Learn how to draw a dragonfly with their delicate wings and body parts. They are one of the most beautiful insects around!
What is a Dragonfly?
Dragonflies are insects that have long bodies, transparent wings, and large eyes. They are some of the fastest flying insects in the world reaching speeds of over 30 miles per hour. They can even hover in one place, and fly backwards.
An adult has three distinct segments, as do all insects, the head, thorax, and abdomen. The dragonfly’s head is large with very short antennae. The dragonfly’s eyes are two large round shapes that are actually made up of thousands of smaller eyes, giving them good eyesight and allowing them to see in many different directions.
Dragonflies come in a rainbow of colors including blue, green, yellow, and red. They are some of the most colorful insects on the planet, so it’s no wonder they have inspired artists for centuries. They also come in a range of sizes from just half an inch, to over 5 inches long. In some cultures, if a dragonfly lands on your head, it is actually considered a sign of good luck.
When students are ready to draw a dragonfly that looks a little more realistic, but are not quite ready for a real life sketch, then this tutorial will come in handy. It shows all their intricate body parts with an easy symmetrical view. Older students can even add some shadows, if so inclined.
The best way to get students off to a good start to any drawing lesson is to show them how to use guides as a reference point.
You may have noticed that all of the tutorials on this site have a dashed line running through the center of each step, both in the horizontal and vertical direction. If students make their own centered lines on their own paper, before drawing, they will have an easy reference to follow.
For instance, as seen in Step 1 below, this dragonfly body starts on the center vertical line, and extends above of the horizontal line. The body then continues up to fill the top. The wings, of course, get added in a matching fashion to either side.
Drawing skills are all about getting the size and placement of lines on paper, so having some visual reference point to get started, will always help anyone learn how to be a little more accurate.
So does that mean students need to draw a big fat lines down the center of their paper before they start? Goodness no, please don’t! That will most likely be hard to erase and distract from any finished art. No, simply fold the paper in half both ways, make a crease, and unfold. The beauty is that by the time the drawing is done and colored in, the creases will disappear.
And now, on to our drawing project.
Pin me to your Pinterest Board
Preview of the Step by Step Lesson
- Eraser. Large ones you can hold in your hand do a much better job than just the pencil tips.
- Black Sharpie Marker. These fine point permanent marker pens make nice black outlines, have a good tip for coloring, and never bleed when they get wet. Use them with good ventilation and add extra paper underneath to protect your tables.
- Prang Crayons. These are a bit softer than other crayons so they sometimes look like oil pastels. They also have a some nice brown shades that Crayola does not have unless you buy their larger boxes.
- Crayola Crayons. The reliable brand that always works well. The 24 pack has some of my favorite golden orange and yellow colors that seem a bit richer and warmer than the ones Prang has.
Time needed: 1 hour.
How to draw a Dragonfly with Step by Step Instructions
- Fold your piece of paper to make guides. Draw the tail and add a curve for the dragonfly’s abdomen.
- Add the thorax and head.
- Draw two symmetrical lower wings.
- Draw two symmetrical upper wings.
- Draw six matching legs with joints.
- Add head and wing details.
- Draw veins in the wings and curved lines on the tail.
- Trace and color with a sharp crayon.
- Add more crayon color for shadows and shine.