How to draw realistic dragonfly with this how-to video and step-by-step drawing instructions. Easy animals to draw for beginners and kids.
Please see the drawing tutorial in the video below
You can refer to the simple step-by-step drawing guide below
We can start by drawing a simple vertical line along the page with a pencil and a ruler. We want to create a simple line through the page to help us draw the dragonfly’s body symmetrically. From here we can start drawing the dragonfly’s head and body. A good suggestion is to take an image from the internet as a reference, however, that is not necessary.
The head and body or thorax can be depicted as a bean-shaped shape connected by two circles. The circles will be the eyes and the beans will be the body/chest of the dragonfly.
drawing dragonfly 03 The most important aspect to remember is keeping symmetry throughout the dragonfly’s shape and form. This means that the shape should be the same on both sides of the vertical line. We want to make sure that we draw two equal circles for the eyes and the body will look like a bean shape on either side of the vertical line.
drawing dragonfly 04 From there we can go down to the body structure of dragonfly drawing. When we create a realistic dragonfly drawing, using a reference image helps us to create the most accurate body shape possible.
In the next section, we want to draw the lower part of the chest, which can be described as an upside down cone.
draw dragonfly 05 The chest will flow into the narrow cerci of the dragonfly. The cerci resemble the long tail of a dragonfly, and its shape resembles a thin rod. This thin stick-like structure will have subtle protrusions and curves, which should be as symmetrical as possible either side of the vertical.
drawing dragonfly 06 Dragonflies can be thought of as totem pole-like structures that have a pattern on their cerci/tail structure. Again, use the reference image to see how you can draw these patterns, but you can also try making your own.
The main aspect to remember is to keep it symmetrical, which will give a realistic effect. Finally, the bottom part of the cerci has two downward facing horns.
We want to continue using our pencil, now we will proceed to draw the dragonfly’s legs. The first two legs will emerge from the eyes and have a delicate arched shape. Legs should be symmetrical on each side of the dragonfly.
The second pair of legs will follow suit and are shaped like the first, except they will grow out from either side of the chest.
draw dragonfly 07 The lower legs will point downward and perpendicular, growing from the bottom of the chest. These legs will be straight and not bent at the joints like the two above. Finally, all the pins can be divided into two parts, indicating that they have joints.
Sketch the wings
We’ll start with the top or front wings first, which can be drawn with our pencil. The shape of the wings can be thought of as spearheads growing from the sides of the chest in a horizontal fashion.
They must be the same length as the dragonfly’s entire body.
draw realistic dragonflies 09 Lower or hind wings will match and have the same shape, however, they will grow out from below the chest a bit. Both wings will have this spike shape and point slightly upwards instead of downwards. You want the wing to curve slightly upwards.
draw realistic dragonflies 10 When drawing the pattern of veins/webs inside the wings, we don’t need to worry about symmetry. The vein pattern of the wing will grow from the inside near the chest, then they will disperse throughout the wing.
drawing realistic dragonfly 11 These lines can be quite chaotic in the way they scatter through the structure of the wings. However, we wanted to make sure there were darker lines near the chest and thinner lines near the bottom of the wings.
The top line or edge of each wing must also be thicker and darker than the bottom line or edge of each wing.
You can play around how you allow lines to scatter in each wing. Try to remember that line structures can be sporadic and inconsistent looking like branches in a tree. However, as long as the thicker lines remain near the thorax and top of the wings.
draw realistic dragonflies 13 You want to spend time with wings, this is because you don’t want the wings to look symmetrical. However, you want to make sure that they follow the shape of the wing tip shape in the horizontal direction. In addition, all ribbed structures will curve downwards on the wing.
dragonfly sketch 15 You also don’t need to add too many lines inside the wing, as this can overwhelm features and won’t look good.
Again, it’s a good idea to look at pictures of dragonflies on the internet to get an accurate sense of how the wings are formed and how the veins are dispersed throughout the wings.
Shading the body with a ballpoint pen
Dragonflies are predominantly black and ballpoint pens are a great way to add shade while preserving the vivid dark tonal value in this insect. Welsh may start near the eyes and upper chest; we can make the eyes mostly black with a bit of white for brightness.
dragonfly sketch 16 As we move over the chest we can color around the patterns inside the body where we can make some areas in the chest darker and others a little lighter . We wanted to make sure we left the patterns on the chest free from shadows, though we could add small dots to suggest texture. For the legs, you can color with a ballpoint pen, but try to leave white spots here and there.
This will give the legs a more three-dimensional quality as it will suggest gloss on the smooth exoskeleton. Around the chest, you can add small lines to give the dragonfly feather quality.
dragonfly sketch 18 As we move down the full body structure, we can make it predominantly black with our ballpoint pen. That being said, we want to make sure that when we go over the chest and the cerci we don’t touch the samples.
dragonfly sketch 19 Dragonflies are mostly black, so you can simply paint the entire body/tail structure black. You want to make sure your color is around the patterns, leaving them white so that they contrast with the dragonfly’s black body.
dragonfly sketch 21 Again, think of a dragonfly’s cerci or tail as a totem figurine. You want to make sure that all the patterns are symmetrical and not touched with the ballpoint pen. You can add small dots.
Fill in the wings with a ballpoint pen
With the wings, the process is a bit simpler since we drew all the lines with a pencil. However, this time it will be simply going through all the lines with our pen. We want to darken and thicken the lines near the chest and along the top of the wings.
dragonfly illustration 23 We only want the lines near the chest to be thicker because this shows that the skeletal structure or veins are firmly and firmly attached to the chest. As they disperse through the wings, their structure becomes thin and faint.
The lines don’t need to be thick over the entire wing, just near the top and near the chest.
Near the tip of the wing, at the end of the spike, we can draw a dark mass called a pterostigma. These are the iconic features inside the dragonfly’s wings and are located at the top of all four wings, near the edge of each wing.
dragonfly illustration 25 You just want to spend some time reviewing the lines you drew with a pencil. Try to take your time and be careful, you don’t want any unwanted marks drawn with the pen. The wings should have a matte and subtle quality, which means the lines will be mostly light all over the wings. With your pen, you can also add in small diagonal lines, hinting at a mesh quality inside the wing. Dragonfly wings have a mesh structure; however, it is very faint in the wings.
Add some color
Now we can add some color to the dragonfly drawing with simple colored pencils. We can do this by choosing two colors, because dragonflies are never too colorful but have a set of two colors inside their bodies.