We all loved dinosaurs as children, and T-Rex is the favorite of many. This huge, ferocious beast surely captures our imagination!
In this tutorial I will show you how to draw one, but also more than that—I will teach you how to draw an animal from scratch, using 3D blocks to build a final 3D form of the creature.
1. How to Sketch a Dinosaur Silhouette
Draw a shallow arc—this will be the back of our dinosaur.
Add the curved neck and the tail (the tail should be longer than the rest of the body).
Add a boxy body under the back. It should have a longer front (chest) and a shorter back (hips).
Sketch the legs. They're just like our legs, except T-Rex walks on its toes.
Sketch the width of the feet. This will help you see their position better.
Sketch the head. It doesn't need to be detailed—just an egg shape at the end of the neck.
Sketch the places for the eyes and nostrils to understand the perspective you're creating.
Now add the shoulders and arms; nothing fancy here.
Complete the silhouette with the "lower neck" and "lower tail".
2. How to Draw the T-Rex's Head
We have the skeleton of our drawing—we can see exactly where we're going. Now we can add the detailed blocks of the body.
Start by sketching a cube or a cuboid inside the head of our dino. Its perspective must match the perspective you've sketched before—it can't be random! In other words, the cube should be facing the same way as the dinosaur.
Extend the bottom of the cube to create the length of the muzzle. Cross it with its width. The muzzle of the T-Rex is narrower than the skull.
We're going to create two ellipsoidal domes for the muzzle, but they're seen in perspective, so we need to do it vary carefully. An ellipse in perspective has long, flat arcs in front of the obtuse angles...
... and short, convex arcs in front of the acute angles. Remember this rule!
Use the same rule to create the other ellipses building this "dome".
Connect the dome with the rest of the skull.
Create a smaller version of the same dome in the lower jaw. Relax—you already know how to do it!
Finish the lower jaw by creating its wider part first...
... then completing the lines.
Draw the teeth all around the jaws. They should be slightly uneven and not completely pointed.
Finish the head by adding the eye socket with the tiny eye inside, and the jaw muscles.
3. How to Draw T-Rex Feet and Claws
Feet and hands are made of many small elements allowing for motion. Let's work on them one by one.
Draw cylinders in the place of the joints: in the ankle and right before the toes.
Connect both cylinders with blocks.
Draw small domes at the tips of the toes. You don't need to draw them all at once, if they cover each other. Make the middle dome the biggest.
Draw the openings for the claws in the front of each dome.
Draw big, slightly curved claws.
To finish the toes, connect the domes with the cylinders with a path of "plates".
Then add the lower part.
Finish the feet by adding the toes in the back, a "foot-thumb", and a foot pad below the toe joints.
Let's draw the arms now. They're short, but heavily muscled. Start with two circles for these muscles.
Draw the little forearms.
Add some depth to the arm by drawing directing lines on it.
Draw the tips of both fingers on each hand.
Draw the top...
... and bottom of each finger.
Finally, add the little claws.
4. How to Draw the Dinosaur's Body
To draw the shoulders, imagine a horse collar on them. First draw its opening...
... then its side surface...
... and finally, its lower part that will be the chest.
Draw big muscle masses for both the thigh and the calf.
Let's add perspective to the hind legs now. Use directing lines to mark the front and side of the calves.
Do the same with the thigh, adding the knee between both parts.
Time to add volume to the rest of the body. The T-Rex's neck should be visibly S-curved. You can achieve that by drawing curved lines between the head and the shoulders.
But that's not all! Cross them with more lines to show the curving side of the neck.
Use the same trick to define the volume of the rest of the body.
5. How to Draw the Dinosaur's Skin and Details
The base for the drawing is finished, so we can draw the final lines now. In digital art you can create a new layer now. In traditional art, put a new sheet of paper over the drawing or draw the final lines with a darker tool.
Draw the tiny eye and the nostrils.
Outline the shape of the head. If you want a realistic T-Rex, cover the teeth more (or skip to the end of this tutorial to learn more about T-Rex realism).
Outline the teeth and add some details to the skull. The depressions in the skull are not necessary if you want to be more realistic.
Envelop the whole body into one piece of skin. Draw wrinkles between the separate parts of the body.
The hands and feet should be enveloped in one piece of skin as well. There will be more wrinkles, because there are more elements here.
You can add more wrinkles all over the skin to accentuate the directing lines and stress the perspective of the body.
Finally, you can shade the body to show the volume even better.
If you want to create a more scientifically accurate T-Rex, you need to make some changes:
- The teeth should be mostly covered (by gums and lips), because T-Rex is not aquatic like a crocodile and its teeth would dry out being so bare.
- The body should be a little rounder—the bones don't tell us anything about the fat layer, but it doesn't mean we should accentuate the bones so much.
- There's evidence that other dinosaurs of T-Rex family had feathers, so it's likely that T-Rex had them as well—at least on a part of its body. If so, they weren't used for flight, but for warmth.
Do you want to learn more about this technique of drawing animals? Check these out: