A guide to colouring dragons

Do you want to create realistic dragons when colouring? Learn how to colour dragons with this handy tutorial guide. Colouring dragons is a great opportunity to get creative and try something new!

How to choose your colours

The sky is the limit when it comes to choosing what colours for your dragon. Many artists stick to darker, moodier shades, but you could pick something totally different and challenge yourself to make it fit the dragon aesthetic.

We recommend choosing your colours before you start colouring – you can use our colour palette challenges for inspiration, or read our guide on how to choose a colour scheme for your colouring page.

Using contrasting colours can be a really powerful way to make your dragon stand out – think of a dark, midnight blue dragon with a fiery ball of orange erupting from his jaws.

Create a story for your dragon

This might sound a bit silly, but it is certainly fun and can help us when choosing how to plan our approach to colouring the dragon.

For example, is this an old war dragon, who might have scales that are as hard as rock and will require us to colour with more texture or different line strokes? Or perhaps it’s a gentle beast with rubbery, bouncy scales that need a smooth and reflective finish.

By deciding a story, it can also help us master the dragon’s character when we fill in the eyes and portray a sense of their story.

How to colour fire

You can’t learn how to colour a dragon without learning how to colour the beautiful fiery flames they produce! Here’s a really helpful video tutorial from the Colouring Heaven YouTube channel about how to colour fire.

As well as understanding the techniques of colouring fire, you’ll want to scratch up on your knowledge of light sources, to ensure the flames look as though they are emitting a bright light. The video below is a really great place to start learning about light.

How to colour scales

When colouring scales, try to create a gradient of the same or different colours to make them look more realistic. One way to do this is to start at the top of scale and colour in small circular motions pushing down hard (but careful not to burnish) then as you fill out the rest of the scale, ease up on the pressure, this will make it look as though the scale has different layers without having to colour in several layers for all of the scales!

If you want to experiment using different colours you’ll need three shades: a highlight shade, mid-tone shade and the shadow/ darkest tone, these could be yellow, green and black for example. Make sure to do a swatch test first to see if the colours work well together before working on the page, if you’re not sure we have a handy free downloadable colour combination chart that can help you practice recording and refining your colour combinations.

How to colour dragon wings

A dragon’s wings are its most majestic and impressive feature. Think about whether the dragon is static, or in flight? When creating smooth even strokes around the wings this can imply that your dragon is static or in smooth flight, whereas creating blurry edges to its wings can look as though it’s just landed or is about to fly off.

If you want your dragon to have slightly translucent wings, like a dragonfly or a fairy, check out the video tutorial below.

How to colour a dragon’s eye

A dragon’s eye is really crucial to bringing your dragon’s character to life. Think back to the story you created for your dragon – are they kind, or evil? Are they intelligent, or a little air-headed? Use this to inform your choices around colour and technique for colouring their eyes.

Generally, a dragon’s eye will be bright and shiny with a slit for a pupil. They could be pretty much any colour you want, but yellow or orange always makes a brilliant impact.

Finish your dragon’s eye with a highlight detail using an eraser or a white marker pen, to give it realistic depth and dimension!

Add some glitter

Why not give your dragon a shiny sparkle with some glitter? They could have a glint in their eye or a touch of shimmer on their scales. Check out this tutorial for how to add glitter and sparkle to your colouring pages.

Dragon colouring pages

Now that you have some techniques under your wing, it’s time to start colouring some beautiful dragons! And the good news is we have lots of wonderful issues of Colouring Heaven to get you started. Here are our favourite issues of Colouring Heaven for dramatic dragon colouring pages…

To start off, take a look at our Colouring Heaven Dragons Special issue, featuring 40 intricate designs by fictional dragonologist Dr Ernest Drake!

For a roundup of all the best dragon designs from Colouring Heaven, you can order a copy of Colouring Heaven Presents Dragons Compendium issue.

Finally, for some more cutesy dragon characters, find 24 adorable designs by Lee Holland in our Colouring Heaven Quick & Easy Cute Little Dragons issue.

Examples of dragon colouring pages.

Images from Dragons Compendium, Dragons Special and Cute Little Dragons.

Have fun!

With colouring in general and especially with colouring dragons and other magical creatures, there are no rules! Be sure to have fun with your colouring and allow yourself room to explore and get creative with it. We love seeing all of your amazing colouring and can’t wait to see what you make!

If you like our how to colour guides, check out our guide on how to colour mermaids, how to colour fairies and how to colour a unicorn.

Coloured a beautiful page and want to share it with your friends and family? Take a look at this article about how to photograph colouring pages.

Stay in touch

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