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Uploaded: February 17, 2012
Artist: Dawn
Difficulty: Advanced  Advanced Skill Level
Steps: 16
Updated: February 17, 2012
P.O.V: Side
Favourited: 20 times
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Woo! Finally, another dragon tutorial that was completed during tonight's livestream! Seriously guys, I had intensive fun with this, especially rockin' out to my Metallic and Tool during the progression of "drawing a dragon tattoo design". This was inspired by a Metallica song that randomized on my Winamp which is called "All Nightmare Long". It had an energetic rift that made me want to claw my tablet with a bada** dragon tat. I know I haven't done a cool tattoo dragon in a while, so I thought this would be a warm welcome of awesome to the site. I almost have 200 tuts on these creatures, because they're total fun to draw. Anyways, I'd advise you to have an advanced skill in art, and some micron/brush pens for the detail process of this tut. We will be drawing LOTS of black - thick lines so using a black marker or pen is totally recommended. So guys, I've gotta get movin' on my other lessons which should be fun for y'all. Thanks so much for visiting and stay tuned for possible requested tuts and other kicka** lessons. Peace and love!

Tags
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design

How to Draw a Dragon Tattoo Design, Dragon Design

how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 1

STEP 1.

Ok guys, let's first begin with the basic essential guidelines needed to draw the lich-like dragon. Draw the first small circle for the head, a large circle for the largest part of the body, and a smaller circle to proportion the hindquarters. It's advised to draw accurate guidelines in order to result with a similar drawing at the end of the tut. The higher your skill level, the less important the guidelines are.
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 2

STEP 2.

So usually, I ALWAYS start by drawing the head first since it's the best way to start the figure of a creature. The reason is because of knowing your limits once you start drawing the body. You'll know that each individual body part is an appropriate dimension because of the already drawn head. Work your way down like you would down steps, but NEVER draw in random areas. Doing so will stray into inconsistencies throughout.
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 3

STEP 3.

Now, here's a little technique/tip I used for highly detailed comic styled drawings like this. I first start with a fan of thick lines that are relative in weight to one another. Secondly, depending on my light-source, I use thinner lines and darken the base of the fanned lines to create a line variety between the parent base lines, and the lightly detailed ones. To add zest/texture to your drawing, add a few dots and blemishes in random areas which will contrast an edgy and aged effect. It's best to practice with various styled textures and patterns. Having a library full of texturing techniques will only make your designs more interesting and 'zesty'.
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 4

STEP 4.

Ok, I know this may seem VERY intimidating to draw, but please, take a risk and TRY IT! A true artist takes risks and challenges to become better at their skill. When I sketched this beast up, I started with the eye first, then the teeth frame for the upper row, filling them in later on. Afterwards, I move onto the lower row of teeth which will be easier since I've already drew the upper row. See what I mean about working from 'top to bottom'? Suggest using the tip presented above to detail various regions of the face and neck. My light source is hitting entirely in the middle because of the moon beaming behind the dragon tattoo. Go ahead and sketch a few slimy decayed pieces of flesh dripping from beneath the neck and chin.
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 5

STEP 5.

If you went ahead and completed the above step, you'll realize it was merely a test to see if you can handle the intensive detailing ahead. For now, we will tackle the basic shapes and outlines for the rest of the dragon body. Romancing your pencil with your paper, we'll start by sketching the vertebrae of the neck, creating a subtle pattern with the widths/lengths of each spike of vertebrae. Having variety in your art is truly important as sketching is. Once you've completed the neck, work on the large fan of wing, which is very thin due to this creature's decaying, rotted body. The limbs should be lanky and bony to excessive measures.
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 6

STEP 6.

Then, we will start with the base of the arm, working our way to the wrist and hand. Take your time, and try to have extremely curled talons to give this dragon a fierce and angular look. Because he is zombified, we need to have lots of angular shapes for this creature. Angular = dramatic and sinister; Circular = friendly and happy.
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 7

STEP 7.

We'll go ahead and connect the stomach to the leg, and the tail curling into an "S". Remember to vary the spinal spikes!
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 8

STEP 8.

Now that we're nearly done with the basic outlining shapes of this dragon, we'll go ahead and sketch large portions of wing membrane which will be filled in later. Complete the underlying leg and we'll get started on the hellish part of this tutorial.
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 9

STEP 9.

Yikes, time for the detailing aspect of the tutorial. We will take our time (in this case, the detailing literally took me 3 hours to complete entirely during last night's livestream). Compile details among details to further the interest in the overall composition. You'll probably spend around 20 minutes to complete the detailing on the neck (depending on your drawing skill).
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 10

STEP 10.

Here is another tip stressing the importance of using various textures throughout your drawing. Usually artists will start off with one style of texture, but if your daredevil like me, we'll go ahead and use tons of varied texture styles to add tang to our work. 1. Is a basic texture similar to the one in "Step 3". We start with light line weights and thicken them as they reach the base of the parent outlines. 2. We have compiled lines of squiggles, hatches and dark spots. This is best to use in areas like the chest of our dragon, the arm, and tail. It gives a 'rotted' effect to certain surfaces. 3. Is a simple taper dotted texture best used for the darkest part of certain regions (neck, wings, and limbs). Again, EXPERIMENT with various styles!!
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 11

STEP 11.

Using the knowledge from the above step, we'll go ahead and detail the chest, arm, and wing arm of this deathly dragon. Remember to vary the textures used depending on your light source!
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 12

STEP 12.

Now, before we hop into the wing detailing, we must realize our workpath for the individual texture detailing. We DO NOT want to randomize the directions because it will simply cause confusion and a sloppy composition.
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 13

STEP 13.

BREATHE! I know this may seem impossible but trust me, it isn't. I simply started with the detailing of the wing fingers, then the top half of the overlapping wing. Then, realizing the direction of my light source, I go ahead and darken the edges of the wings where membrane meets the edges of the wing fingers, and wing arm.
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 14

STEP 14.

Next, we will start by darkening the edge of the spinal area into blackness. Then, we shall move onto the stomach detailing, working our way slowly to the tail detailing. Try to work from the base to tip, largest to smallest. It is generally how a vertebrae travels. Nothing stays in a continuously large pattern!
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 15

STEP 15.

Lastly, detail the legs, experimenting with various patterns and textures. We're almost done, mates! I would suggest drawing all these details with a ball point pen, micron pens, or brush pens.
 
how to draw a dragon tattoo design, dragon design step 16

STEP 16.

Ah, finally, if you've made it, you should have something similar to this. If you're an advanced artist, you would have drawn all these dark details with a brush pen or micron pen. I really hope you've enjoyed this tutorial. I had so much fun working on this during livestream. If you've haven't seen one of my live shows, please drop by for an epical fun experience! Peace out and don't forget to post your version!