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How to Draw a Lizard With Ink Liners

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to draw a lizard with ink liners. We’ll also explore the textures of scales, wood, and stones, and learn how to create the illusion of these surfaces in your drawings.

We will use only black color, but the artistic ways in which we can apply our tools are abundant. I’ll show you simple yet effective ways to combine hatching, crosshatching, and dotwork to achieve impressive results.

Once you focus your attention on these methods, practice observation and drawing with ink, you will be able to depict anything you want. So let’s begin! 

What You Will Need

You will need the following equipment in order to create this project:

  • ink liners number 0.05, 0.1 and 0.3, black color
  • a pencil (HB or B type is best)
  • a sheet of paper (I recommend using thick and heavy types)
Art supplies a pencil ink liners of 005 01 and 03 widths

1. How to Draw a Pencil Sketch

Step 1

With a pencil, I draw an oblong shape for the lizard’s head. 

Then I add a line that represents the direction of the lizard’s body (or its backbone). This line ends with a spiral of the tail.

When planning the composition, please be sure to leave enough space for the rest of the drawing.

Drawing the core lines

Step 2

I mark the limbs of the animal with lines. The small circles represent the joints.

I recommend applying the first pencil lines lightly so you can easily erase them or cover with ink later.

Drawing the core of the limbs

Step 3

I draw the core of the tree and add a couple of branches. 

Creating the core line of the tree

Step 4

I refine the head of the lizard, outlining its specific curved shape. Then I draw the eye; it resembles three circles of different diameter, one inside another.

Refining the head of the lizard

Step 5

I refine the body of the lizard. The real back of the animal doesn’t repeat the core line because the body has its own fullness and volume.

I also mark the limbs, only general forms without the details of the paws. Drawing the paws requires additional explanations, so we’ll finish them later.

Drawing the body of the lizard

Step 6

I draw the silhouette of the tree. The best option is to use organic, smooth lines. Just trust your hand; there is no wrong way of drawing a tree.

Outlining the shape of the tree

Step 7

I add the jagged details to the lizard’s body. The first line of small jags is on the back, and the second is under the jaw.

I also mark the hollow of the eye and accentuate the relief there. 

Creating the tracks of the jags and the hollow of the eye

Step 8

It is time to add the limbs that are hidden from the viewer. If we don’t do this, it will seem as if the lizard is floating in the air. I mark the back limbs with soft pencil strokes, so they become more visible.

Marking the hidden back limbs of the lizard

Step 9

A lizard's paw resembles a claw: it has two groups of fingers that grow together. I mark the general shapes of the paws.

By the way, feel free to erase unnecessary pencil lines as you go.

Drawing the general shapes of the paws

Step 10

I refine the paws, adding the fingers: two on one side and three on the other, as far as the foreshortening allows me to insert the details. 

Adding the fingers

Step 11

The lizard’s body has numerous folds. I add them, paying attention to all the joints and points of bending.

Drawing the folds

Step 12

I outline the stones in the bottom part of the drawing. Basically, stones are uneven spheres of various sizes. 

Our pencil sketch is ready!

Adding the stones at the bottom of the drawing

2. How to Draw the Texture of Scales

Step 1

The scales on the lizard’s skin resemble a mosaic of round or chamfered shapes. Some circles are bigger, and some are smaller.

The outline of the inlay pattern

Step 2

To add volume to the scales, I create groups of short rounded hatches. Please keep in mind the light source and leave areas of blank paper.

Adding hatching to the scales

Step 3

I add dots; they unite the look of the texture and make it more velvety. It is also important to darken the gaps so that the scales will look more protruding.

Creating dotwork on the top of the lines

3. How to Draw Wood

Step 1

I draw long, spontaneous lines. They allude to the pattern of bark. 

Drawing lines imitating the pattern of wood

Step 2

I add hatching to mark the shady areas.

Creating shadows with the hatching

Step 3

I add crosshatching by placing groups of horizontal hatches above the existing ones. 

Adding the crosshatching

Step 4

To make the wooden texture more credible and organic, I add dots.

Adding dots on the top of the texture

4. How to Draw Stones

Step 1

Usually, stones have a smooth surface. That’s why the best option is using simple parallel hatching. However, let the lines be slightly uneven, as it will help the texture look more natural.

The hatches that are drawn very close to each other create an illusion of a black-out area.

Simple long parallel hatching

Step 2

To increase value in your drawing, you can apply layers of additional hatching, placing new lines into the gaps between the existing ink strokes.

The additional hatching building into the existing one

Step 3

It is possible to create crosshatching by drawing rounded perpendicular lines. This method is very popular when it comes to giving an object in the drawing more volume.

A crosshatching by volume

5. How to Draw With Ink Liners

Step 1

I outline the main contours with the 0.3 ink liner. 

The first ink strokes

Step 2

With the thin 0.1 ink liner, I draw small circles and semicircles to mark the scales on the lizard’s body. 

To complete this step, you have to be patient. Please, take your time and have fun.

Creating the pattern of the lizards skin

Step 3

I use the 0.1 liner to add long lines and hatching to the tree shape and to mark the pattern of the bark. 

Creating the pattern of the bark

Step 4

With the 0.1 liner, I add groups of short parallel hatches to the tree. It helps me to reveal the relief.

Adding another layer of hatching to the tree

Step 5

I create core shadows on the stones with accurate parallel hatching, using the 0.05 liner.

Working on the stones

Step 6

It’s time to refine the eye of the lizard. Using the 0.05 liner, I darken the pupil and draw rounded lines around it. 

Refining the eye of the lizard

Step 7

I make the lizard more three-dimensional by applying rounded crosshatching at the sides of the figure. I also accentuate the folds. For this step, I use the 0.05 liner.

Adding the crosshatching to the texture of the lizard

Step 8

With the 0.05 liner, I add groups of horizontal and inclined hatches to the tree. Now it looks more three-dimensional. 

Darkening the sides of the tree with hatching

Step 9

I add crosshatching to the stones, using the 0.05 liner. I leave spots of blank paper in the light places; it is important not to overdo the hatching. 

Adding the crosshatching to the stones

Step 10

With the 0.3 ink liner, I make dotwork to emphasize the texture of the lizard’s skin. Try to imagine the gaps between the scales and aim for them.

I add dots mostly to the sides of the figure to accentuate its volume.

Adding dots to the texture of the lizards skin

Step 11

I add dots to the wooden texture, too. The 0.3 ink liner is a great tool for that.  

Adding dots to the wooden texture

Step 12

I draw groups of dots to complete the texture of the stones, using the 0.1 liner. It isn’t an obligatory step; however, I find it useful for a visual unification of all the textures in this drawing. 

Completing the texture of the stones with dots

Step 13

I add groups of dots made with the 0.3 liner to create the illusion of a stripy pattern on the lizard’s skin. 

Finishing the texture of the lizards skin

Step 14

I evaluate my drawing. It looks nice enough, but I think that accentuating the drop shadow from the lizard on the tree is a great final touch. I darken the tree with dots made with the 0.3 ink liner.

Strengthening the drop shadow

Your Drawing Is Complete

Congratulations! I hope you enjoyed both the process and the result. Drawing with ink is an exciting journey. Sometimes it can be challenging, but the outcome is always worth it.

Thanks for your attention! I wish you much joy, new experience, and many amazing artworks on your way! 

The complete artwork
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