how to draw a scorpion

How to Draw a Scorpion – Easy Steps to Create a Realistic Drawing

Drawing a scorpion is a fun task because it provides a unique challenge due to the strange composition of a scorpion. Scorpions are magnificent creatures and can be used in various genres of art, making them versatile drawing skills. Learning how to draw a scorpion also enhances your drawing skills by teaching you about both color compositions and how to create different tonal values in the scorpion drawing. Learning how to use color and shading techniques to create a simple scorpion sketch into a more realistic scorpion drawing is a great way to enhance your drawing skills and gain insight into the unique form of the scorpion.



An Easy Guide to Drawing a Scorpion

In this tutorial, we will be creating an interesting realistic scorpion drawing. We will work out how to break down the scorpion into a few simple forms, using some basic line work. There are many different scorpion species to draw, in this tutorial we will be drawing a basic desert scorpion that has a brown and yellow tonal value.

Scorpions are fascinating animals with strange and ominous looks about them.

This makes for a great drawing exercise as drawing a scorpion is a strange and challenging structure to draw. We will be creating a unique scorpion drawing using a basic set of materials, which will result in a realistic scorpion drawing.


Necessary Materials

Learning how to draw a scorpion can be done in various ways. In this tutorial, we will be creating a realistic scorpion drawing using a set of colored pencils and a pen. We will learn how to use colored pencils to establish the hue and color variation.

We will then draw over our pencil lines using a pen to create distinct features within the scorpion drawing.

We will want to make sure we have at least three brown pencils, ranging between light and dark. We will want a normal HB pencil, as well as a pen, eraser, and sharpener. All materials can be found through the links below:

  • HB pencil
  • Brown Derwent pencils
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Eraser
  • Sharpener
  • Good paper (200 g/m – 250 g/m recommended)



Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Draw a Scorpion

In this tutorial, we will begin by establishing the scorpion shape and form by making a basic scorpion sketch using an HB pencil. Once we have captured the shape of the scorpion through a basic scorpion sketch, we will work with colored pencils to create different color values within the scorpion.

Since we are drawing a desert scorpion, we will be creating different hues and values of brown, giving the scorpion a more desert look.

We will then work with a ballpoint pen to capture finer details as well as to capture the exoskeletal structure of the scorpion. We will spend some time on the pen drawing aspect, working through the whole skeletal structure of the scorpion until we are satisfied. Lastly, we will give the scorpion drawing a shadow to suggest its three-dimensional quality. Now that we know what to expect, let us go through this tutorial on how to draw a scorpion.


Step 1: Shaping the Scorpion

To create a realistic scorpion drawing, we want to begin with shaping the scorpion first. Using our HB pencils, we want to sketch out the general form of the scorpion with some light line-work.

drawing a scorpion 01 We will be drawing the scorpion from a left side view, which means only one side will be predominantly visible. We want to start adding in the set of legs within our scorpion drawing.

We want to do this simultaneously while drawing the mesosoma of the scorpion.

drawing a scorpion 02 A scorpion has eight legs that are roughly the same size except for the back legs, which are slightly larger for stability. These legs will connect to the mesosoma of the scorpion, which has seven segments, excluding the prosoma or head area.

drawing a scorpion 03 We want to be conscious of the angle of the scorpion drawing. We want to place the seven segments of the mesosoma or back of the scorpion in a row that falls on a horizontal plane.

This means they will be like plates viewed from a side angle, which makes them distorted and slightly slim.

drawing a scorpion 04 The pedipalps of the scorpion will come around the face, extending beyond the prosoma of the scorpion. Take your time working on the sketch of the pedipalps and how they are placed in front of the scorpion’s prosoma.

You want to make sure that the pedipalps have four segments, including the pincers at the ends.


Step 2: Refining Your Scorpion Sketch

We will proceed with our pencils and erasers, slowly tweaking and adding to the drawing details that contextualize the insect more distinctly. We want to make sure all the legs are placed alongside the mesosoma correctly.

We also want to make sure that each of the features has the correct number of segments.

drawing a scorpion 06 Consider using a diagram from the internet to assist you in your drawing process of the scorpion. The tail should curve over the scorpion with five segments within the metasoma with a telson at the end as a sixth segment.

Make sure you spend time on the scorpion sketch before we move on to using color.

drawing a scorpion 07


Step 3: Adding Color to the Scorpion

We will now proceed to add some color to the scorpion, a good suggestion would be to search the desert scorpion to give you a sense of the color scheme that will be used.

Starting from the front of the scorpion we want to give it a light coloring with a light brown pencil.

drawing a scorpion 08 Going through the entire scorpion, let us proceed to give it a light coloring throughout the whole body with our lightest brown pencil. We want to color in every segment of the scorpion to see the undertone of the scorpion’s color scheme.

drawing a scorpion 09 Using a darker brown pencil, keeping it to a mid-tone, we want to proceed to color in the side of the scorpions’ mesosoma area where the legs connect.

We also want to give the tips of the pincers or pedipalps slightly darker coloration.


Step 4: Shading the Front Features of the Scorpion in Pen

Now that we have established an undertone color palette, we now want to work with our pens to add more contrast and distinct details to the scorpion drawing. Starting from the front side of the scorpion we want to darken the edges of the pedipalps.

We also want to outline the arms, and add some line work to the drawing.

drawing a scorpion 11 We want to use the dark contrast quality of the black pen to emphasize the different features of the scorpion. Continuing with our pens, let us work our way through the prosoma area of the scorpion, where we color in the eyes and shade in the jaws of the scorpion.

scorpion drawing 12 Take your time when using a pen for shading and detailing your scorpion drawing. We want to make sure that we use our pens to bring out the different features of the scorpion by outlining adding line work and shading with our pens.

Using the color palette to guide us, we want to shade in the scorpion accordingly. This means that the color palette should be indicative of where the lightest and darkest parts of the scorpion should be.

scorpion drawing 14 As we shade around the prosoma, we will come to the front legs of the scorpion. Again, we want to use the pen as a tool to add in darker shadows and line work to create distinct features within the scorpion drawing.


Step 5: Shading the Middle Features of the Scorpion in Pen

We will now start to work our way through the mid-section of the scorpion, which is where the mesosoma and legs are situated. We want to create a shadow gradient in each segment of the mesosoma with our pens.

scorpion drawing 16 This means that each segment in the mesosoma should have a dark section that fades to a lighter section. By doing this in each mesosoma we will find that it creates three-dimensionality within the scorpion’s exoskeleton.

The same goes for each leg of the scorpion.

scorpion drawing 17 Each leg of the scorpion has different segments, which we want to emphasize by using our pens to create shadows and distinct lines. As we go through the different features of the scorpion, we want to make sure we are capturing using our pen marks.

scorpion drawing 19 Take your time when shading with a pen, a good rule of thumb is to approach it as you would with a pencil. This means that the harder you push the darker the marks, so approach with a light touch. Go through each aspect of the scorpion drawing with attention to detail. As you proceed to add shading to the midsection, make sure to create a gradient within each segment of the mesosoma.

By doing so we will define the exoskeleton of the scorpion more distinctly. We do this by shading darker at the start of each segment with the mesosoma.

scorpion sketch 21 You must go through each leg, making sure that you are adding pen marks to each. We don’t want to add too many pen marks to the legs, this way we keep the color visible. We simply want to outline and add slight shading to shadowed areas. We want to slowly work our way through each section of the scorpion drawing.

Making sure we spend time on the segments within the mesosoma is essential to creating a realistic scorpion drawing.


Step 6: Shading the Back Features of the Scorpion in Pen

As we come to the last segments of the mesosoma area, we want to make sure that we have added shading to each segment throughout the entire mesosoma area. This means that we should have a small gradient within each segment, that fades from dark to light.

We also want to make sure that the legs have been modified with pen marks.

Again, we don’t want to oversaturate the legs with dark pen marks but simply complement them. This means we want to outline them as we as add in some light shading and line work to give them more structure.

scorpion sketch 22 As we transition into each segment of the tail or metasoma, we want to make sure that we add in some pen lines within each segment. We want to use pen marks to create sections like a hexagonal shape in each segment. By adding in linework that creates little sections within each segment of the metasoma, it gives the tail more dimension and an exoskeletal quality.

The lines can also be dotted lines, to give a spikey quality to the tail.

scorpion sketch 26 We want to make sure we work our way through the entire metasoma, also adding in darker marks at each connection point between the tail’s different segments. By adding in some shading and line work, we will give it a more realistic and distinct structure. As you come to the telson, we can proceed to shade it in slightly dark just as we did for the pincers of the pedipalps.

These horns should always be slightly darker, making sure they seamlessly blend into the lighter sections of the scorpion that they are attached to.

scorpion sketch 27 Make sure you go through your entire scorpion drawing and add in pen marks to give the scorpion more detail. Take a break and then come back and go through the entire drawing again, making sure you haven’t missed anything.


Step 7: Adding a Shadow to the Scorpion

Lastly, we want to draw a shadow underneath the scorpion. We want to make sure that we keep the shadow on a horizontal plane, which means the shadow will distort and be thinner than the actual scorpion.

Make sure that the shadow connects to every part of the scorpion that makes contact with the ground.

scorpion sketch 31 Once you have drawn the shadow with your pencil, go over the shadow with your pen, making the darkest part of the shadow directly under the scorpion.

And there you have it! How to draw a realistic scorpion in a few simple steps.



Tips to Remember

  • Work out the scorpion sketch. You want to make sure you have the form of the scorpion as correctly as possible before adding in any color or pen marks.
  • Take your time. Work through each step of the tutorial with attention to detail.
  • Consider how the colors are present within the scorpion. The desert scorpion has different color hues in different parts of its structure, so consider this when adding in color.
  • Use a reference image from the internet. You can also use some visual resources to guide you in your scorpion drawing process.
  • Have fun with the process! A scorpion drawing is strange and it is a fun animal to draw, so allow yourself to have fun with the drawing process.


Learning how to draw a scorpion is a great way to learn about a creature and its unique composition. Scorpions are also considered to be very ominous or frightening animals but as you learn about them in the drawing process it can help to destigmatize the creature. Scorpion drawing is also a great way to learn new skills, such as sketching with a pen and how to use color to amplify different aspects of a drawing. However one chooses to use a scorpion drawing, it provides great skills that one can add to the drawing repertoire of an artist.



Frequently Asked Questions


How Do You Draw the Tale of a Scorpion?

Drawing a scorpion’s tail is broken up into segments. These segments are often football-looking and differ according to the species of scorpion. However, all scorpions have a similar metasomal segment structure within their tails and are always broken up into five segments with the telson or venom bulb attached to the end. The venom bulb often has a teardrop shape with a spike or horn connected at the tip, whereas the metasomal segments within the tale have a more football shape to them. How the different segments can be drawn is by adding line work into each segment. The aim is to add skeletal line work that creates ridges that run along each segment in the tail. By doing this, we create an exoskeletal effect, which will result in a more realistic scorpion tale.


How Do You Draw the Pincers of a Scorpion?

Pincers for scorpions vary and can be drawn in all sorts of sizes and shapes. The desert scorpion in particular has smaller pincers and is often a little darker in color than its arms or pedipalps. These pincers, however, generally have an oval or football-like shape that often diverges into two pincers. The inner pincers are often smaller, whereas the outer pincers are larger for defense and hunting. To give the pincers a realistic scorpion effect, one can make them slightly darker with brown shading, as well as add little hairs to the pincers. However, the pincers at the end of the arms or pedipalps of the scorpion are no larger than the other segments within the scorpion pedipalps. As long as they are slightly darker and have little hairs, they should have an accurate aesthetic in your scorpion drawing.


Cite this Article

Matthew, Matthysen, “How to Draw a Scorpion – Easy Steps to Create a Realistic Drawing.” Art in Context. August 10, 2022. URL:

Matthysen, M. (2022, 10 August). How to Draw a Scorpion – Easy Steps to Create a Realistic Drawing. Art in Context.

Matthysen, Matthew. “How to Draw a Scorpion – Easy Steps to Create a Realistic Drawing.” Art in Context, August 10, 2022.

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