Ralph Masiello's Dragon Drawing Book
Product Code: 15321
Binding Information: Paperback
Ages: 8 - 11
Availability: In stock
Author/illustrator Ralph Masiello explores the world of dragon lore, from the mystical Australian rainbow serpent to the revered imperial dragon of China.
Just follow the steps in red to create your own mythical, magical beasts. Extra bonus steps in blue show how to add realistic scales and more advanced details.
Hello, Fellow Artists!
Dragons have been present throughout human history. Every culture has encountered these mysterious and magical beasts. Some dragons make fiery mayhem, some connect the earth to the heavens, and some help mankind. In this book I’ll introduce you to a few of my favorites, from the Australian Aboriginal rainbow serpent to the Chinese imperial dragon.
Follow the steps in red to create the dragons and their surroundings. Then color in your artwork with your favorite art
tools. You’ll also find some blue challenge steps in boxes throughout the book to help enhance your dragons. With patience, creativity, and possibly a bit of ancient magic, you can bring these miraculous marvels of mythology to life.
Click here to see how one reader used Ralph Masiello's Dragon Drawing Book to make a flying dragon toy!
Draw an ouroboros step-by-step.
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Booklist - July 1, 2007In this handsome, large-format book, Masiello introduces 11 traditional beasts and shows how to draw them. For each, he provides a series of detailed drawings that build up to the finished pictures slowly, guiding young artists line by line. Masiello uses the term dragon broadly to include Ouroboros and the cockatrice as well as more traditional forms such as Fafnir, the Aboriginal Australian Rainbow Serpent, and the Chinese imperial dragon. By closely following the series of drawings, with the new lines in red, an aspiring artist of even modest talent could end up with a respectable representation of a dragon. After two or eight wordless pages of step-by-step drawings, the finished picture appears, brightened with brilliant colors and accompanied by a paragraph discussing the beast. The book opens with an author's note and a world map placing the dragons on five continents. It closes with a pronunciation guide and short lists of recommended books and Web sites. Well designed and practical.
Charlotte's Library - July 12, 2007On occasion I draw dragons for my boys to color (strangely they don't want princess paper dolls). I have lots of stuffed models to copy, but I feel tremendously inadequate when I attempt the writhing, horn-festooned dragons of high fantasy. So I approached Ralph Masiello's Dragon Drawing Book in a hopeful spirit. (Masiello is also the illustrator of Jerry Pallotta's alphabet books, which are being requested incessantly these days at my house. Despite this, until I read the fly leaf I didn't have a clue who Masiello was. Other households must pay more attention to the names of illustrators...He has also done bug, dinosaur, and ocean drawing books, which makes sense, as each of these topics has its alphabet book).
The Dragon Drawing Book is lovely to look at. Masiello includes colorful finished dragons of his own, and very nice they are. I also liked the Useful Map showing where all the dragons he draws can be found--these are not just your common garden European dragon, but rather Dragons of Many Lands. I for one am greatful for every opportunity to promote geography and multi-cultural appreciation.
Masiello's approach is to go line by line, until suddenly you've drawn the lines and have the dragon. This is in marked contrast to the "find the geometric shapes" approach I've seen in other drawing books, where you block the figure out and then add detail and erase. Presumably the user of this book could sketch the basic shape on their own, and then add the clear lines Masiello suggests. In my "after" picture, I didn't do this, but perhaps should have.
Even though my kids are too young to do the drawings as outlined, they liked leafing through the book, and perhaps it will inspire them. My six year old ranks himself 3rd in his class at Dragon Drawing, and, not that I'm competitive on my children's behalf or anything, tied for best would also be nice. Especially since only three of them draw dragons.
I ran into two specific problems. For each drawing, Masiello provides lines to copy. In the beginning, it is not at all clear what the line is supposed to be, and so what seems like a small difference between your version and his can end up being more problematic than it might seem. That's why my tail is so scrawny--I thought it was ok to end it early, not realizing it was supposed to continue. I should have studied the final product, sketched it a bit, gotten some idea of what I was trying to draw.
My other problem is that I am really bad at repeating abstract patterns, which is why the scaly part down the tummy gets pretty out of focus on mine, and which is also why I chose not to include scales. However, I think, if I practiced, I could draw pretty good copies of his dragons, and then I would have a repertoire of 11 cool dragons.
Would I, at that point, be a better "dragon draw-er?" I think yes--I already feel a bit more ready to tackle wing structure. A book like this is perhaps the drawing equivalent of learning to dance by standing on someone else's feet--by copying their steps/lines, you get a feel for how things should go.
School Library Journal - September 1, 2007The vibrant, eye-catching cover of this well-designed, neatly arranged book is sure to attract the attention of dragon fans and aspiring artists. A “Choose your tools” box illustrates the supplies needed (pastel pencil, crayon, watercolor, fine-tip marker, colored pencil, marker, poster paint). An outline map (that does not identify the continents) indicates where the types of dragons originated. Detailed drawings of 11 creatures (Aboriginal Rainbow Serpent, Lambton Wyrm, Chinese Imperial Dragon, etc.) require anywhere from 12 to 50 steps to complete. The technique is similar to the method used in Lee J. Ames’s books, but Masiello includes boxes with additional drawing ideas for fish scales, Maya patterns and shapes, a treasure chest, and so on, and a paragraph of facts about each dragon. The glorious, fire-breathing creatures depicted nearly leap off the page.
School Library Journal Curriculum Connections - April 1, 2008Winged and scaly, celestial or serpentlike, Masiello's illustrations of dragons around the world are preceded by step-by-step pen strokes that build the colorful creatures. Cultural tidbits accompany Wyverns, Mushussus, Ouroboros, and more. Budding artists are told to "choose your tools," such as a marker, a colored pencil, or watercolors. Simple patterns that can be added on to the detailed interior images are included.
Kutztown University Spring Book Review - April 15, 2008This book is a step-by-step guide on how to draw dragons from all around the world. The book contains the name of each dragon, a step-by-step black and white drawing of each dragon, its history, and a full color drawing of each dragon as it should appear when it is completed. The book also contains a world map that shows the habitat of each dragon and there is a resource and pronunciation guide at the back of the book. The drawings and instructions are very easy to follow. The pictures are colorful and creative. This book would be useful for anyone interested in art or who is interested in fantasy and drawing. I really like this book because it is very inventive and a lot of fun.
Alexis Leitner-Cohen, 7th Grade Student, Eyer Middle School
Reading Today - December 15, 2009This well-designed and practical large-format book by author/illustrator Ralph Masiello explores the world of dragon lore, from the mystical Australian rainbow serpent to the revered imperial dragon of China. This book is great for science, langauge arts, social studies, and can be used across the curriculum.
Canyon County Urban Liaison - September 20, 2010This well designed and practical large-format book by Author/Illustrator Ralp Masiello explores the world of dragon lore, from the mystical Ausralian rainbow serpent to the revered imperial dragon of China. Just follow the steps in red to create your own mythical, magical beasts. Extra bonus steps in blue show how to add realistic scales and more advanced details. After two to eight wordless pages of step-by-step drawings, the finished picture appears, brightened with brilliant colors and accompanied by a paragraph discussing the beast.