Ever wanted to learn how to draw a dragon, unicorn or mermaid? In this step-by-step tutorial, art teacher and director of Melbourne Art Class, Marco Corsini, unveils the equipment you’ll need and the processes to follow to help discover the artist within, as you learn to draw mythical creatures. It’s a great drawing lesson for kids as well as adults.

How to Draw Mythical Creatures: Dragon

 Find out how to draw a dragon with this step-by-step guide. It’s an excellent drawing lesson for kids.

Whether you imagine them as being like Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon or think they might be more like Daenerys’s ‘children’ Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion from Game of Thrones, it’s easy to learn how to draw a dragon. Here, Marco gives you the basic outline – from there, colour and decorate your dragon as you please.

Step 1: Using a 2B pencil, draw three oval shapes for the head, body and as a guide for the tail. Try to get similar proportions and placement to the image above.

Step 2: Using flatter ovals, put down a basic structure for the legs, as above. Marco used lizard legs as a guide.  Then draw the tail around the last oval and sketch in the neck between the upper ovals.

Step 3: The wing structure begins with some simple curved lines. An additional line is drawn to create the top of the far wing.

Step 4: Complete the structure of the wings.

Step 5: Draw ridges of spikes on the back of the neck and along the top of the tail then develop the legs and feet. Sketch in the muscle structure and place spikes on the joint of the legs. Little circles form the toes from where the claws emerge.

Step 6: Draw the face with two circles forming the nostrils. Now add the jaw and mouth and draw the teeth within the mouth. Keep the eye simple with a brow-like ridge above it.

Step 7: On top of the head, draw horns facing forward and backward, then add some pointy ears.

Step 8: Round off the base of the horns then add some more ridgelines on the face, parallel to the jaw line. 

Step 9: Use shading to give form to the body shapes. You can also use small cup-shaped marks to give the impression of reptilian skin. The dragon Marco has drawn for this step-by-step guide is rendered completely in 2B pencil, but you can use coloured pencils to give yours its own unique markings.

Step 10: The final task is to add the legs on the other side of the dragon’s body and create a shadow. And you’re done! Now you know how to draw a dragon. 

What to Try

How to Draw Mythical Creatures: Mermaid

This mermaid is drawn with colour pencil, which helps give the impression she’s swimming underwater. If you want to learn how to draw something a little easier with colour pencils, first try a rose as shown in How to Draw Flowers: A Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Using a HB or 2B graphite pencil, draw an oval shape for the mermaid’s head and a rectangle for her upper torso in the proportions shown in the image above. Link the two with a line for the neck.

Step 2: Using simple rectangles, draw in the arms then the hand shapes. Check the proportions and angles as you go.

Step 3: The lower torso is also represented as a rectangle, with lines leading from it to the hips.

Step 4: Draw an oval just below the lower torso. This will help give the line from the torso through to the curve of the tail.

Step 5: Another smaller oval completes the other line of the tail.

Step 6: Add guidelines around the head to help to position the eyes, nose and mouth.

Step 7: Draw in the shape of the mermaid’s hair.

Step 8: Begin building a more muscular structure around the shoulders and arms.

Step 9: Continue working on the torso around the bikini top. Also add a line for the lower edge of the rib cage. A belly button is drawn below that. Continue to refine the lines of the tail.

Step 10: Build the muscular structure of the lower arms which thicken at some points. Look carefully at the image, taking note of each shape that makes up the hands and fingers before drawing them in. It’s time to complete the tail with a fin.

Step 11: Switch over to colour pencils. In the example, Marco has kept the colours cool – in blue and green shades – to give the impression of the mermaid being underwater. 

Begin building the skin colour in the areas where there are mid-range tones. Use a light coverage of yellow, moving to orange, red and pink in some places. These colours can also be put in the shadows, but leave the highlights (the lightest areas) as bare white paper.

The shadows mainly use cooler or complementary colours. Mixing and overlaying the complementaries, such as yellow and purple, will give the duller, darker colour required in the shadows. Here are some examples of complementary colours: yellow and purple; orange and blue; and red and green.

Slowly build up the colour a little at a time.

Step 12: When you get to the tail, use some brighter pinks and purples – and perhaps even some touches of red – along with the cooler colours. Think about how some fish seem to have multicoloured scales, especially when they’re moving through the water. Following the form and curve of the tail, use lines and crisscrossing to give a hint of texture.

That’s it! You now know how to draw a mermaid. When you feel confident, you can use this method of arranging shapes to draw more mermaids in different poses.

What to Try

SEE ALSO: How to Draw Animals: A Step by Step Guide

How to Draw Mythical Creatures: Unicorn

This step-by-step guide teaches kids how to draw a unicorn.

This legendary creature, with a single twisted horn on its head, is – would you believe? – the national animal of Scotland. In the fifteenth century, Scottish kings embraced the legend as a symbol of purity and power. Now you can learn how to draw a unicorn with Marco’s easy step-by-step tutorial. 

Hot Tip: The added bonus of learning how to draw a unicorn is that, by simply leaving the horn off, you’ve also learned how to draw a horse.

Step 1: Using a HB or 2B pencil, lay down the structural lines shown in the image above, using the same angles and the same positioning on your page.

Steps 2–4: One by one, draw the shape of the head, shapes for the neck and the body shape. Then draw the back leg closest to you. Observe the proportions of each line, their angles and how they relate to each other.

Step 5: Add the far back leg.

Step 6: In the image, Marco has shifted the left contour of the closest back leg forward and away from the structural line to give it its final shape.

Step 7: Add the horn (called an alicorn), the eyes, nostril, mouth, ears, front legs and tail.

Steps 8–11: Change to charcoal pencil to add the shading – what artists call tone. Use shorter lines and you’ll be able to avoid most blending and smudging.

Step 12: Gradually build up the tones and textures. Finish with some minor erasing to soften the lighter areas.

How was that? Do you feel as though you know how to draw a unicorn? Remember that practice makes perfect. So come back to our step-by-step guides and have another go.

What to Try

SEE ALSO: Why Colouring in Is Good for Kids