How to draw a Komodo Dragon

I first heard about the Komodo Dragon when I saw one at the shed aquarium in third grade on a girl scout trip. I was fascinated by the name, how still it sat, and the documentaries telling us how dangerous a creature it was. One of the zookeepers gave it a piece of meat on a target, and that was the only time it moved the whole time we were there. I’ve never been able to forget that day and the awe this creature inspired. While it does not breath fire, it truly is a dragon. That’s why I chose the Komodo Dragon to be the animal for K in the book. I chose to have it lying down and relaxing because that’s what it does when it’s not hunting, and in a children’s book interesting but relaxing is what you want to go for. So without further ado, here’s how to draw a Komodo Dragon like the one in the book!

Step 1

We will start by drawing the chest of the Komodo dragon. Draw a circle. Make sure that you know the size of this circle. We will call the diameter 1 unit and use it to determine the proportions of the rest of the creature. When positioning this circle on the page to make sure the whole picture will fit, make sure you leave a square of space whose edges are at least 1 unit away from all sides of the circle.

Step 2

For the hips: Slightly up and to the left of the first circle, draw a circle with a 5/8th unit diameter whose edge touches the first circle.

Step 3

Starting slightly below the center of the shoulders, draw a curve that connects on a tangent to the hips. From that point draw an S that ends 5/8ths of a unit up and to the right.

Step 4

Next, we will draw the legs. Map out the front legs by drawing two 3/8th unit diameter circles, 3/8ths of a unit away from the edge of the chest, at an approximately a 120 degree angle from one another. You can easily estimate a 120 degree angle by dividing the chest into thirds.

Step 5

Connect the circles to form the legs. The komodo dragon is generally rather fat, so draw a fatty foot pad beneath the front paws by creating a semi-squareish curve slightly beneath the circles. Connect the bottom of the legs to this curve rather than the circle.

Step 6

On each paw draw five claws. To draw a claw make a teardrop shape. To draw a claw behind another claw, Draw a curve from the back of the front claw, approximately parallel to it. Then connect it back and up to the first claw with a curve.

Step 7

Use curves to flesh out the body. On the tail and continuing up the back, lines above the S ridge should be closer to it than lines below to give a bit of perspective, and get further away from it as they get closer.

Step 8

Now for the head. Draw a circle with a 2/4th of a unit diameter, with the lower edge 1/8th of a unit below the chest.

Step 9

For the rest of the head, we will draw three circles. The nose will have a 3/8th unit diameter, and have an edge that touches the line. The ridges will be marked by two circles centered on the edge of the base head, at a 90 degree angle from one another, with a 1/4th unit diameter.

Step 10

Smooth out the edges to make the final outline of the head.

Step 11

Erase the interior lines. As you erase the spine, draw spikes along it. The spikes should always be pointed up and very slightly back along the spine (see yellow arrows). They should also get smaller as they go back.

Step 12

Now to draw the face.
Draw a curve parallel to the bottom of the face but very, very slightly shifted to the right (or left if your komodo dragon appears to be facing that way instead,) and a shifted up a little. At the end of that you can make him smile by curving the end away from the edge.
The nostrils are two ovals tilted away from each other.
To make the eyes, draw two obtuse angles facing away from each other, then underneath each draw an oval. Play around with this a little till you’re happy, because the slightest change in angle or line thickness will completely change the facial expression.

Step 13

Komodo dragons are only one color, but have bumpy scales. So, texture is key for coloring. Dot a variety of browns and greys to suggest the bumpy texture. Make the claws white. Greyish teal will do nicely to suggest their signature deadly drool. This is because making it white like it is in the real world will make it look either like a scale pattern or very shiny and won’t be recognizable as drool.

Step 14

Lastly add shading!

So that’s how you draw a Komodo dragon!

In the book I drew her hanging out on the beach, after all she is an island creature. It was difficult to find a place to hide the letter on this page because she and the poem took up so much of it. You always have to be careful about not having anything important near the margins where it might get cut off during printing. Not only that, but Komodo Dragons and everything else on the beach are so round that it is hard to hide a sharp letter like K. I had to get quite creative with hiding this one. All in all, this was a fun page to write.

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