ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to paint a dragon - inspiration is the first step

Updated on June 18, 2012

How to paint a dragon is a question I often get asked, and it all starts with
inspiration. That might seem odd but that is the very first step before anything!

Where do I find inspiration for my dragon art?

As an artist that tackles both fantasy and traditional subjects, the work I produce
starts life from being inspired, especially with my fantasy art. With regards
dragons, it goes without saying that dragons are a subject that many paint and
draw, with many more wanting to dabble and give it a go, being a subject close to
the hearts of many fantasy artists.

The information below will set you on the correct track and offer some advice on
how to get started with your adventure in how to paint a dragon and point you in
the right direction when looking for inspiration.

There are many places you can go to that will offer advice and inspiration on how
to paint a dragon and I have tried to bring together some resources that will help,
and below are some of my ports of call.

Where do I get my inspiration from when wanting to paint a dragon?
The simple answer is, many places!

When a think about how to paint a dragon, the first port of call is my sketchbook.
This is the place where I store my ideas and 9 times out of 10 I use this as the
starting point and the basis for my dragon art. I try to scribble some ideas before
I look at any inspiration or reference and there are times when the sketch can
develop to a point where I only have to look at certain reference material, picture
of skin etc.

There are times when the images from the sketchbook can be used with little
alteration. Usually the image is blown up and altered to what I am looking for in
the dragon, but none the less, it starts with the sketch in my sketchbook.

Other times, things are not so straightforward and I often look for inspiration and
reference from various sources.

My places I use for inspiration and reference when thinkng how to paint a dragon

Search for other dragon artists

Be inspired by other dragon artists, but try not to get bogged down and copy their
work. The work of other artists is certainly a source of inspiration when looking to
paint a dragon. The wealth of good work out there is stunning and even on the
worst days, when you can’t seem to get the creative juices flowing, a search on
the internet for other dragon artist will return a wealth of inspiration.

Youtube for dragon art inspiration

Youtube is another major source of inspiration when it comes to fantasy art in
general and when you want to be inspired with how to paint a dragon.

There are many quality Youtube clips that really do inspire me and will certainly
set you on the correct path. I have collected a few of the Youtube video clips below and prepared to be inslired.

Digital art and traditional art online galleries

Youtube is not the only online source for inspiration and dragon art. There are a
number of great online galleries that artists use to display their work. Here you
will find some stunning work from some of the best fantasy artists in the world.
I have listed some of these below n the resources section.

Nature and photography books

This might be a strange port of call when thinking about how to paint a dragon,
but most fantasy art is backed up with roots in the really world.
Nature and photography books offer stunning photographic inspiration that you
would otherwise not be able to use. Animal teeth and the ski of reptiles all help
as inspiration when drawing, sketching and painting your dragon.

Build a reference library

As an artist I was given some advice many years ago where I was told to build a
reference library of images. How often have you seen an images in a magazine
or book that catches your eye? Copying and building up a scrapbook of images
is worth its weight in gold with regards inspiration.

Book collection

One of my other sources of inspiration for dragon art and general fantasy art, is the collection of fantasy art books. I have been collecting for over 20 years and it's always great to look back on the wealth of artwork within the pages of these books.

20 years of collecting brings some great artwork and inspiration

I love to paint dragons and when you are thinking, how to paint a dragon, starts with being inspired and excited about the painting you are about to undertake.

It's fun and exciting to be able to paint such a subject as a dragon. It can also be a frustrating one, as you compare your art to some of the fantastic work you can see every day on the internet. This is all part of the process, but being inspired, enjoying your work and being happy with the outcome, all starts with that inspiration and passion. The places I look for that inspiration and reference are mentioned above, but if you have any other places that the budding dragon artists can look, then please let me know.

Some of the video inspiration you will find on Youtube

Dragon World book, great inspiration and with some of my own dragon art in it!

Dragons Domain, great inspiration and step by step guide from a master, Bob Eggleton!

See how I painted my own fantasy dragon art at
See how I painted my own fantasy dragon art at | Source

Fantasy Dragon Art and how I painted my own

Fantasy dragon art has always been an interest of mine for many years. I have collected fantasy art books for over 20 years and I certainly have had some great inspiration. Take a look at my own Fantasy Dargon Art and how I painted it. There are some easy to follow step-by-steps and feedback is always welcome.

Do you like fantasy art?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • vox vocis profile image


      6 years ago

      I've never had experience with digital art, but I'll take a look at the book you recommended - no objections to learning something new :)

    • Jonathan Grimes profile imageAUTHOR

      Jonathan Grimes 

      6 years ago from Devon

      Hi Vox

      Thanks for the feedback on this hub to and great to see that you liked it and voted it up, thanks. If you are looking for more dragons take a look at my Dragon World book review, as this has some of my digital dragon art int he book.

      Thanks for the vote up


    • vox vocis profile image


      6 years ago

      Dragons are mystical creatures with so many wonderful colors to play with if you decide to paint them. I've been meaning to paint one; inspiring hub, voted up!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)