Anger is a powerful emotion! We usually feel angry when something has gone wrong, or someone has done something that upsets us or someone we care about.
Today, we are going to draw an angry dragon. This activity helps children understand anger, encourages them to talk about their feelings, and explores healthy ways to deal with their anger—all while drawing their very own Diggory Doo!
Before You Get Started
Make sure your children have everything they need before you get started.
Other art media you have at home or on hand: paint, cardboard, scissors, glue, stickers, etc. - it's up to you!
Establish a calm environment—some deep breathing exercises and soothing music will settle almost any classroom.
Your children should each have a flat, clean surface to draw on. Ask them to press on a book if necessary.
Art should never be done in a rush or when you're stressed. Choose a time when you and your children can relax and enjoy the creative process. Encourage them not to take their drawings too seriously—it's supposed to be fun!
Here's how to draw an angry dragon.
Step 1 - Outline the Face
As you start the activity, remind your kids to draw as softly as they can. Thin, light lines are easy to erase. Once they're happy with what they have, they can trace over the lines to darken them.
We'll start by drawing a big circle for the dragon's face. The bottom of the circle should be near the middle of the page.
Have them draw a smaller circle under the big circle that slightly overlaps the big circle. Then they can carefully erase the overlapped part. This will be the dragon's chest. Their drawings should look like upside-down snowmen now.
In the middle of the big circle, have them draw a small rainbow-shaped curve to form the dragon's snout.
Step 2 - Ears and Horns
In the middle of the snout, get your kids to draw a small triangle to form one of their dragon's horns.
Then, on top of the big circle, they can draw two more small triangles, one on each side.
Now it's time to add the dragon's frill - the flaps that stick out near his ears. Remind your kids to draw softly so that they can make changes easily.
They'll use a "bouncy" curved line, similar to how they draw fluffy clouds. As shown in the picture, they must add four curves to each side of their dragon's head.
Step 3 - Arms and Fists
Let's give those dragons arms!
Start with the arm on the left. Near the bottom of the big circle, get your children to draw a big number 6 that comes halfway down their dragon's chest. Warn them not to close the loop at the bottom.
Next, they'll draw a small sideways line from the "number six" towards the dragon's chest but leave a gap; they mustn't join the lines.
Ask them to do the same on the right-hand side but in a mirror image. Their dragons now have two arms and two fists.
Ask your children if they can see a hint of his anger.
Step 4 - Body and Eyes
Underneath the small circle (the dragon's chest), the kids will leave a gap and draw a rainbow-shaped curve the same width as the small circle.
It's time to complete the dragon's body. Have them join each side of this new curve to the small sideways lines of their dragon's arms. Ask them to use gentle outwardly curved lines to form the roundness of the body.
Now they'll add some detail to their dragons' faces.
On each side of the dragon's snout, they must draw a slanted line pointing towards his snout. Underneath each small line, have them draw a curve to create a semi-circle - voila! Their dragons have eyes!
Ask your kids about Diggory's facial expression. Can they see that their dragon is frowning?
Step 5 - Eye Detail and Mouth
Let's start adding some details and really bring those dragons to life!
In each eye, ask your kids to draw another, slightly smaller semicircle to form the dragon's eyeballs.
Above each eye, they'll draw his eyebrows as straight lines angled down to his snout. These lines should be "steeper" than the tops of his eyes to help show the anger on his face.
To draw the dragon's mouth, have them start with a small "smile" underneath his snout.
Then they'll leave a gap and draw an upside-down smile (or sad mouth) underneath the small smile. This curve should touch the bottom of the big circle on both sides.
Then they can connect these two curves to form a big sideways "figure of eight" shaped mouth.
Step 6 - Details
Details can make a big difference in art. They're also a lot of fun!
Have your kids draw two little dots under their dragons' snouts for his nostrils.
Then add stripes to their dragons' horns.
Prompt them to draw a few arrow or zig-zag shapes on his forehead to give his skin texture.
Then they'll add a horizontal line through their dragon's mouth to show his clenched teeth.
Next, they'll draw little wings, similar to his frills, near his shoulders. Two little curves are all it takes. Remind your kids, if there's overlap, the wings should appear "behind" their dragon's frill.
And lastly, a triangular shape near the bottom of his right leg gives him a tail!
How To Improve Your Drawing
Encourage your children to make their drawings even better. Here are some ideas.
Add color using markers, paint, or whatever they like!
Draw a background. Is he outside, inside, on a mountain?
Add in some details of what made the dragon angry. Did he spill his milk? Did a toy break?
Personalize your drawing. Does he have spots? Are you standing next to him?
In the same way that each person is unique, so is each dragon. Remind your kids, if theirs doesn't look like the example, that's okay! If they'd like to draw another one, they can always practice at home.
Remind them to sign their names at the bottom so everyone can see who the artist is.
The Value of Expression in Art
The frowning eyes and clenched fists in this drawing tell a story. Learning how to draw emotions is an artistic skill. It is also a safe way for children (and adults!) to process and share their feelings and reach out for help.
Learning About Anger - Five Activities and Discussion Ideas
Drawing angry dragons is a fun and memorable activity to do with children. Here are some ideas to enhance the learning experience when they finish drawing.
Ask the child or children to make their own angry facial expressions - kids LOVE making faces! It is a great way to grow their awareness of body language (theirs and other people's).
Ask the children to share ideas of what might've made their dragons angry. This is helpful if they're too nervous to talk about their own feelings.
Can anger be a good response? Yes! Talk about instances where anger at injustice can lead to change.
Uncontrolled anger can cause harm. Have your kids brainstorm ways to calm down when angry. Ask helpful questions: How does your body feel when you're angry? What should you do when you feel angry? What shouldn't you do?
Using their pictures of their angry dragons, get each child to write or tell a story about what made their dragon angry and what happened next. They can share their story in front of the class or at bedtime at home.
Learning how to process anger is a valuable life skill and something every child can benefit from. And learning how to draw emotions can help children express their feelings.
We hope you enjoy this activity with your children and discuss this important emotion with them.