Sunday, 10 May 2015

How To Draw: Lizards and Snakes

I have seen plenty of reptiles this past week. From adders to slow-worms to lizards, they were all out basking in the sun. I have to be honest, I don't draw reptiles that often. So I thought for today's How To Draw, I will get back into practice and draw them. In the UK, we have 6 native species; adder, grass snake, smooth snake, sand lizard, common lizard and  slow-worm. The slow-worm may look like a snake, but is actually a legless lizard, but is drawn in the same way as a snake.

Stage One
I will first show you how to draw a lizard and a snake (a common lizard and a grass snake). For the lizard, draw a large oval for the body, a small oval for the head and a long line for the tail. As I am drawing a snake basking in a knot, drawing it is a little tricky. It could be confusing to draw from the head and work your way round each coil. Instead, draw an oval for the head and draw the outline of the shape it's body is making. In this case, it is a bow tie shape or a figure of eight. A snake on the move is much easier to draw; a oval for the head with a long straight or curvy body that narrows at the end for the tail.

Stage Two
Next, draw around the tail of your lizard and draw in the legs and basic details such as the eye and body stripes. The snake is much trickier as you draw the body under and over itself. Start at the head. Using the outline to help you, you can draw each curve of it's body within it and connecting these curves to the outline. Think of it as a dot-to-dot. Once you have done each coiled section of the body, you can now improve it or add lines referencing light areas of the snake's underside, etc.

Stage Three

Re-draw the outlines in pen and shade in the pair of them. Mark out the stripes or any other patterns along their bodies.

Stage Four

Colour in however you like, though common lizards are usually brown and grass snakes are green and yellow.

Stage One
My next and final drawing for today is a close up of an adder. I create an oval for the head and a sausage-shape for the section of body that is showing. I begin drawing the detail around the head first. Using a line for the jawline, I could work out where to place the eye and nostril. Then I scribbled the scales and shaded the head and body markings in. I also scribbled in the leaf litter surrounding it and shaded in a branch.

Stage Two

Use a pen to go over the pencil markings. I created scales to the side of the body with a series of light circular motioned scribbles.

Stage Three

Lastly, I coloured the adder in. Red for the eye, a blend of yellow and brown for the body and yellows, browns and greens for the leaf litter. I went over the leaf litter with a pen and added the forked tongue for the snake.

And that concludes my session on reptiles. I hope you will go out and find some for yourselves. They are beautiful creatures and are great subjects to draw. If your afraid of snakes, have a go at drawing them and hopefully, you will find that they are nothing to be scared of. 

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