Drawing Snakes and Lizards - How to Draw Reptiles For the Beginner

Drawing snakes or lizards could be tricky because of the details in their bodies and their unique forms. The key is to start with the simplest form as an initial depiction of the subject and just gradually modify the shape along the way. Applying color tones and shades help for portraying the dimensions of the body, including the subtle ridges, spines and scales. 
One good example is the Armadillo girdled lizard. Here's how it's done.
  • Convey the basic shape of the armadillo girdled lizard.

Draw a basic sketch of the subject’s shape to establish its mass and figure proportions.

  • Draw the texture outline.

An armadillo’s body is cover with a thick armor, segmented from its neck and down to its tail. Establish the segments of the armor and how it spikes out of your primary outline sketch. The head of the subject is also armored, with short spikes at back of its head forming a crown. 

  • Apply shading to the sides of the figure to portray the dimensions.

Place some shades on the certain portions of the figure (at the sides of its body, right beneath each segments and at the back of its crown). This will produce a darker value when you overlap it with a color pencil.

  • Apply the first layer of the chosen color.

Further establish the contour shape of the subject by applying the first layer of its color. I am aiming for a brownish tone. Since the general color of the subject would be a shade of mahogany brown, the first layer would be a dark auburn brown.

The first layer of a single color with multiple values is usually the darkest of its shade. Overlapping a darker value is much easier and more visually natural compared to overlapping the lighter shade with a darker tone which often results to a diminished tone of the brighter value.

  • Overlap the first color layer with the general skin tone of your subject.

For the general brown shade of the subject, use scribbling hand strokes to fill up the figure.

  • Fill up/ burnish the colored areas with the lightest color value.

To obtain the lightest value of the color, overlap the previous color layers and certain highlighted areas with yellow. And you're done.


If you wish to see more examples and tips, grab a copy of "Drawing Snakes and Lizards - How to Draw Reptiles For the Beginner". The book contains several examples of drawing snakes and lizards with easy to follow instructions. If you are a beginner in search for a guide on how to draw these interesting creatures, then this is the book for you.




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