How to Draw a Griffin

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The griffin, also spelled griffon or gryphon, is a mythological creature with roots in the ancient Middle East and Mediterranean regions. It has the body of a lion and the wings and head of a bird, usually an eagle. Some also bore ears like those of horses. Such creatures have also been called alke, keythong, or Opinicus. The griffin was often paired with the sphinx, a creature with a human head and a lion's body.

The griffon was believed to be a protector and was sometimes associated with treasure. For example, the ancient author Pliny the Elder wrote that "griffins were said to lay eggs in burrows on the ground and these nests contained gold nuggets."

In medieval Europe, the griffon was adopted into Christian art as a symbol of divine power, the human and divine qualities of Jesus, or church opposition to remarriage. Legends of that time assert that griffons mated for life, and if one died, the other would remain alone for the rest of its life. Its claws and feathers were said to have medicinal properties.

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Fascination with this fanciful creature continues today. The griffon serves as the logo for numerous companies and appears in media such as the Harry Potter, My Little Pony, Dungeons and Dragons, and Percy Jackson series.

Would you like to draw a griffin? This easy, step-by-step cartoon drawing tutorial can show you how. All you will need is a pencil, an eraser, and a sheet of paper.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Sphinx, Eagle, and Lion.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Griffin

How to Draw Griffin: Step 1

1. Begin by outlining the griffin's head and body. Use a long curved line for the front of the chest and face, another for the back. Connect these with a series of "U" shaped lines, forming a tuft of birdlike feathers on the back of the head.

How to Draw Griffin: Step 2

2. Draw the griffin's eye. Start with a curved line, and enclose a half circle beneath it. Then, draw a small circle within the eye.

How to Draw Griffin: Step 3

3. Erase a portion of the face to make room for the beak. Enclose a bent irregular pentagon of straight and curved lines. Then, draw a line through it to differentiate the top and bottom portions of the beak.

How to Draw Griffin: Step 4

4. Draw the griffin's foreleg. Use long curved lines to sketch the sides of the leg. Then connect them at the bottom using a series of "U" shaped lines.

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How to Draw Griffin: Step 5

5. Draw the birdlike foot or claw. Use a long, curved line and double it back upon itself, forming the two toes in the process. Band the leg with curved lines, and draw a curved triangular claw at the tip of each toe.

How to Draw Griffin: Step 6

6. Draw the reach leg using a series of overlapping curved lines. Note the overlaps that form the toes, and the point where the back of the foot meets the haunches.

How to Draw Griffin: Step 7

7. Extend two long, parallel curved lines from the rump to form the tail. Enclose the tip of the tail using curved lines of various lengths that meet at points. This forms a tuft of fur at the tip.

How to Draw Griffin: Step 8

8. Draw the wing, erasing as necessary. Use long, curved lines and "U" shaped lines to sketch the wing. Note the "U" shaped feathers at the shoulder of the wing and along its bottom edge.

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How to Draw Griffin: Step 9

9. Detail the feathers of the beast's neck with a scalloped series of connected "U" shaped lines.

How to Draw Griffin: Step 10

Color your cartoon griffin. Will he be one solid color like a statue, or will you paint him with lifelike hues? The choice is yours.

Then, check out our cartoon animal drawing guides for even more fantasy creatures.

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The Complete Griffin Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to Draw Griffin

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