How to Draw a Blue-eyed Darner Dragonfly Easily

  • Make reference lines in shape of a ‘t’.

Draw a vertical line to define the length of the body, and then draw two slanted lines on both side from the upper area of the vertical line, forming a broken ‘t’. The slanted lines would represent the length of the forewings.

  • Use ovals of different length and sizes to define the body figure.

The thickest part of the body should be the thorax/chest. Use a grain shaped oval for the thorax, and a thin oblong significantly longer than the thorax for the tail/abdomen. Add a half of a circle at the top for the head.

  • Draw the wings.

The lower outlines of a dragonfly’s wings are usually rounder or more sloped than the upper outlines. the forewings are like a grain shaped oval split in half. Make two sloped lines coming from the upper center of the thorax and connect them to the tip of the diagonal lines. The hindwings are relatively thicker than the forewings. Start by drawing another pair of diagonal lines right below the previous ones. Unlike the forewings’ shape, the hindwings are more like quarter slices of apple with the thicker half of them resided at the center. Add the appendages or curved spikes at the tip of the abdomen while you’re at it.

  • Properly define the main outline of the dragonfly.

Add some slight curves to the upper outlines of the wings. Connect each parts to obtain the proper outline of the dragonfly’s figure. Add the segments of the abdomen as well. These segments would create some ridges to the outline of the abdomen.

 

  • Once the main outline of the dragonfly’s figure is made, erase the reference line marks.

You need the figure clean so you could place the details neatly. Keep in mind that the division of the big eyes and other head features are also established by the vertical reference line. Add one more curve line on each segments of the abdomen, like rings tucked tightly around it.

  • Draw the inner details of the dragonfly.

The details of a blue-eyed darners are intricate. Like most dragonflies, the veins on the from median –flexion line (upper portion of the wings) up to the upper margins are closer to one another. The veins don’t spread much and all leads to the tip of the wings, while the veins starting from the middle and across the rest of the wings are arced and spread downwards. The thorax has small spots and patches uniform on both sides. Smaller dots are aligned at the center and longer markings are near the sides.

Each sections of the segmented abdomen mostly has three markings. It is ringed with  bars outlining the segments, and the bars meet at the center of each segments like intersecting spikes and arcs. the abdomen also has a thin marking that intersects each segments. The last 3 sections could have a different mark formations. The third of the last sections has more like a heart-shaped form instead of rings, while the second and last sections could have semi-triangular bars.

  • Once you are satisfied with the line work, retrace them using a pen.

Replace the outlines using a permanent marker. The outlines defining the shape of the dragonfly should be thicker, while the inner outlines of the details and prints should be retraced by thinner and finer line marks.

  • Color some of the rings on the segments of the tail with black, and shade the other black sections as well while you’re at it.

Beginning from the tip of he thorax, blacken the intersecting rings on each segments of the abdomen. Take note that not all the rings would intersect (like the second segment) and not all have the same thickness. Darken the mouth and define the dark bar on the upper margin of the wings (pterostigma) .

  • Apply the blue color of the blue-eyed darner.

Remember that the wings are transparent, so you would color across it. Use two shades of blue to convey the dimensions of the dragonfly. Use something like sky blue or azure for the brighter tone, and steel blue for a darker value. Color the small markings and the lowest section of the thorax, so as the lower sections of the abdomen segments. The mouth should also be blue. Fill these sections with the bright blue, and then overlap the round edges with the darker blue value.

  • Color the eyes and some portions across the body.

The eyes have a different shade of blue compared to the body. Use royal blue as a base color, then shade the edges with a darker tone like steel blue. Add some shimmer on the eyes using cerulean blue.  Use pale blue on the small areas rowed the abdomen as well.

  • Fill the remaining areas of the body with brown.

Color the rest of the remaining areas of the body with brown. Use a value like umber brown.

  • Add darker values on the brown areas to convey the contour shape of the body.

Overlap the edges of the brown areas using a darker tone like umber brown. The thorax has ridges and shallow slopes. This can be contour by applying the dark brown below the inner outlines of the details. The brown areas would look better if it has a warmer mid tone. apply a faint layer of caramel brown where the darker and brighter brown meet, especially on the segments of the abdomen.

  • Finally, finish the drawing by adding faint shades.

With a very light hand stroke, apply some shades to the wings by following the veins to section them out. apply some finished shades on the body as well, especially on the edges of next to the main outlines. And you are done drawing a blue-eyed darner.

More step-by-step drawing tutorials are available in our books https://l2draw.com/collections/drawing-for-beginners. Each book is categorized by different subjects for drawing, all explained in a way that non-experienced individuals could easily follow and learn to draw.

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