HomeTren&dHow to Draw a Snake: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Draw a Snake: A Step-by-Step Guide




Snakes are fascinating creatures that have captivated humans for centuries. Their sleek bodies and unique patterns make them a popular subject for artists and illustrators. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to draw a snake, you’re in the right place. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to draw a snake, along with valuable insights and tips to help you create a realistic and captivating snake drawing.

Understanding Snake Anatomy

Before we dive into the drawing process, it’s important to have a basic understanding of snake anatomy. Snakes have a long, cylindrical body with no limbs. They have a distinct head, which is usually wider than their body, and a slender tail. Snakes also have scales covering their body, which give them their unique texture and pattern.

Gathering Reference Material

When starting any drawing, it’s essential to gather reference material to help you understand the subject better. In the case of drawing a snake, you can find numerous photographs and illustrations online or in books. Look for images that showcase different snake species, as each species has its own distinct pattern and coloration.

Once you have gathered your reference material, study the snake’s anatomy, paying close attention to its body shape, head structure, and scale patterns. This will help you create a more accurate and realistic drawing.

Materials Needed

Now that you have your reference material, let’s gather the materials you’ll need to draw a snake:

  • Pencil: Start with a medium-soft pencil, such as an HB or 2B, for sketching the initial outline.
  • Eraser: A kneaded eraser is ideal for making corrections and lightening lines.
  • Paper: Choose a smooth paper that can handle pencil shading, such as drawing paper or Bristol board.
  • Reference Material: As mentioned earlier, gather photographs or illustrations of snakes for reference.

Step-by-Step Guide to Drawing a Snake

Now that you have your materials ready, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of drawing a snake:

Step 1: Sketch the Basic Shape

Start by lightly sketching the basic shape of the snake’s body using simple curved lines. Remember to keep the lines loose and fluid, as snakes have a flexible and sinuous body. Pay attention to the proportions and try to capture the overall length and thickness of the snake.

Step 2: Add the Head and Tail

Next, add the head and tail to your snake drawing. The head should be wider than the body and have a distinct shape. Snakes have a triangular-shaped head, with a rounded snout and two small eyes on either side. The tail should taper off gradually and be thinner than the body.

Step 3: Define the Body

Once you have the basic shape, start defining the body by adding more curved lines to represent the snake’s scales. Snakes have overlapping scales that create a distinct pattern. Take your time to carefully observe your reference material and replicate the scale pattern on your drawing.

Step 4: Add Details

Now it’s time to add more details to your snake drawing. Start by adding the snake’s eyes, which are usually small and round. Then, add the mouth, which consists of a curved line for the upper jaw and a smaller line for the lower jaw. Snakes also have a forked tongue, which you can represent with two small lines at the front of the mouth.

Additionally, you can add texture to the snake’s scales by lightly shading them with your pencil. Use short, curved lines to mimic the texture of the scales. Remember to vary the pressure of your pencil to create depth and dimension.

Step 5: Refine and Finalize

Once you have added all the necessary details, take a step back and evaluate your drawing. Look for any areas that need refinement or adjustment. Use your eraser to make corrections and lighten any unnecessary lines. Pay attention to the overall proportions and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a balanced and realistic drawing.

Finally, darken the lines you want to keep, and add any final touches to enhance your drawing. You can use a darker pencil or a fine liner pen to achieve this.

Tips for Drawing a Realistic Snake

Here are some additional tips to help you create a realistic snake drawing:

  • Study different snake species to understand their unique patterns and colors.
  • Pay attention to the direction of the scales and how they overlap.
  • Use shading techniques to create depth and dimension in your drawing.
  • Experiment with different pencil pressures to achieve a range of values.
  • Practice drawing snakes from different angles to improve your understanding of their anatomy.


Drawing a snake can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article and incorporating the tips provided, you can create a realistic and captivating snake drawing. Remember to gather reference material, understand snake anatomy, and use the right materials to achieve the best results. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to master the art of drawing snakes and create stunning illustrations.


Some popular snake species to draw include the ball python, king cobra, green tree python, and corn snake. Each of these species has unique patterns and colors that make them visually interesting.

2. Can I use colored pencils instead of graphite pencils?

Absolutely! Colored pencils can add a vibrant and realistic touch to your snake drawing. Experiment with different colors to capture the specific species you are drawing.

3. How long does it take to become proficient at drawing snakes?

Becoming proficient at drawing snakes, like any skill, takes time and practice. With regular practice and dedication, you can see significant improvement in a matter of months.

4. Are there any online tutorials or courses available for learning how to draw snakes?

Yes, there are numerous online tutorials and courses available that can help you learn how to draw snakes. Websites like YouTube and Skillshare offer a wide range of tutorials taught by experienced artists.

5. Can I draw a snake in a different pose or coiled up?

Absolutely! Once you have mastered the basic snake anatomy, you can experiment with different poses and positions. Drawing a snake coiled

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