Cobras, vipers and rattlesnakes, oh my.
From the serpent in the Garden of Eden to the countless snake characters in Disney films or Harry Potter books, snakes are common symbols in literature, art, religion and mythology. You probably even made snakes out of Play-Doh in nursery school too.
But there’s more to snake drawing than wavy lines. With their distinct lack of arms and legs, snakes move in ways that can seem alien to us. Understand their musculature, form and movements to successfully draw a snake. Whether you want to make a cute cartoon or a highly realistic snake drawing, the same basic principles apply.
Do your research on varieties of snakes.
Consider the kind of snake you want to draw. There are more than 3,000 species of snakes around the world. From the tiny Barbados threadsnake to the giant green anaconda, there are many options. Once you know what type of snake you want to draw, find a series of good reference photos.
Think about the snake’s personality. “What is it that makes that little snake charming versus what makes a boa constrictor powerful and intimidating?” says illustrator Kevin Jay Stanton. Before you start, consider what’s compelling about the species you want to draw.
Think about the setting and atmosphere you want to create. Will you draw a jungle scene? A desert view? A lush meadow? Once you’ve done some research and found solid reference photos, pull them into your Adobe Fresco file so you can refer to them while you work.