How to design fantasy dragons with a whiff of authenticity
Design fantasy dragon with a whiff of authenticity Artist Lindsey Alvord conveys her suggestions for making romance dragons from your invention. With recommendations for drawing each part and referencing real animals to lend credibility to your creations, you’ll be designing your creatures in no time! So you enjoy drawing dragons, but you don’t know where to start. It’s good; we all have to start somewhere. dragon drawing
I assumed it would be entertaining to convey my thoughts on these mythical beasts and my approach to drawing them. Remember, this is how I draw them. You don’t have to remove them this way if you don’t want to. After all, they are part of our imagination!
Step 1: Where to start
Since dragons aren’t precisely on earth, the question arises, what could we base them on? Well, there are a few options. To me, they usually end up being a combination of several animals that have existed and many animals that are alive and well today. There are plenty of references to browse if you know how to use them. Dragons with wings can be tricky, but bats have perfect wing structures. Essentially, their hands are their means of flight, and if you look closely, the wing ligaments look like long, thin fingers.
Cranes are another animal we can turn to for advice. I mostly watch the birds discover how their heads/necks come together. Birds, in general, are a pretty good reference for an entire dragon. I look at dragons and think of reptiles. Therefore, I watch a LOT of reptiles. ALL kinds of reptiles. Lizards, snakes, turtles… everything that comes to hand. They give me an overall look, eye placement, and texture.
Step 2: Build
Now that we’re armed with a variety of references, now is the time to incorporate them into a believable creature design. Since dragons can be anything, they can be pretty intimidating. Without Limit, things can get a little crazy, and you may even get lost in the drawing, wading and wondering where the legs go. The basic shapes should save you and your long list of references from knowing where the legs go. Here are some examples of how I started drawing a dragon—all kinds, not just Eurocentric. I contain A LOT of wisdom with my rudimentary sketch figures, like muscles joints, among others. How you attach the lead to the inlet is Especially significant.
There’s fat, skin folds, bone matter, stuff you can’t see that slips under the skin. To keep that huge head held high, there has to be something substantial there. You can make the dragon look menacing, docile, or even uncertain, just with the position of the neck and the head. Putting ahead to a body can be even more difficult despite consistently trying to hold beasts in mind when assembling your dragon. Even human anatomy can help you. I usually place the neck at the top of a rib cage.
Step 3: Constructing the Limbs
The limbs can be just as unique as the dragon you’re drawing them for, and just as annoying to make sure they actually fit the beast. Still using our references from life though, we can really pack some punch. Claws, talons, wings. These are a few of my favourite things. I’m one of those people who theme my dragons. What I mean by that is that I try to give the dragon I’m drawing a certain look. With this guy, he’ll slightly keep the classic European dragon ideal, but with some slight twists.
Lately, I have been attempting to make a jungle lord-like dragon. Keeping that in mind, I give it limbs that I think will match that theme. A rather unique problem withdrawing dragons is that if you want to give your dragon arms, legs, AND wings, you’re really going to be making up some interesting anatomy because you’re essentially adding a third set of limbs. This makes making up anatomy an interesting challenge.
Technically, you CAN just stick a wing onto a dragon with four limbs already and call it a day but I like to think of it as if I was making a multi-limbed human-like monster. A dragon’s got to have muscle and tendons to move that wing … definitely experiment with your own ideas, and you might be surprised what you come up with.
Step 4: The Crown
A lot of dragons have that one distinct trait: the Horns. Horns on real animals tend to be a part of the skull; a piece of bone that extends past the skin. Just like nails, claws, and spines. You can certainly go wild coming up with the crown of your dragons. There are the traditional two-pronged horns, but why stop there?
Step 5: How to Put it All Together
So, you have all this information. How exactly do we really put a mythical creature like this together? I’m not going to lie, it takes practice to do so. Not to mention you need to have an eye for design. Here, we’re going to talk about how to get from point A to point B. You’ll likely get the results you want unless you understand muscle and bone structures. Understanding how arms and legs move, as well as how bones can give you harsh edges, will eventually get you more sophisticated looking dragons. Imagination and vision are great, but it can only last for so long before things start getting a little too unbelievable.