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Reference - Western Dragon Anatomy

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Flat-Colored Anatomy Reference Sheet for feral Western Dragons!

I did this piece in tandem with the Anatomy Ref Sheet for Dutch Angel Dragons I posted recently for the Field Guide presented at Anthrocon '16, but this is something I'd wanted to do for a long time!  This is run-down of the anatomy features of common leather-winged Western dragons!  (Friendly reminder, there ARE DIFFERENCES in the anatomy between feather-winged and leather-winged dragons!  More on that later, folks!)

This Anatomy Ref covers the most common type of Western Dragons, those oft-featured in Medieval European manuscripts and lore.  While your specific dragons and characters may have different features and proportions, this is just a basic guide that covers many of their unique features and those they often share, especially for dragons of the leather-winged variety.

Once the Dutch Angel Dragon Field Guide is up and downloadable on the official website, you'll recognize this dragon across the pages!  This is to help folks compare and contrast the unique features between Westies and the specific open-yet-regulated species, Dutch Angel Dragons.

I will be posting several compare-and-contrast pages I've made for online viewing, as well as some pages displaying the differences in anatomy between feather- and leather-winged Westies - stay tuned!  I'm also in the process of working on similar Anatomy Refs like this for Wyverns and Eastern Long as well!



Dragon character isn't a specific character in particular, just a tough-looking scaly guy that made a great example of the 'traditional' Western-morph. :D  And also, I'd been working on so many feathers lately, scales were a fun change of pace!


(Friendly reminder that 'Western Dragon' typically refers to dragons with an anatomy of four limbs and two wings.  Your own species and dragon characters may vary widely in appearance and ability than this dragon shown here!  The only limit to designing your own dragons is your imagination - don't limit yourself and don't ever think that there's a 'set in stone' way or 'required features' to make a dragon character that you refer to as a 'Western Dragon,' as these dragons have been around in lore for centuries! ;D )


You may reference this guide for your own dragon characters! This was created with the intention of spreading more knowledge of the general features of this species, and to help folks!
However, if you heavily reference this, you must provide credit. You are not authorized to trace, alter, distribute, or otherwise use this work without explicit permission from myself. Unauthorized use has a zero tolerance policy.

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Comments36
anonymous's avatar
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Idunno9's avatar

Cool image. I was wondering, would the dragon's wings have a wide-enough range of motion to allow them to be used to launch off the ground?


That's how giant pterosaurs took off, basically pole vaulting into the air, similar to a vampire bat, and that allowed them to simultaneously increase the power available for taking off and flapping the wings.

morion87's avatar
Found this by accident. Glad I did. I'm just getting back into dragons now.
Rykaran's avatar
Okay this might be a bit old, but nevertheless it is very helpful and wonderfully illustrated. Great drawings. It helps to make some things aware. For example the skins near the heels and elbows.
The explanation of the "hairs" on the wings was also very interesting. I'll think about it.

It's great to have artist which take the time to draw such a reference. Should I ever have the patience to start drawing, then one day I surely take this as inspiration.
TwilightSaint's avatar
Lady-LaClaire's avatar
I love the layering going on here demonstrating the differences between dragon races.
DeltaOfTheSeaNight's avatar
You forgot the organs
StardustAstro's avatar
thank you for this 
SpiritDragonTano's avatar
This is so helpful, thanks ! :D
VickyVild's avatar
Great stuff! It's a real pleasure to study through this, it's very handy for many purposes!
Thank you for doing this! It'll more than likely help me overcome a few writing and character design blockers in the future!
Alaskanay's avatar
This is very handy! Wonderful job!
Zgerken's avatar
Awesome! A really instructive piece!
Zgerken's avatar
HeeshDraggie's avatar
Awesome! This is really useful! :D
flutter-butter55678's avatar
Robyn-The-Dragon's avatar
I've always really enjoyed how well you display the wings. Believable, yet aesthetically pleasing to the eye- it's an incredibly hard body part to draw for me personally. Anyway, keep up the great work! :) 
TwilightSaint's avatar
anonymous's avatar
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