how to draw crocodiles

How to Draw Crocodiles

Step 1.

This diagram shows the relationship between the main types of crocodylians. The order Crocodylia is divided in Crocodylidae (which include the proper called crocodiles), Alligatoridae (includes Alligators and Caimans), and Gavialidae (gharial). The difference between gators and caiman is actually minimal, and the gharials are to obviously different from the rest (long and narrow snout, small limbs). So we will focus in the diference between the crocodiles and the alligators.

Step 2.

There are 4 main points you have to focus on to distinguish these two animals: -Size: crocs are bigger, they can grow more than twice the lenght of an alligator. -Head (see chart). -Colour: crocs typically olive green. Grey, brownish-yellowish too. Alligators are dark green-grey, and even black. -Habitat: Crocs tolerate much better the saltwater, and they can live in more arid places, too. In this chart you can see the differences in the head structure.

Step 3.

Now, let's start with the drawing itself. circles and bars for the jaws, and a curve for the spine.

Step 4.

Adding the body mass.

Step 5.

Limbs: Nodes represent articulations (shoulder/elbow/wrist and hip/knee/ankle), and sticks are representing the arms and legs long bones or sections.

Step 6.

Outlining the head. Now you decide if it is a crocodile or an alligator ;) The chart of the step 2 is still there to help you.

Step 7.

Outlining the body. Don't pay attention to the skin texture and scales, just limit to define the body mass.

Step 8.

Put some muscle on the limbs. They are pretty easy to draw compared to mammals, birds and dinosaurs. Note that I made a 'glove' for the hands, we'll draw the fingers later.

Step 9.

Outlining the entire body, with details. Be sure to define the fingers and teeth, and the serrated tail profile.

Step 10.

Skin! It's not hard, but you will need patience, I can tell you that. Look how I first sketched the matrix, and then I made the scales in the spaces between the lines. There is no 'correct order', you can paint first and make the matrix later, it is up to your style ;)

Step 11.

Flat olive-green paint for the body, pink for the mouth.

Step 12.

Skin matrix. Look the shape of the scales: rectangular on the underside, neck limbs and the entire tail. Round on the sides of the body, and 'crested' square scales on the back.

Step 13.

...and several minutes later, it's done.

Step 14.

Next step is add lights and shadows to the body, and some color spots. Then the background, and it's done!

Step 15.

Bonus: some doodles with other poses. The upper one is an alligator (you see the different head?). You can try to draw these using the same system. Just remember, ALWAYS pay attention to the proportions of the body (for example, the hind limbs are just in the middle of the body lenght).

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Uploaded: January 21, 2013
Artist: Alatriste
Difficulty: Novice  Novice Skill Level
Steps: 15
Updated: January 21, 2013
P.O.V: Front
Favourited: 1 time
Artist comments

Crocodylia is the order of reptiles that includes crocodiles, gators, caimans and gharials. The difference between them is often big for the expert eye, but many people doesn't lnow they are different animals. I'll try to explain these differences and help you to draw a croc or a gator!