragon Tattoo drawing - step 4
How to Draw a Dragon Tattoo Step 04

4. Continue to draw the flame or smoke, using curved lines that meet at jagged points, until you have enclosed the complete figure.

Dragon Tattoo drawing - step 5
How to Draw a Dragon Tattoo Step 05

5. Draw the front of the neck using a long curved line. Then, draw a series of jagged scales on the chest, employing pairs of curved lines that meet at jagged points. Then, continue the chest and belly using a long curved line. Use curved lines to enclose a smaller shape within the smoke or flame.

Dragon Tattoo drawing - step 6
How to Draw a Dragon Tattoo Step 06

6. Use a pair of curved lines that meet at a point to draw another spike on the back of the dragon's head. Then, use a long curved line to draw the back of the neck. Then, use three curved lines to enclose the loosely triangular shape of the coiled tail.

Dragon Tattoo drawing - step 7
How to Draw a Dragon Tattoo Step 07

7. Use curved lines to enclose a curved triangle shape within the coil. Then, draw the tail. Use curved lines - long lines to form the tail, and shorter pairs of lines to form the spikes.

Dragon Tattoo drawing - step 8
How to Draw a Dragon Tattoo Step 08

8. Begin sketching the wing. Use curved lines to draw the leading edge of the wing, the talon, and the sail.

Dragon Tattoo drawing - step 9
How to Draw a Dragon Tattoo Step 09

9. Detail the dragon's check with spiky scales. On one side of the shape, use a long curved line. On the other, use short lines that meet at jagged points. Then, complete the wing. Use pairs of long lines, connected by a short line at the top and that meet at a point at the bottom.

Complete Dragon Tattoo drawing
How to Draw a Dragon Tattoo Step 10

Color your dragon cartoon. If you would like to color it in traditional style, use black or brown pigments.

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The Complete Dragon Tattoo Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Dragon Tattoo - all drawing steps
How to Draw a Dragon Tattoo Step by Step Tutorial Image

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