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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:
 
:iconartica-blue:
Artica-Blue Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Wow I read this and oml how have I not looked at this to help me. The tips and what you said made me feel like I know more about the anatomy of dragons of all sorts. This just takes my breath away😍🐉
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy it can help! 💙
Reply
:iconblauusagi:
BlauUsagi Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2017  New Deviant Student General Artist
AWESOME!
It might help me pwp 
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconblauusagi:
BlauUsagi Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2017  New Deviant Student General Artist
No! I thank you for this tutorial because I LOVE DRAGONSS QwQ
Reply
:iconh4ruk4:
H4ruk4 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, this tutorial was awesome! Think I'm going to draw A LOT the next weeks ^-^
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! <3
Reply
:icontoxicwildcat:
ToXicWildcat Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2016  Student Digital Artist
If I had a four armed dragon that had wings also, how would I do that? Would it still be in normal places with an additional arm coming from the socket at the front along with the original arm or would it have to be someplace else? Like further down the torso or could it be just behind the original arm socket?
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The second set of arms would have to be set farther back behind the first set. Similar to the wings, they'd need their own muscles and bones, and thus space for those muscles and bones without interfering with the other limbs. ^^. The torso would have to be lengthened just a bit.
Reply
:iconchibi-dragoness:
Chibi-Dragoness Featured By Owner May 28, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
OMG can I just say I am practicing using this as a guide line and I feel like im making progress. Thank you thank you thank you!
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner May 29, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's great to hear! ^^
Reply
:iconslon1:
slon1 Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2016
Thanks! 
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Mmhmm!
Reply
:iconamericanblackserpent:
AmericanBlackSerpent Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This was awesome help! I may be good at dragon art already, but I want to be amazing, and this will help me greatly to get there! Thanks for this awesome tutorial! >3<
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! 
Reply
:iconamericanblackserpent:
AmericanBlackSerpent Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yup! :)
Reply
:iconyang-sama:
Yang-sama Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2016  Student General Artist
this is very helpful and the anatomy is beautiful 
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! ^^
Reply
:iconlibertades:
Libertades Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
How about 3 fingers for hind paws? Would that count as an incorrect anatomy representation or the number of fingers a dragon's hind paws can have can vary?
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, no way. ^^ I just normally give my dragons 4-5 digits, since I base them off of some mammalian traits.  But I've also worked with dragon species with 2-6+ digits.  
Reply
:iconlibertades:
Libertades Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice to know, thanks!
Reply
:iconthedragongirl66:
thedragongirl66 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I use this for all my newer dragon art! (None of which is uploaded yet…) and I have improved greatly! Thanks so much! (same with your "Scales Made Simple") Are going to make more dragon tutorials?
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's wonderful to hear! ^^  And yep, I'm planning on updating my older Tuts, (Dragon Feet, and Scales,) and making more tuts that focus on different aspects of anatomy such as wings, heads, etc.
Reply
:iconthedragongirl66:
thedragongirl66 Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! Keep up the great work, I can't wait to see more.
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank ya, will do!
Reply
:iconthedragongirl66:
thedragongirl66 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
who is that angel dragon i forgot its name
Reply
:icontwilightsaint:
TwilightSaint Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That would be my Sniper. B) <3
Reply
:iconthedragongirl66:
thedragongirl66 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
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 Feb 4, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh wow, that's cool!  Small world, haha. :D  And yep, Sniper is my beb!
Reply
:iconthedragongirl66:
thedragongirl66 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
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
:iconheeshdraggie:
HeeshDraggie Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Very brilliant tutorial! So much put into this, it's so useful! Astonishing <3
Reply
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