How to Draw a Tribal Dragon

Written by lauren pringle
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How to Draw a Tribal Dragon
Design your own tribal dragon tattoo. (Ross Land/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images)

Dragons are powerful, magical and mysterious symbols and have been used for centuries in tribal symbolism. There are different types of tribal dragons, so research which type you want to create. When drawing your design, always use a pencil and draw a basic guideline for your dragon. Tribal artwork is usually made up of many curved lines and spikes. Tribal dragons are also a popular design within the tattoo industry.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Research tribal dragon designs. Tribal dragon art is popular artwork and is found in many places. Get to know your dragons before sketching one so you can draw the type of tribal dragon you want.

  2. 2

    Create the body. Draw a large s-seahorse shape. Thicken the lines by about 2 inches and continue the swirls on either end until they reach a sharp point.

  3. 3

    Draw two curved lines that reach up over the top of the other point, above the middle of the swirl. These will become the dragon wings.

  4. 4

    Focus on the head of the dragon. At the top of the swirling body, bring the lines to a point. Draw two lines that split from this central point to create the dragon mouth. Create the dragon tongue by drawing a long, swirling line in the centre of the mouth, that ends with a spike. Above the mouth, bring the line into the body. Draw a slit triangle to create the dragon eye.

  5. 5

    Add details continuing down the body from the head. Add swirling, spiky lines that keep to the central shape but fall off the body. Add this effect on each side of the body and on the same side as the mouth. Draw spiky feet that come out further from the picture. Don't worry about making these lines look realistic. Tribal dragon art is about shape and structure, not perfect representation.

  6. 6

    Add details to the wings. Continue with the method explained above and draw curved, fluid lines coming off the wings of the dragon. Cut lines into the shape and create puzzle-like jagged shapes that come together and curl off the central shape in a neat point.

  7. 7

    Outline your dragon with a black marker. Create a zebra pattern with the white of the paper and black marker rotating throughout the image.

Tips and warnings

  • Tribal dragons are difficult to design, so take your time and be patient. Sketch over your guidelines to create the different shapes and patterns until you are pleased with your design.

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