Art History Lab

The Fascinating Art of Snake Drawing: Mastering Realism and Creative Colors

Snakes are an intriguing animal that has fascinated humans for centuries. They have been worshipped in some cultures and feared in others.

Regardless of how humans feel about them, there is no denying that snakes are unique creatures with fascinating features and anatomy. In this article, we will explore two different topics related to snakes.

Firstly, we will take a look at how to draw a snake step-by-step. We will then move on to examine the unique features of snakes, including their sense of smell and their association with fear.

Drawing a Snake

Snakes are a popular subject for drawing. They have a unique shape that makes them both challenging and interesting to draw.

Drawing a snake might seem daunting at first, but it can be broken down into a few simple steps. Here is a step-by-step guide to drawing a snake:


Draw the head of the snake. Start by drawing a circle for the head and a triangular shape for the snout.

Add a line for the mouth and two small circles for the eyes. 2.

Draw the body. The body of the snake is long and slender, so draw a long, curved line.

3. Add details to the body.

Add scales to the snake’s body by drawing small, half-moon shapes all along its length. These scales don’t have to be perfect or uniform in size.

4. Draw the tail.

The tail should be thinner than the body and taper off to a point. 5.

Add shading and color. If you want to create a more realistic-looking snake, add shading to its body by using light and dark tones to create depth.

Then choose a color from green, brown, and red to color the scales. By following these simple steps, you can create a realistic-looking image of a snake.

Remember that practice always makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempts do not turn out as well as you hoped.

Snake Anatomy and Unique Features

Snakes are unique animals with fascinating features and anatomy. They have evolved over time to survive in their natural habitats.

Here, we will take a look at two unique features of snakes.

Fear of Snakes

One of the most common animal-related fears is fear of snakes. Known as ophidiophobia, this fear affects more people than any other animal-related phobia.

Many cultures associate snakes with evil, danger, and death. Regardless of where this fear comes from, it can have a significant impact on those who experience it.

For some, it can interfere with daily life, making it difficult to be outside or even watch television shows or movies featuring snakes.

Smelling with their Tongues

Snakes use their tongues to smell. They do not have a traditional nose or nostrils like many other animals.

Instead, snakes have an organ called the Jacobson’s organ, which is in the roof of their mouth. When a snake uses its tongue to smell, it flicks its tongue out to collect scent particles from the air or ground.

It then draws its tongue back into its mouth and presses it against the roof of its mouth, where the Jacobson’s organ senses and analyzes the scent. This sense of smell is incredibly valuable to snakes, as it helps them find prey and avoid predators.


Snakes are fascinating animals with unique features and characteristics. Whether you’re interested in drawing them or learning about their biology, there is always something new to discover.

By using the simple steps outlined in the snake drawing tutorial and exploring the unique features of snakes, we can learn to appreciate these incredible creatures even more. So, whether you love them or fear them, there is no denying that snakes are a vital part of the natural world that deserve our respect and admiration.

Step-by-Step Guide to Create a Snake Drawing

Snakes are fascinating yet intimidating animals that are popular subjects for artists in different styles. Regardless of your preferred style, creating a realistic snake drawing is possible with a few simple steps.

In this section, we will outline the crucial steps to draw a snake.

Drawing the Head and Body

1. Head Shape: Start by shaping the head of the snake.

Depending on the type of snake you want to draw, the head’s shape may vary. For example, the head of a cobra is triangular, whereas the head of a viper is more elongated.

Sketch the head shape with a pencil lightly. 2.

Neckline: Once the head is complete, draw the neckline. The neckline should resemble a curved line, attaching the head to the rest of the body.

Carefully observe the anatomy of the neck and create a jawline that would give the snake a natural look. 3.

Rear Body and Tail: The rear part of the snake’s body should have a waved motion as they move along the ground. Thus, sketch a pattern that resembles a “S” or “Z” shape.

Then, create the tail by forming a sharp point at the end of the body. You can also create an open mouth with fangs if your serpent belongs to venomous species.

Coloring and Shading the Snake Drawing

1. Color Coating: When you have a complete snake drawing, remove the unnecessary pencil lines, and start coloring the snake.

Select the color palette that best suits the type of snake that you are creating. For example, a green shade would look great for grass snakes, while brown shade would be perfect for pythons and boas.

After selecting the appropriate color, fill in the body part of the snake. 2.

Texture: Once you’ve coated the snake with the base color, create the snake’s texture. Simply put, snakes are scaly, and their scales are what gives their skin its unique feel.

Draw a pattern of small, oval-shaped scales all through the body. Always take the utmost care not to create the same-sized scales throughout the body.

This would seem unrealistic, and the pattern must be done according to the snake’s size and skin. 3.

Highlight and Shadow: To achieve a realistic snake drawing, add shades and highlights to show the light source direction. The belly part of the snake is lighter, so the color shade on the underside of the snake should be lighter than the top.

Then, apply darker shades on the shadowed body parts, giving a depth effect on the drawing. 4.

Outlining: Once you have completed the shading process, you can outline the outer edge of the shape. Use a thinner and darker marker or pen, and start outlining the snake.

This step would add the final touch, and the snake would be ready to show off.

Tips to Draw a Realistic Snake

Drawing a realistic snake is something Of course, mastering drawing realistic snakes requires practice, patience, and attention to detail. Here are some useful tips that can help you improve and refine your snake drawing skills:

Importance of Shading and Contouring

1. Creating Depth: To give the snake a lifelike appearance, it is essential to add depth and dimension with shading.

Observe how the light hits the snake’s scales and body parts and create shadows accordingly. By focusing on shades and highlights, you can create a sense of depth and add form and dimension to your snake drawing.

2. Adding Details: Another significant aspect of creating a realistic snake drawing is attention to detail.

Observe the species of the snake you want to draw and study how the scales, head shape, and other details differ from other species. These small details add character to the snake drawing, and it makes it unique.

Color Variations for the Snake Sketch

3. Snake Colors: While snakes can be a vibrant green or a rich brown, there are more color variations than the obvious.

For example, the king snake has a distinctive color pattern of black, yellow and red; while the coralsnake’s bright red-yellow-black bands that are an iconic marking. This opens up the opportunity for creativity and enables you to use various colors on your snake drawing, highlighting the unique color patterns of each species.


Creative Coloring: You need not always have to rely on the right natural colors but could get creative with that.

Try to experiment with different shades and hues to create a uniquely colored snake. For instance, you could blend two or more colors in a gradient form on the snake’s body, creating a new hue per scale or segment.


Creating a realistic snake drawing can be challenging at first. Still, with careful observation, attention to detail, and creative flair, it could prove rewarding.

By following the above guidelines, anyone can create an impressive snake drawing. With realistic textures, shading, and coloring techniques, coupled with unique blends of color, your snake drawing could be unique and personalized.

Frequently Asked Questions about Snake Drawing

Snake drawing is a popular subject in art, and aspiring artists often have many questions about how to create a realistic drawing with unique colors. In this section, we will answer two of the most frequently asked questions about snake drawing.

How to Draw a Snake Realistically? Drawing a snake realistically requires attention to detail and a careful approach to shading and texturing.

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

1. Study Snake Anatomy: To create a realistic snake drawing, it is crucial to observe the snake’s anatomy.

Study the different parts of the snake, such as the head, neck, body, and tail, and note their shapes, scales, and textures. 2.

Choose the Right Drawing Techniques: Different drawing techniques can be used to create texture. For instance, you can draw sharp lines for the scales or use a rough surface to create a scaly texture.

Whatever technique you choose, ensure you maintain continuity and progression throughout. 3.

Use Shading Techniques: To create depth and give a three-dimensional vibe, proper shading is essential. Observe how the light hits the snake and create shadows accordingly.

4. Add Details: The little details are what make your snake drawing stand out.

Observe the snake closely for distinguishing marks or quirks and add them to your drawings. The more details you add to your snake drawing, the more lifelike it will appear.

5. Practice Regularly: Practice is the key to perfecting snake drawing.

The more you practice, the better you’ll get. What Color Can My Snake Be?

Snakes exhibit various colors and patterns, with many species being capable of changing their color for camouflage. The color of the snake depends on its species, habitat, and other factors.

Below, we discuss some of the most common colors of snakes and the adaptability of your snake drawing:

1. Green: Green snakes are common, and the color varies.

They can be light green, dark green or olive in color. These snakes are found in grasses, trees and jungle plantations, and the green background gives them an excellent hiding spot and camouflage.

2. Brown: Brown snakes range from light to dark, with shades varying by species.

They are commonly found in deserts or wooded areas and blend in with the natural environment for camouflage. 3.

Yellow: Yellow snakes are usually bright in hue and have unique patterns on their skin. They are found all over and can vary widely in size and hue.

4. Black and White: These color combinations are often associated with venomous snakes, such as black mambas and white-lipped pit vipers.

They are found in areas where there is low visibility and require a very specific color palette for a realistic picture.

Creative Coloring

To make your snake drawing stand out from other snake drawings, you can use creative coloring. You can blend different shades and hues to create your snake’s unique color or create a pattern with various color spots.

To get creative with your snake drawing, you can experiment with various color palettes and patterns. You can create a gradient effect by blending two or more colors together or have a different hue for each section of the snake.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creative coloring with snake drawing. You can choose to be as abstract or detailed as you would like, with the beauty of snake drawing being that each drawing can be entirely unique.


In summary, snake drawing is a fascinating art form that requires observation and attention to detail. Above all else, practice is the key to creating realistic and unique snake drawings.

The color of each snake depends on its species, habitats, and other conditions. Therefore, taking the time to study the characteristics of the snake you wish to draw will make your artwork more realistic.

Remember, by exploring various drawing techniques and coloring patterns, you can create a unique snake drawing that’s all your own. In conclusion, snake drawing is an engaging and creative art form that allows artists to explore the unique features and colors of these fascinating creatures.

By following a step-by-step guide and paying attention to details, artists can create realistic snake drawings that capture the essence of these reptiles. Additionally, creative coloring techniques open up possibilities for unique and personalized snake drawings.

Through practice and observation of snake anatomy and coloring variations, artists can refine their skills and create captivating snake drawings. So, grab a pencil and paper, embrace the challenge, and let your imagination soar as you bring these mesmerizing creatures to life through the art of snake drawing.

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