How to Draw a Snake Head

Adored by some, feared by many – what reaction does the slithering snake illicit in you? Since ancient times, cultures across the world have used snakes in religious iconography.

​The biblical account of the Garden of Eden disguises the devil as a cunning snake. Archaeologists have discovered carvings of snakes dating back thousands of years. Cobras adorned the crowns of Egyptian pharaohs, and the live animals were at times used ritually. In Greek mythology, snakes were associated with healing. The monster medusa wore a mat of snakes in place of hair.

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​​According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, in mythology, the snake’s “ability to shed their skin is associated with immortality; their ever-open eyes represent omniscience; their propensity for sudden appearance and disappearance allies snakes with magic and ghosts; a phallic resemblance embodies procreative powers; and the ability to kill with a single bite engenders fear of any snakelike creature.”

​​​Did you know? Of the 3,400 snake species, only around 300 are venomous. Of these, only half can inflict deadly bites on humans, and 40 percent of snakebites do not produce envemonation. In most countries, lightning strikes and bee stings claim more lives than snake bites. And, snakes only bite when provoked, injured, or cornered.

​Snakes appear in modern symbolism as well. During the American Revolutionary War, Benjamin Franklin published a political cartoon featuring a snake chopped in sections, with the words, “Join or Die.” A number of national flags feature snakes, including the coat of arms in the center of the Mexican Flag. Medical texts or ambulances use the ancient Greek emblem of the rod of Asclepius, a symbol of healing.

Would you like to draw a realistic snake’s head? This easy, step-by-step drawing tutorial will break it down for you, using simple steps and detailed illustrations. All you will need is a pencil, a sheet of paper, and a good eraser. You may also wish to use crayons, colored pencils, markers, or other implements to shade your finished snake.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Cobra, Cartoon Snake, and Dragons Head.

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​Step by Step Instructions for Drawing a ​​S​nake Head

How to Draw Snake Head

1. Begin by drawing an oval. This will outline the shape of the snake’s head.

2. Outline the snake’s snout. Use a long, curved line to enclose the shape. Notice the irregular bulges in the line that indicate the shape of the snake’s nose.

3. Sketch the lower jaw and the bottom of the neck using a long, curved line.

4. Use a long, curved line to outline the snake’s eye ridge and the back of the neck.

5. Erase the guide lines left by the original oval.

 ​6. Add features to the snake’s face. Draw a curved, loosely “S” shaped line to indicate the brow ridge. Enclose a semicircle beneath it. Draw and shade a small, curved triangle within the eye, indicating the snake’s eye slit. Draw a small oval to form the nostril, and detail the face using several short, curved lines.

 ​​7. Give the snake a scaly appearance by covering his skin with small, curved lines that nearly enclose circles. Use longer curved lines to add dimension to the face.

 ​​​8. Extend a thick, curved line from the mouth, forming the tongue.

9. ​​​​Extend a second line along the tongue, thickening the base and allowing the snake’s famous split at the tip.

10. Color your snake. Real snakes come in a variety of colors – green, brown, black, yellow, red, even spotted or striped.

Hmm, does this snake look a bit like the Loch Ness Monster to you? Be creative! Why not make it so by letting your snake’s head emerge near a waterfall or a tropical island?

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