Digital Dragon Sketch Process + Lineart

1. Decide Your Base Sketch

Before drawing it’s always a good idea to have a think about what you want to draw. I skipped the most crucial step of sketching out poses and thumbnails for this one because I knew how I wanted my dragon to look, or so I thought.

The original idea was to draw a similar scene to the hobbit where Smaug is sat on top of his gold and Bilbo is stood below him(shown on the left). I haven’t drawn in 6 years until this one so after sketching a bit more I decided there was too much detail to focus on and so I toned it down to just a dragon leaping forward(shown on the right). A simple sketch to get back in the groove of illustration.

2. define the Muscles and Movement

I settled with a sketch of the dragon leaping forward and drew in more structure but still not a lot of detail at this point.

After finishing loosely sketching the dragons’ structure I noticed he didn’t really look like he was leaping forward, rather that he was sort of floating. Wings were going to be added but it still didn’t feel right so I drew over my sketch with red lines to re-position his legs and blue lines to draw in the wings. I repeated this 2 or 3 times before committing to the image on the right.

3. Details and Line Work

Using red lines again, I drew in more detail including toes, fingers and neck details, and set the opacity of the layer lower so I could ink over the top of it. Because this is a digital image, I worked and re-worked the feet to get them to a place I liked before settling.

Video Process and Free Lineart

If you would like to see the whole process of this sketch you can watch my video tutorial below or on my YouTube channel.

The lineart of this work is free to download – please note that it is for personal use only and credit is to be given for my work and I would love to see what you create!

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