Drawing Mythical Creatures: A Step-by-Step Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Gather Drawing Materials
  2. Choose Mythical Creature
  3. Outline Basic Shape
  4. Add Detailed Features
  5. Sketch Texture and Patterns
  6. Ink the Drawing
  7. Erase Pencil Lines
  8. Add Color
  9. Add Shadows and Highlights
  10. Sign and Date Your Artwork

Have you ever wanted to bring a mythological creature soaring off your page and into the sky? If you're ready to take your artistic skills to new heights, this is the guide for you. We'll journey together through the process of illustrating a mythological creature in flight. By the end, you'll know exactly how to draw a mythological creature in flight. Let's get started!

Gather Drawing Materials

Before we take off on our artistic adventure, let's make sure we have everything we need. Here's a quick and easy-to-follow list of drawing materials you'll need:

  • Pencil: Any regular HB pencil will work, but if you want to get a bit fancy, consider using a mechanical pencil. It's perfect for sketching out the basic shape of our creature.
  • Eraser: Let's face it, even the best artists make little mishaps. A good quality eraser will help you correct any errors without leaving a smudge behind.
  • Drawing Paper: You don't need anything super pricey. Any medium weight drawing paper will do.
  • Ink Pens: These will come in handy when we start adding details. Choose different tip sizes if you can, to vary line thickness.
  • Colored Pencils, Markers, or Watercolors: Choose your favorite medium to bring your creature to life with color.
  • Blending Stump: If you're using pencils, this tool is a lifesaver for smooth shading.
  • Reference Images: If you're drawing a known mythical creature, like a dragon or a griffin, it's helpful to have a few images for reference. You can find these in books or even just do a quick internet search for "mythological creature in flight".

Now that we've got all our drawing tools, let's start creating! Next stop: picking the perfect mythological creature to put in flight.

Choose Mythical Creature

Ready to let your imagination fly? Great! Now, it's time to decide which mythological creature you're going to draw. There's a whole sky full of possibilities!

Maybe you're drawn to the majestic dragon, with its powerful wings and fiery breath. Or perhaps the elegant, bird-like phoenix, reborn from its own ashes, speaks to your artistic soul. You might even fancy the elusive Pegasus, the noble winged horse of Greek mythology.

Remember, the sky's the limit here. And don't worry if the creature you choose doesn't usually fly. This is your artwork, and in your world, anything is possible! Maybe you fancy a flying unicorn, or even a winged lion? Go for it!

Once you've chosen your creature, try to visualize it in flight. This will help you capture the dynamics of its movement in your drawing. Think about how its wings would move, how its body would twist and turn in the air, and how it would look from different angles.

Now, with your creature chosen and your imagination fueled, we're ready to move on to the next step: outlining the basic shape. We're getting closer to learning how to draw a mythological creature in flight!

Outline Basic Shape

Alright, now that you've picked your mythical creature, let's start giving it form on paper. Don't fret about details just yet, we'll focus on the basic shape first—think of it as the skeleton of your drawing.

Start by sketching a rough outline of the creature's body. If it's a dragon, maybe you want to start with a long, sinuous shape for the body. If it's a phoenix, perhaps an elegant, curved shape like a swan's neck will do. Remember, this is just the base, so don't worry if it doesn't look perfect.

Next, let's add those wings that will make your creature soar. Depending on the creature you've chosen, the wings might stretch out wide or hug close to the body. Try to capture the movement of flight in the position of the wings—up for a powerful downstroke, down for a graceful glide, or somewhere in between.

Lastly, add the head and tail to your creature. Again, keep it simple. A circle or oval can work for the head, and a simple line for the tail. Now, step back and look at your drawing. You've just outlined a mythical creature in flight!

With the basic shape finished, you're ready to move to the next step on your journey of how to draw a mythological creature in flight—adding detailed features to bring your creature to life.

Add Detailed Features

Alright, now that we've got the basic shape down, it's time to make your creature really come alive. This is where you can have some fun and let your imagination run wild.

Start with the head. Add eyes, a mouth, and other facial features. For example, if you're drawing a dragon, you might add sharp teeth poking out from its mouth, and perhaps a pair of horns or a crown of spikes on its head. If it's a griffin, you might add a beak and some fierce, eagle-like eyes. Remember, these are mythical creatures, so there's no right or wrong—just make sure to keep the features consistent with the creature's overall shape and style.

Next, move on to the body. Add muscles, scales, fur, feathers, or whatever fits your creature best. Try to imagine how these textures would look in flight. How would the wind rustle a phoenix's feathers? How would a dragon's scales catch the light?

Don't forget to add claws or talons to your creature's feet. These can be a great way to show off your creature's power and majesty. Finally, give some attention to the tail. It might be long and whip-like, or short and feathery. It could even be a second set of wings!

And there you have it, your flying mythical creature is starting to take shape. In the next step, we'll add even more depth and detail to your drawing.

Sketch Texture and Patterns

Textures and patterns are what make your mythical creature look real. They give depth to your drawing, making it seem like you could reach out and touch the creature's scales, fur, or feathers. So, let's dive in and learn how to draw a mythological creature in flight with textures and patterns.

First, focus on the wings. If you're drawing a dragon, you might want to sketch scales on the wings. For a griffin or phoenix, you'd likely use feathers. Try to imagine how the texture would flow with the shape of the wing. This can be tricky, but take your time and don't rush.

Next, let's talk about patterns. Patterns add an extra layer of complexity to your creature. For instance, you can sketch stripes on a dragon's tail or spots on a griffin's body. The pattern could even be something as simple as a gradient of color, with the creature's scales or feathers darkening towards the tips.

Remember to keep the texture and patterns consistent when the creature is in flight. The wind might ruffle feathers or flatten fur, and the movement could cause the pattern to shift or stretch. Keep these details in mind, and your drawing will look all the more realistic for it.

Great job! With the textures and patterns complete, we're ready to move on to the next step: inking the drawing.

Ink the Drawing

Now that you've successfully sketched your creature and added the textures and patterns, it's time to bring your mythical creature to life. Inking is a critical step in learning how to draw a mythological creature in flight, so let's get started.

First, choose a pen that gives you a good range of line weights. This can help emphasize certain parts of your drawing. For instance, you might use a heavier line for the outline of the creature and a lighter line for the details.

Next, start tracing over your pencil lines with the pen. Be careful not to smudge the ink as you go along! Go slow and steady—remember, the race isn't to the swift, but to the careful.

As you ink, pay attention to the flow of the lines. This is particularly important for a creature in flight. The lines should suggest movement and grace, so try to keep them smooth and flowing.

Finally, let your inked drawing dry. You don't want to smudge your hard work, do you? Once dry, you're ready for the next step: erasing the pencil lines.

See, wasn't that fun? Just a few more steps and you'll have a fantastic drawing of a mythological creature in flight.

Erase Pencil Lines

The inking stage is done and dusted—good job! Now, we are onto the next step of our guide on how to draw a mythological creature in flight, which is erasing the pencil lines.

Grab your trusty eraser, but make sure it's clean. A dirty eraser can leave unwanted marks on your drawing. Gently erase the pencil lines without touching the inked parts. Remember, we're not trying to scrub the paper clean—we're just making the pencil lines vanish.

Pro tip: Hold the paper at an angle to the light. This will help you see any leftover pencil lines. If you spot any, erase them carefully.

Now, take a step back and admire your art. Without the pencil lines, your drawing of a mythological creature in flight should start to stand out. Can you see it soaring through the sky? Good, because we are not done yet. There's still more to add to our masterpiece, so let's keep going!

Add Color

Great work on erasing those pencil lines! Now, let's breathe life into our mythological creature in flight by adding some color to it.

Whether you're using colored pencils, markers, or watercolors, pick your colors carefully. Consider the creature's habitat, its mythical characteristics, and the story you want to tell. Is it a fiery dragon in flight, or a majestic Pegasus soaring through the sky?

Start with lighter shades, gradually building up to the darker ones. This way, you not only add depth to your drawing but also have the flexibility to correct any color mishaps.

Remember to color in the direction of the texture or the shape of the object. For example, for feathers, color in the direction of the feather growth. This will give your creature a more realistic look.

And there you have it! With a bit of color, your drawing of a mythological creature in flight has taken on a whole new dimension. But hold on, we're not done yet. There's still more magic to be added!

Add Shadows and Highlights

Wow, your mythological creature in flight is really starting to come to life. Let's add more depth to it with some shadows and highlights.

Shadows and highlights are the secret ingredients that make your drawing pop from the paper. They create a 3D effect, making your creature look like it's really flying off the page.

First, imagine where your light source is. Is it the sun? A moon? Or maybe a mythical fireball? Once you've figured that out, you'll know where to place your shadows and highlights. The parts of your creature closest to the light source will be lighter, while the parts further away will be darker.

Use a darker shade of your base color for the shadows and a lighter one for the highlights. Be gentle with your strokes and blend the colors well. Remember: shadows are not just about darkness, they're about depth. And highlights are not just about light, they're about shine.

Now, take a step back and look at your drawing. See how those shadows and highlights make your creature look like it's really in flight? That's the power of good shading and highlighting.

Sign and Date Your Artwork

Finally, the moment of glory has arrived! It's time to sign and date your artwork. This is an important step in how to draw a mythological creature in flight, or really any piece of art.

Why is this so important, you ask? Well, signing your artwork is like saying, "I did this. I'm proud of it." It's a stamp of honour for all the hard work and creativity you've poured into your drawing. Plus, it helps others identify your work in the future.

So, where should you sign? Typically, artists sign at the bottom right corner of the artwork. But remember, this is your masterpiece. You can sign wherever you feel best reflects you. Some artists even hide their signatures within the drawing itself, turning it into a fun little game for viewers.

And don't forget to date your work! Years from now, when you're flipping through your old sketches, you'll appreciate being able to remember exactly when you created each piece. Trust me, it's a beautiful thing to see how your skills have evolved over time.

So grab your pen, take a deep breath, and sign your masterpiece. Remember, this is not the end. It's just the beginning of your journey in drawing mythological creatures in flight. So, what will you draw next?

If you enjoyed our step-by-step guide on drawing mythical creatures and want to further explore the world of fantastical beings, don't miss the 'Inventing Gods & Monsters' workshop by Cat Johnston. This workshop will take you on a creative journey, teaching you how to invent and design your own gods and monsters through a variety of techniques and exercises. Expand your imagination and bring your mythical creations to life!