how to draw a chinese dragon

How to Draw a Chinese Dragon – Drawing a Symbolic Creature

Learn to draw a Chinese dragon with our easy step-by-step tutorial. Perfect for all skill levels, we guide you through each stage, helping you capture the essence of this mythical creature with your pencil.



Drawing a Majestic Chinese Dragon Sketch 

Follow along with the collage below and learn how to draw a Chinese dragon step by step. This is an easy-to-follow tutorial that is broken down into simple steps to guide you on how to draw a Chinese dragon.

chinese dragon drawing collage


Step 1: Begin Your Asian Dragon Drawing 

Begin to draw your dragon art, by drawing the curved ‘S’ shaped body of the dragon.

chinese dragon drawing 01


Step 2: Draw the Head of Your Chinese Drawing Sketch 

To the top left of the main body, draw a triangle to represent the head of the Chinese dragon. At the bottom, between each open space, draw the construction shapes for the hands and legs.

chinese dragon drawing 02


Step 3: Outline the Head

Utilize the construction lines you’ve drawn earlier to assist you in outlining the initial segment of the Chinese dragon’s head. Elevate the upper half, ensuring it stands higher than the remaining portion of the muzzle.

chinese dragon drawing 03


Step 4: Continue to Outline Your Chinese Dragon Drawing 

Use the lines you drew before to help outline the claws on the hands and legs.

chinese dragon drawing 04


Step 5: Draw the Teeth

Inside the mouth, sketch small triangle shapes to depict sharp teeth. Repeat this along the upper mouthline. Add nostrils and an eye using small oval shapes. Finish this step by drawing the dragon’s “mustache,” also known as barbels.

chinese dragon drawing 05


Step 6: Complete the Head on Your Asian Dragon Drawing 

Surrounding the head, draw the wavy flowing lines leading to the right end of the dragon. Draw each of these separately, ensuring they do not overlap. Finally, draw the beard below the lower jawline.

chinese dragon drawing 06


Step 7: Draw the Main Body Outline

Above the main body, draw the spikey outline going around the main body curves, beginning from the top of the neck and leading to the leg claws.

chinese dragon drawing 07


Step 8: Add the Body Pattern

Within the main body, draw individually stacked scales to create a smooth pattern throughout the dragon. After finishing, remove any remaining construction lines. 

chinese dragon drawing 08


Step 9: Add the Water Waves to Your Chinese Dragon Sketch

Beneath the dragon, draw the wavy water lines, making sure not to overlap with the main body of the dragon. Complete the step by drawing a cloud doodle above your dragon’s head.

chinese dragon drawing 09


Step 10: First Color Coats   

Apply orange paint evenly on the sidewalls of the main body using a fine, sharp brush. Then, repeat the process with yellow paint to coat the chest area of the main body on your dragon art. 

chinese dragon drawing 10


Step 11: Add Color to the Head on Your Dragon Art 

Using the same brush and a matt shade of orange paint, evenly coat the head on your Chinese dragon drawing. 

chinese dragon drawing 11


Step 12: Continue onto the Main Body Outline

Take a fine, sharp brush and apply a coat of bright teal blue evenly along the surrounding outline.

chinese dragon drawing 12


Step 13: Color the Facial Features 

With a fine, sharp brush, cover the inner mouth and nostrils evenly with maroon paint. Color the eye with white paint and encircle it with a gray outline. Use a thin brush and gray paint to coat the teeth, barbels, and claws evenly. Finish the step by applying red paint to the hands and legs with a fine, sharp brush.

chinese dragon drawing 13


Step 14: Begin to Blend Your Asian Dragon Drawing

Start by applying a subtle touch of red along the bottom line of the main body using a small, soft brush and red paint. Repeat the process with yellow paint on the top line of the main body. Utilize a blending brush to effortlessly merge the layers. Introduce shading between the head and neck edges, as well as along the curved borders of the main body using a small, soft brush and black paint. Complete this step by adding gentle highlights to the main body with a small, soft brush and white paint.

Additionally, repeat this process on select pattern scales using a dark blue paint.

chinese dragon drawing 14


Step 15: Color Blend the Head

Start by using a small, soft brush and yellow paint to add brush strokes spreading from the edges of the mouth lines, flowing outward with the hair lines. Repeat with red paint and teal paint on the hair. Blend these color coats in the direction of the hair flow using a blending brush. Finalize the step by applying black paint with a small, soft brush to the eye and muzzle area, and use white paint along the entire head for a final highlight.

chinese dragon drawing 15


Step 16: Add Detail to the Facial Features and Claws

With a fine, sharp brush, apply dark maroon paint for the iris, and repeat with red paint for a subtle color blend on the eye. Delicately highlight the teeth using a soft brush and white paint. Finish by employing a small, soft brush and yellow paint to add a corresponding color pattern to the hands and claws. Highlight each claw with white paint once the base color is applied.

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Step 17: Highlight Your Chinese Dragon Drawing

Apply white paint gently along the teal-colored dragon outline using a small, soft brush to add highlights.

asian dragon drawing 17


Step 18: Continue to Texture the Hairlines

Enhance the texture lines of the facial hair and main body outlines by using a fine, sharp brush and a shade of dark maroon paint to trace them.

chinese dragon sketch 18


Step 19: Finalize Your Chinese Dragon Sketch

To finalize the Chinese dragon, employ a fine, sharp brush and black paint to trace the remaining outlines and inner texture lines, including the pattern scales and the ocean waves.

dragon art 19


Congratulations on completing the tutorial and bringing the majestic Chinese dragon to life on your canvas! Your dedication and creativity have truly shone through, and it’s evident that you’ve crafted something extraordinary. Remember, every stroke tells a story, and your unique interpretation of the dragon reflects your artistic spirit. Keep embracing the joy of drawing, and let this accomplishment be a stepping stone to even more incredible creations. Your artistic journey is just beginning, and I can’t wait to see where your passion for art takes you next. Well done!



Frequently Asked Questions 


How to Draw the Facial Features of a Chinese Dragon?

When drawing the facial features of a Chinese dragon, focus on creating expressive eyes with a fierce or noble gaze. Pay attention to the shape of the mouth, incorporating traditional elements like whiskers or a flowing beard if desired. Experiment with the positioning of the antler-like horns to capture the dragon’s personality, ensuring a balance between the fierce and majestic aspects of its expression. For more detailed guidance, consider exploring our online tutorials that offer you step-by-step instructions on depicting the intricate facial features of a Chinese dragon.


What Colors Are Commonly Used for Chinese Dragons?

Traditional Chinese dragons are often depicted in vibrant colors like red, gold, green, and blue. Feel free to add your own color variations while keeping in mind the cultural significance associated with certain colors, such as red symbolizing good fortune and gold representing wealth and prosperity in Chinese culture.


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