When you think of a dragon the first image that comes to your mind is probably an enormous and horrendous “Game of Thrones” type of dragon. While those types of dragons are no doubt cool, in this drawing tutorial, I am going to teach you how to draw a different type of dragon – a dragon in Chibi style. The Chibi form dragon as popularised by the Dragon Drive manga series is a small version of a dragon characterized by tiny wings and fur.
Whether you are working on a traditional medium using pencil and paper, or you are drawing digitally, I have made this tutorial pretty easy to understand and follow. We are going to start with a dummy which will serve as a base for our final drawing.
So, How to Draw a Chibi / Kawaii Dragon?
Step 1 – Drawing the body
You still start by drawing the dragon’s body. As shown in the image, simply draw an irregular circle to represent the body. From the viewer’s perspective, the left side of the circle should be slightly wider than the right side.
Step 2- Drawing the front legs
For the next step, you will draw the legs of our character. We are going to draw a side view of the dragon so the angle is going to affect the positioning of the legs. Although both front legs are in view, the right leg is slightly concealed behind the left leg which is full view.
Use small tubes to represent the legs and pay attention to how the paws are divided into smaller parts.
Step 3- Drawing the back legs
Only the left hind leg is visible as illustrated in the image. The right leg is barely seen as it is almost totally out of view. Draw the left leg using two short curve lines, the exterior line will be slightly longer than the interior curve and remember to divide your paws into different parts.
Step 4- Drawing the tail
As you can see, the shape of the tail is quite easy to draw. Place it the end of the body you drew step one and remember to draw a triangle to give the tail a pointy end.
Step 5- Drawing the Head
Now, it is time to draw the head of our dragon and I recommend keeping the shapes as simple as possible. You can draw the head itself as a sphere and the ears will have a somewhat triangular shape. Draw a vertical line and a horizontal line across the face. The vertical line will be drawn closer to the right side of the head than the left. We will be drawing the head from a 3/4 angle and the vertical line will help to put things in perspective. The lines will also help to indicate where the main facial features will be placed. You can also draw 3 small spikes on both sides of the face to indicate where we will draw the wings.
Step 6- Drawing the wings
This step is pretty easy. Just draw the wings on the side of the face such that it looks like it is coming out from behind the spikes we drew in step five. Pay attention to how the spikes are all connected by lines.
Step 7- Drawing the Details
Now that we are done with our dummy, it is time to focus on the body details.
Draw the eyeballs using big round circles, the white of the eye will be considered small as the pupils will take up a large part. When darkening the pupils, leave a small white spot to make it look like the eyes are shiny and reflecting light. The big eyes will give our dragon a cute and childlike innocence consonant to its tiny size.
Use short curve lines to represent the nose and draw three scalene triangles linked together with a line on top of the head, similar to what we did with the wings. You can also leave some markings on the ears and body using short fluid lines.
Step 8- Painting the Base Colors
Simply pick out the colors as shown in the image below and paint over the area with solid colors. For the eyeballs, I recommend not painting over the white part of the eyes. If you are drawing on a white paper or background, the white can serve as a base.
Step 9- Painting the Shadows
We are almost done. In this step, we will add some shadows to our Chibi dragon. This brings a sense of depth and volume to give a 3 dimensional and more realistic image. Use darker tones of the local color to shade the areas you want to add shadows to. I always give this advice because it makes shading very easy and uncomplicated. In the image, I shaded the parts of the body directly under the head and I also created some shadows on the ears darkening almost half of it.
Step 10- Painting the Lights
If you want to lighten up some parts of your image, then you can achieve that easily. Just use warmer tones of the local color in the area you want to lighten your dragon. Here, I used a lighter tone of green to lighten the forehead and the areas under the eyes. I always try to keep the coloring simple so you can achieve similar results to mine.
That brings us to the end of our tutorial on how to draw a Chibi dragon. You can try to create your own rendition of this cute tiny dragon in as many poses and attitudes as you can find. My recommendation is to follow my steps closely for the best results. If you are interested in more free step by step drawing tutorials similar to this one, feel free to visit the Drawing Tutorials section.
I hope this tutorial was useful to you. If you have any doubt or question please leave it on the comment section, this will encourage me to keep working in new tutorials and articles.