How to Draw Dragons Using Photoshop

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Drawing dragons using Photoshop will really put your imagination to the test. Find out how to draw dragons using Photoshop with help from a well-versed web, graphic and illustrative designer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Photoshop Tutorials
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Video Transcript

Hi. My name is Alex Cecilio. I'm a graphic artist, and I'm going to show you how to draw a dragon in Photoshop. Now, dragons are a very tricky animal to draw because they're not necessarily real, so their dimensions are a lot like reptiles or like dinosaurs. So I'm going to show you basically the basic structure of a dragon's body and how to mess around with that. So, basically you can draw the shape of a horse, like a horse's body, but then you're going to want a longer neck and kind of like a triangular face. This is just the skeleton, so don't be discouraged by this. It just helps a little bit to do it this way. And they have wings as well, and a tail. So, what then I'm going to do is I'm going to make the opacity of this a little bit lesser, so that it's a little bit lighter, so I can draw right on top of it. And I'm going to select my black, and I'm going to get to work on this dragon. So, dragons have a very interesting shape of face. They have an eyebrow that comes down like that typically, and then they have a nose that comes up like this with a little curve at the end. And it doesn't have to be like that. I mean, there are so many different types of dragons you can draw, but I'm going to draw one that's mostly based on the Chinese dragon. They have very angular faces, and usually have something like this on their face. And now if.. the cool thing about Photoshop is you can always go back in and edit things with the eraser tool and the undo button when you're using the paintbrush. So I'm just going draw his horn real quick, and another horn, and then you can draw like an ear. See here you've got your head, and normally they're probably going to have all sorts of horns and spikes, but I'm just going to give you a very basic dragon. And their necks are usually curved like this. And more often than not, they have a chest cavity kind of like that, because their flying animals; they don't really need a whole lot of shoulder bone. And see I'm already starting to run out of space, so what you can do is, like I said, just go to 'Canvas' and add more height to it. So I'm going to make it actually 13 and so that way you can have enough space to actually mess around with this. I'm just going to delete my skeleton, because I know now what it looks like and what I should be doing. You can use the lasso tool, which is right here, right below the marquee tool, and you can select it and you can delete anything you don't really like, so I'm going to do that. And now, dragons have legs and behinds kind of like a lion, and this can get really tricky, because the leg shape is a difficult one, so sometimes it's even better to start a leg shape from like the bottom. So if you start off like this and it's got this kind of leg like that. And dragon claws are a lot like alligator claws in the sense that they have this kind of arc to them. And you can draw one of these, and you can just do that. And so this leg is kind of random right now, but this is okay, because we're not really going to worry about it quite yet, but it's just to get the general idea of his shape. So then you're going to draw the front, which is also a lot like a lion or a horse. And I'm losing space again, so I'm going to move him up a little, and do the same kind of foot. You know, you can make it as intricate as you want; I'm not,really. Alright, so that's how you do the feet, and then the chest is probably going to be about like that. And so now I'm going to move my leg. Because it's kind of in the way. And if worse comes to worse, you can always shrink it, too, by free transforming it. And the way you do that is Ctrl + click, 'Free Transform', just shrink that down a little. Alright, so now we're almost finished, so now I'm actually going to erase this back part and start to give him wings. Dragon wings can be really tricky because their shape is so interesting, and you can, if you want, just go back in here like this, and then you can add, you know, a claw or two. It really depends, and the claws always originate from this part, so just remember to have these come back, and it doesn't have to look like that. I'm just saying, make sure you remember that they always connect from up here, because they spread out, so that they become kind of like that kind of shape. And then once you're done, you can draw the tail. And the tail is probably going to be all depending on your dragon. Like, this is a dragon that I'm drawing based on a whole bunch of different dragons, and even though it doesn't really look proportionally correct, it's pretty much how you're going to draw the body parts. And just keep in mind, it's a lot like a horse. Then the tail, and we're just going to, I'm going to add another two inches just to make this tail. Then usually dragons have this thing at the end of the tail. And that is how you draw a dragon in Photoshop. My name is Alex Cecilio, and thank you very much.


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