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Tutorial - Basic Dragon Anatomy 2015 by TwilightSaint Tutorial - Basic Dragon Anatomy 2015 by TwilightSaint
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UPDATED - 02NOV2015

A MUCH NEEDED overhaul of an old dragon anatomy guide as a Sponsored Commission by ImaFlippingNinja of FA.

The last version of this was done over two years ago, and when I realized it was /still/ the first submission that popped up when I searched my name, my skin crawled and I had to update it, haha.  This newer version is much more refined, accurate, neater, and overall much more comprehensive.

Just showing some basic muscle groups on a standard feral western dragon, and how these can be broken into easy shapes.  I hope this helps. ^^  I also threw in some additional colour-coded dragon pieces to show the 'basic shape groups' of dragons of varying anatomy.  If anyone has any questions on anything specific, let me know.  I am by no means an expert on animal anatomy, but I'll answer any and all questions to the best of my ability.

I will be making additional tutorials for more specific aspects such as basic dragon design, anthros/furries, updating my 'Dragon Feet' tutorial, and a wing-specific tutorial.  Anything in particular you think I should cover?  Throw a suggestion my way, or consider sponsoring a tutorial like this which will be fine-tuned for you!

Great resource for animal anatomical illustrations: digicoll.library.wisc.edu/WebZ…

Thanks, Ninja!

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Add a Comment:
 
:iconthedragongirl66:
thedragongirl66 Featured By Owner 5 days ago
who is that angel dragon i forgot its name
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That would be my Sniper. B) <3
Reply
:iconthedragongirl66:
thedragongirl66 Featured By Owner 5 days ago
oh okay

i love the color scheme :D

I found this DA account through your dragon tutorials and had no idea you owned that dragon
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh wow, that's cool!  Small world, haha. :D  And yep, Sniper is my beb!
Reply
:iconthedragongirl66:
thedragongirl66 Featured By Owner 4 days ago
lol, i love angel dragons <3
Reply
:iconalan-argente:
Alan-Argente Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2015
Thanks for this tutorial. :)
I was wondering if I was doing the wings wrong.
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Welcome! :)
Reply
:iconelstermond:
Elstermond Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I can't read the text,it's pixelized :c
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Click it three times.
Reply
:iconischalik:
Ischalik Featured By Owner Edited Nov 9, 2015   Traditional Artist
have you tried to zoom in?
Reply
:iconelstermond:
Elstermond Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes,but It stays pixelized (maybe because I'm on my phone)
Reply
:iconischalik:
Ischalik Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015   Traditional Artist
dann haste da ja deine Antwort :P
nen Smartföhn tut auch auf die kleine Fläche die Zahl an Pixeln, wies nen Fernseher bei ner Großen macht
(zumal das hier ausgedruckt gut 40cm x 170m sein können)
Reply
:iconelstermond:
Elstermond Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Na dann...danke für die Hilfe xD
Reply
:iconstardustmoonlight1:
StardustMoonlight1 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
omg thx, now i can draw a better dragon c: 
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy to hear it'll help!
Reply
:iconkidakins:
Kidakins Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Ahh, thank you so much for this!! It's not often I find a tutorial that's very easy to understand and follow along with. This one hit the bullseye for me, for sure! I felt immediate improvement in my drawings when I followed along here. It feels really nice and I actually feel happy with my drawing! ;u; Thanks again for this awesome tutorial.
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah wow, that's so great to hear! :D. I'm super happy it could help so much!
Reply
:iconsumoka:
Sumoka Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015
ahhh a proper dragon anatomy guide, wish this was available when i first started
very nice >w<
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! :>
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nicely done!  This is definitely a good guide for learners, and one that I will point out to others who are looking for early guidance.  I like the way you color-coded the major muscle groups, too.
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot, that's great to hear! And yah, I wanted to address each muscle group without 'chopping up' the dragon, y'know. Something I'm still learning is how the muscle groups connect and fold into one another, so I hope I conveyed that well in this. X)
Reply
:iconzmaj-dragon:
Zmaj-dragon Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Aw, man, this is beautiful! Thank you!
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great to hear! ^^. Thanks!
Reply
:iconzmaj-dragon:
Zmaj-dragon Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome. :)
Reply
:iconheesharts:
HeeshArts Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Very brilliant tutorial! So much put into this, it's so useful! Astonishing <3
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a bunch, Heesh! <3
Reply
:iconheesharts:
HeeshArts Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Nah, Thank you! <3 >v<
Reply
:iconmiguelofking:
MiguelofKing Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
awesome :D
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconmiguelofking:
MiguelofKing Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Yo're Welcome :D
Reply
:iconstephdragonness:
StephDragonness Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
have give u a clap.. its very impressive perspective to dragon anatomy
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! Just a combination of things I've learned over the years and from resources and help that folks have given me, all in a bite-sized tutorial package. ^^
Reply
:iconflashbackingartist00:
FlashbackingArtist00 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
If this tutorial isn't just the best idk anymore~~
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh wow, thank you! <3
Reply
:iconflashbackingartist00:
FlashbackingArtist00 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Anytime! <3
Reply
:iconsamuraidragon:
SamuraiDragon Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Hey! What a brilliant tutorial. Literally watching you for this right now, but after I've done busy life things I'll look at your gallery!
Thankyou! c:
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a bunch! ^^
Reply
:iconstormnobleheart:
StormNobleheart Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well done tutorial. I have been considering getting back into drawing lately and this has been helpful.
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconparkourdragon:
ParkourDragon Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015
Extremely awesome tutorial!
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank ya!
Reply
:iconruscsi:
RusCSI Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Gosh, it's so wonderful to see a good tutorial on dragons! I love the wing part the most, as people put the wings either on front (on neck... wtf? as you said, restricted movement + heavy front), on SHOULDERS (how does it even work), and very few stick to the balanced version, which I'm fond of (after the front legs, on back).

I seem to have problems with the chest area, do you happen to know any other good references/tutorials on that? Because it's really the only thing I can't seem to grasp properly uwu
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! ^^  Yeah, wing placement can be an enigma - I'm aware of different schools of thought, but am partial to placing the wings aft of the front limbs, (especially after going through a phase of putting them on the shoulder.  That'd be like having a whole other set of arms and shoulders right behind our own - lateral movement would be restricted something terrible.)  

I've actually seen some super-pro movie/game concept artists do the 'wings on the neck' placement, and it looked crazy, but they left enough room ahead of the front limbs that it could possibly work.  Then again, the dragon would need a long torso and heavy hindquarters and tail to balance all that weight out. *rubs aching neck*

Definitely check out the link to the veterinarian library I tossed in the description!  That's my go-to for looking how the muscle groups interact and connect in a pinch or thorough study.  Another thing I've found that helps is watching videos of animals in action, moreso leaner animals like greyhounds and hunting dogs, and also scenes of lionesses hunting, running, and jumping.  These animals are great examples to see the muscles bunching and moving in relation to one another since they're so muscular to begin with, and their fur is short enough that you can spot the muscles.  Horses are also really good for this!

Hmm, maybe I should a dragon chest/shoulders mini tut.  I've never actually seen a tutorial that talks about it in detail, much less addresses it in length.
Reply
:iconischalik:
Ischalik Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2015   Traditional Artist
woho

thanks Saint
it's a wonderful remake ^^
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! ^^
Reply
:iconischalik:
Ischalik Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2015   Traditional Artist
you're welcome
Reply
:iconjesterbells:
jesterbells Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2015
This is super helpful! Thank you so much!
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome!  Welcome so much!
Reply
:iconjesterbells:
jesterbells Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015
Clap 
Reply
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