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How to draw Classic European Dragons by Gewalgon by Gewalgon How to draw Classic European Dragons by Gewalgon by Gewalgon
E D I T ( May 2015 ) - Added and corrected some things. To compare you can find the old version here: sta.sh/029scmt7auc5


Inspiried by Wotansvogels' Raven tutorial, I decided to create a tutorial for classic european dragons.
It's made for dragon artist beginners and those, who have some problems with the dragon wing anatomy.

Please keep in mind that this tutorial shows MY VIEW of the dragons, you needn't to use it if you don't agree with or don't like it!
I represent dragons the way I experience and see them in my dreams.



It also doesn't mean that I think other interpretations look bad or that I don't like them, please don't forget:
There's no such thing as bad art - Stamp - by Gewalgon
Thanks to all who helped me with their constructive criticism to improve the tutorial. :la:


[Drawn with "GIMP" and bamboo graphic tablet]



More art from me showing classic european dragons:
Moondragon Ava by Gewalgon Be free! by Gewalgon Gawarin - Treasure of Life by Gewalgon Union of the Three ~ by Gewalgon


© Copyright by me, Gewalgon - Bettina Catana
Please don't take, use, reupload, etc. my work without my wirtten permission. Thank you! ♥

Add a Comment:
 
:iconhazelqurdrel:
HazelQurdrel Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Dear Gewa, do you know how to draw other types of dragons besides the European ones?
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You mean like Chinese, Wyvern, Amphiteres,...?
If so, then yes!
Reply
:iconhazelqurdrel:
HazelQurdrel Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Really? So...I'm sorry if you might be busy but can you also make tutorials for those kinds of dragons? Thankies~ :)
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Right now I am VERY busy xD But as soon as I have some inspiration, time and are in mood for that, maybe I will do other tutorials (-:
Reply
:iconhazelqurdrel:
HazelQurdrel Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Ohhh..ok :) Haha, sorry to disturb you X)
Reply
:iconlittlefiredragon:
LittleFireDragon Featured By Owner Edited Jul 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a good all-around starter tutorial. It covers a lot of topics.

One thing, though. I think the wing with the spike on the elbow could work if the "finger" does not bend or move (in relation to the radius/ulna) - indicating that it's not a finger at all but a bony strut or spur that helps support the membrane. I don't care for it, but it's not biologically incorrect as you state.
Pterosaurs had something similar called a pteroid bone. Although in the dragon's case it would be an extension of the ulna rather than a modified wrist bone.
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for your feedback.
Interesting, didn't know that the Pterosaur had a Pteroid, but take a look on its position on the wing: schools-wikipedia.org/images/2…
He still didn't need "fingers" in the middle of his membranes.
Reply
:iconlittlefiredragon:
LittleFireDragon Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, I know, I'm just saying it's not biologically improbable for a non-finger strut to develop. All the examples I know are located on the wrist, but it wouldn't be impossible for it to develop on the elbow instead.
Interestingly there's a lot of debate about which way the pteroid pointed. Some reconstructions have it as, indeed, a "finger" in the middle of a membrane... on the front. Which looks really weird!
pterosaur.net/anatomy/membrane…

Pterosaurs are also weird for having, essentially, three segments to their wing arm (the wrist is really, really long, so it's like a third section on the arm). I suppose the fact that they have only one finger supporting the wing is also weird. They're just weird animals in general.



And it gets even weirder with the dinosaur Yi qi (shortest name ever). It also has a weird barb thing on its wrist. Again, not a finger. It's just a bony spike.

And it's probably the closest paleontology will ever get to finding a dragon, because currently we think those hands were webbed. And that the weird spur thing... was for supporting the membrane! (Actually I should have thought of this example first...)
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia…
Which is actually really hilarious because we already knew most meat eating dinosaurs had wings, but until this guy showed up they were all feathered wings. And out of nowhere we get this little guy with his dragon wings.


Prehistoric life is weird as all get-out, man! (Isn't it wonderful? :))
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I never said that it's impossible, I just wrote that you won't find something like that on other flying animals. At least the ones who are living right now (and the ones we know yet).
In my opinion nothing is impossible. Just on dragons it looks wrong to me personally.
Well, you view the dragons from a completely different point. Correct anatomy is important to me too, though I view the dragons from a more spiritual aspect. (And tried to combine what I see with anatomy-rules I know so far).
But it's really interesting to read yours, I learned something new abaout dinosaurs (And I was a Dinosaur-fanatic in my childhood^^)
So thanks a lot!
Reply
:iconlittlefiredragon:
LittleFireDragon Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I didn't mean to imply you said it was impossible. I actually said that you were saying it was unlikely, and then the impossible bit was me countering a logical extension of one of my own points (these spurs have only developed on wrists -> hypothetical counterpoint about them appearing on elbows being impossible, etc). :)

Oh, I agree, it doesn't look good, in my opinion. I just wouldn't call it incorrect, from a biological standpoint, or for that matter from a staying true to classic European Dragons standpoint. (Classic depictions of dragons had some really funky wing anatomy. Stuff is downright messed up.)
It does have some precedent in nature, because nature and especially flight is really weird. I wanted to share some of the weirdness. :)

It's interesting how we have such differing viewpoints on something we love. :)
(What's even more amazing is that we can have a civil conversation about those differing viewpoints on the internet.)


Yi qi is a new discovery, which is why you hadn't heard of it before. :)
And frankly it blew the minds of even established professionals, because it's just that weird.
Reply
:icondothurnaax:
Dothurnaax Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2015
Thanks for the tips man! No wonder I can't get my dragons to look happy! They're ALWAYS complaining about their lack of ability to fly! XD
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome, I'm glad to hear that it could help you!^^
Reply
:iconhannahhamadayokai:
HannahHamadaYokai Featured By Owner May 13, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Read the book "Dragonology" by Dr. uhmmm...uhh...I don't remember his name but it's a big red book with a thick cardboard front and three green "gems" in it.
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know it, I have this book at home (-:
Reply
:iconhannahhamadayokai:
HannahHamadaYokai Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love that thing! It taught me a lot!
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, it's a really nice and funny children's book, I especially like the look and the illustrations of it.
By the way, the author is Ute Löwenberg.

I just have a question to you: What does your comment/this book have to do with my tutorial?
Reply
:iconhannahhamadayokai:
HannahHamadaYokai Featured By Owner May 16, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh European Dragon in general. I felt smart for recognizing that dragons have different species!
Reply
:iconpinle:
PinLe Featured By Owner May 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amm...Wha?
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
?
Reply
:iconcoraajna:
coraajna Featured By Owner Edited May 9, 2015  Student Writer
I never considered the part about the wings, but now that you mention it, it makes perfect sense! Thanks for the tips and nice illustrations! :D
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! :D
Reply
:iconcoraajna:
coraajna Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Student Writer
;)
Reply
:iconfelinix19:
Felinix19 Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Student General Artist
Thanx 4 the great help
lots of interesting points I hadn't thought of (like the wings)
*Free Icon/Emote* Toothless (Love it!) Ice Dragon Dancing dragon XD Water dragon - emoticon Green Dragon HTTYD2.6 :chaosdragon: Dragon morens emoticon x3 
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're very welcome, I'm glad if the tutorial could help you! :happybounce:
Reply
:iconfelinix19:
Felinix19 Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Student General Artist
:D
Reply
:iconkarnetia:
KarneTia Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Als kind hab ich die membran der flügel auch nie bis zu den hinterbeinen gezeichnet, genauso wie auf dem bild! xD
Reply
:iconthewolfsfirstwinter:
TheWolfsFirstWinter Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
found you 0;
Reply
:iconkarnetia:
KarneTia Featured By Owner May 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconhideplz:
Reply
:iconthewolfsfirstwinter:
TheWolfsFirstWinter Featured By Owner May 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
>v>~
Reply
:iconkarnetia:
KarneTia Featured By Owner May 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
uvu
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hab ich auch nie xD Erst seit dem ich auf dA gelandet bin achte ich vermehrt auf die Anatomie, allerdings bemühe ich mich auch nicht damit zu übertreiben, habe hier schon viel zu viele gesehen die mittlerweile alles... überanatomisieren, und sogar richtig klasse gemachte Werke kritisieren weil die Flügel eines Drachen eher stilisiert sind... Malen sollte in erster Linie doch Spaß machen^^
Reply
:iconkarnetia:
KarneTia Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ja meine Verbesserungen hab ich eig auch dA zu verdanken, weil ich seitdem mehr angefangen hab zu zeichnen :D und irgwann hab ich mir gedacht ich muss besser werden weil ich Angst hatte, dass andere Leute sagen würden "wass soll das denn sein :I "
Aber du hast ja recht. Dabei denken solche Leute dann nich daran das es vllt zum Stil gehört, Dinge zu stilisieren. Bei mir würde es seltsam aussehen, wenn ich z.B. mit den Muskeln von Drachen übertreibe und denen dann süße Augen verpasse xD was ja quasi zu meinem Stil gehört.
Und wenn ich jedesmal so krass auf Details achten müsste, würde mir das zeichnen in der Tat keinen Spaß mehr machen :/
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nee, das würde wirklich nicht passen xD
Die Harmonie muss einfach stimmen, und deine Drachen sind gut so wie sie sind^^
Reply
:iconkarnetia:
KarneTia Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ja da hast du recht :3
Und vielen Dank!! *^*
Reply
:iconowlcomet:
OwlComet Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Nice tutorial! =D
Now it seems I have done dragons wings always wrong.. x,D 
Now I can correct it.. ^^' 
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Saw one of your dragons with wings, and they really don't look "wrong" to me.
There are so many ways to draw dragon wings... this is just my view which looks correct to me^^
Thank you!
Reply
:iconowlcomet:
OwlComet Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Oh.. x,D ok.. x3
Well yep there are ^^ 
Reply
:iconabsinestra:
Absinestra Featured By Owner May 8, 2015
While I respect your work, I can't help but wonder why you are telling people how to imagine their dragons?
You can't put rules on something as undefinable such as dragons. Why are you telling people that they can't have dragons with round pupils, or cross-pupils, or goat-like pupils? 
Or why do they have to have an element? A lot people don't like their dragons elemental, and if they truly are, they'd rather have them vary in more points than just "that head looks different". 
Not to mention that classic european dragons don't differentiate between elements, they just are what they are, according to old drawings. 

Really, I respect your work, but I can't put a finger on your reasonings.
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Weißt du, man merkt dass du keiner meiner Watcher bist und du nicht mit meinen Werken vertraut bist - denn dann wüsstest du dass ich die Drachen aus einem spirituellen Aspekt betrachte, und diese sind Elementen zugeordnet. Ich male sie so, wie ich sie in meinen Träumen erlebe und wahrnehme. Ich verstehe nicht wirklich wie man sich dann dabei angegriffen fühlen kann, wenn ich anderen Menschen das nahe bringen will. Es ist doch dir überlassen ob du das auch so übernehmen möchtest oder nicht.
Und im Übrigen, du sagst es gibt Einige, die ihre Drachen nicht gern Elementen zuordnen - Wenn du es genau nimmst ist jedes Lebewesen mit einem oder mit mehreren Elementen verbunden: Der Fisch hat Flossen zum Schwimmen, der Vogel hat Flügel zum Fliegen, die Katze hat 4 Beine zum Laufen und der Mammutbaum schützt sich mit einer speziellen Rinde gegen Feuer. Sie alle unterliegen den Elementen der Natur und haben sich ihnen angepasst.
Reply
:iconabsinestra:
Absinestra Featured By Owner May 9, 2015
Kein Grund schnippisch zu werden, alles was ich tat war es meine Meinung zu äussern. 
Die Sache dass du extra mit einem zweiten Kommentar nachlegen musstest spricht Bände.
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ebenso, es war auch mir wichtig meine Meinung kund zu tun, denn in meinem letzten Kommentar auf Englisch bin ich nicht auf die Inhalte deines Kommentares eingegangen, das wollte ich ledeglich nacholen, da es mir zu wenig schien.
Reply
:iconabsinestra:
Absinestra Featured By Owner May 9, 2015
Zwischen beiden Kommentaren liegen 2 Stunden. 
Lies da raus was du möchtest.
Wenn du nach 2 Stunden immer noch zurück kommst um Feuer zu schüren ist das deine Sache.
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ich habe langsam den Eindruck dass du in allem was ich male oder schreibe ein Feuer siehst. Das ist allerdings nicht wirklich mehr mein Problem.
Im Regelfall schreibe ich das was ich auch meine, versuch das zu lesen, nicht das, was du hineininterpretierst.
Dass da zwei Stunden dazwischen liegen liegt ganz einfach daran, dass mich dein Kommentar nicht los gelassen hat, weil ich das Gefühl hatte dass meine letzte Antwort nicht wirklich passend gewesen ist. Ich mache mir im Regelfall viele Gedanken darum was ich schreibe, und ob ich etwas schreibe, und da können auch mal paar Stunden vergehen bis mein Entschluss fest steht.
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
*Facepalm*
"Please keep in mind that this tutorial shows my style at last, you needn't to use it if you don't like it! ;-)"

Do whatever you want, I never told you that you HAVE to draw your dragons in my style.
Reply
:iconhazelqurdrel:
HazelQurdrel Featured By Owner May 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I really appreciate this! Perhaps you could...make one about the dragon proportions?
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'll update it very soon, added a dragon from the side, I hope it will help you when it comes to the proportions^^
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Glad to hear that! :-)
I think I will work on it from time to time and add some more steps. Maybe I will even redo the drawings^^
Reply
:iconhazelqurdrel:
HazelQurdrel Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thx! ^ ^
Reply
:iconwildonex:
WildOneX Featured By Owner May 8, 2015
I love this!  It's so majestical and informative :D  I feel like a dragon expert now
Reply
:icongewalgon:
Gewalgon Featured By Owner May 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, glad to hear that! :D
Reply
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