How To Draw A Snake?

How To Draw A Snake?

A Guide to Countless Ways to Draw a Snake

Are you sitting over your notebook and wondering how to draw snakes? How can you make the snake’s scale look realistic? Do you want to draw an adorable snake cartoon? Or are you looking for a step-by-step guide to draw a python?

My name is James Adams, a designer and a writer for the Snake Store Team. I have a strong interest in snakes for their beautiful look and fun structure that can be turned into my designs. Also, a part of my job is drawing constantly my ideas, before I turn them into fashion designs. Today, I am going to show you how to draw a snake in several ways.

To draw a snake easily, you must create a base structure first, with a simple circle for the head and S shaped line for the body. Later, you can add jawline structure, eyes and nasal cavities, together with the outline of the slithering body covered with scale patterns. Following a guide is the way to go.

This tutorial shows you how to;

  • Draw a snake and its characteristic features separately
  • Make a cobra sketch
  • Draw a realistic rattlesnake
  • Design an attractive snake tattoo
  • And have fun drawing snake cartoons

This article is an excellent guide for kids and blooming artists. Let’s jump in;

Anaconda drawing

1- How to Draw a Snake Easily ?

Drawing a snake is an interesting practice. And besides being fun, it is easier than it looks! All you need is a good old step-by-step guide to walk you through your snaking path to a beautiful drawing! Are you ready? Let’s get started on the anatomy and significant parts that make a snake drawing look real;


You can draw a snake using a basic S shape, while the top end is curved to form a head and then partially lined for the rest of its body. 

courtesy: here


Similarly, you can use a large 2 and draw double linings to form the body. Then you can turn the top of the “2” into the head of an upright snake. By continuing the end of the number in wavy patterns, you can make your snake even look longer. 

cute snake drawing

Courtesy: here


The following section helps you to learn how to draw each part of a snake’s body with all the required techniques. 

a) How to Draw a Snake Head

To draw a snake’s head, first you need to decide whether your snake is striking or has a closed mouth. We start with a striking snake’s head, which is also more challenging.

Photo courtesy: here

Step 1:

For a striking snake, draw two interlocking oval shapes like in the image. These are going to be the upper and lower jaws of the snake. At the point of the ovals’ junction, continue with a double S line to form the body.

drawing striking snake shape

Step 2:

Using the ovals as a model, create a dip for the mouth and define the lower jaw. Draw two lines on the inside to create the gums.

drawing striking snake shape

Step 3:

You can focus on the upper jaw for more detailing and add the gums, teeth and a sharp W in the front for the fangs.

drawing striking snake

b) Drawing a Closed Mouth Snake

Instead of drawing a striking one, you can choose a calm snake. Draw a circle as the base structure, and then form a U on its left side to make the snake’s mouth. Continue each end with curved lines to make the head.

draw snake mouth closed

Courtesy: here

Angry or calm, the next additions to the head are; nose cavities, eyes and the split tongue.

Drawing your snake’s scales depends on how elaborate you want your snake to be. Ask yourself: Am I drawing a geometric snake? Is it a funny cartoon serpent with simple lines? Or do I want my snake to appear as real as possible?

For cartoon-like and geometric snakes, you are free to use your creativity to make simple diagonal lines to create similar proportions to the snake's beautiful scales. Like this image.

While for a realistic scale shape, all you have to do is to follow these steps;

Photos courtesy: here

Step 1:

Draw the snake’s body and an additional parallel central line. Then make diagonal lines in equal distances from each other. Just look at this example and you will get the idea.

draw snake body

Step 2:

Copy each diagonal line with an arched over-do. Then repeat the same motion. The key is to keep an equal distance between all these lines. In artistic terms, this pattern is called a mesh.

draw snake skin

Step 3:

Now draw small U like scales, by connecting the junctions to create the scales. Later, you can top this with shadings to show the movement and natural shine of a snake’s skin. 

draw snake scales

c) How to Draw the Snake Eyes

Eyes are one of the most beautiful features of snakes. Most of the venomous species have vertical pupils, while non venomous snakes appear with round pupils. The outer lining of their eyes is always round.

With a small detail above the eye you can create the brow and also give a sense of expression. For instance, a diagonal line makes your snake more dangerous while a curve line represents a more relaxed character. Eyes are an important part in forming the facial expressions in all drawings.

snake eyes drawing

Photos courtesy: here

You can go wild with colors. Similar to other reptiles, snakes have earned crystal-like eyes in the evolution with colors like; golden green, brown, orange, gray and more. But this is YOUR snake and only you can decide about its eye color and retina patterns. 

d) Snake Tongue Drawing

Snakes are famous for their tongue, flickering in and out, and making that hissing noise. If you are drawing your snake with an open mouth, or just at the moment it has stuck its tongue out, then you will need to learn how to draw the snake’s tongue.

It is actually very simple, all you have to draw is a wavy and double lined and upside down Y. Keep the tips pointy, just like how the snake’s split tongue seems. Look at the image and follow the outlines to get an idea.

snake tongue drawing

Photo courtesy: here

If you are drawing your snake in black and white, use light shadings. A snake’s tongue is always shining so you can use a small white ball on the point of light reflection to show its glitter. You can do the same in color paintings and use red or black colors for a natural likeness.

Snakes are one of the most commonly inspirational animals and many people like to learn how to draw a snake. By following simple steps, you can bring these limbless beauties onto your page and let them slither into your imagination. Now if you are looking to draw a cobra or a python, just scroll down a bit and you will find a straightforward instruction on each of these drawings. 

Did you like this drawing, then you're going to love this Smart Serpent for your room’s wall.

2- How to Draw a Cobra Snake

King Cobras are one of the most beautiful species of snakes. They have a hood, cute patterns on the back of their head and also their entire body. Now, if you want to draw a cobra, all you have to do is to follow these steps, easy as 1-2-3. Let’s get started!

Photo courtesy: here

a) Black Snake Drawing

The first step is getting your pencil, eraser and blank page :). While drawing the initial patterns, the trick is that you should not press too hard on your hand. Instead, let your pencil move freely to create smooth strokes. These lines serve as the basic shape of the cobra. We will do the final touches after drawing the base frame.

Step 1:

Make a small and horizontal oval shape. This is going to make the cobra’s head and face. Don’t worry if it is not perfect, you are going great!

drawing a cobra beginning

Step 2:

Draw a large oval in a vertical position, right underneath your first oval, or the snake’s head. This will make up for the hood of the cobra and its neck.

drawing a cobra contour

Step 3:

This step depends on how you want your cobra to look. By continuing a long line beneath the second oval you will make up for the body of your cobra. Instead, a straight line will show your snake slithering.

You can also make it look coiled, or like me, use a braided S shape. It is easier to draw the coils in the front and leave its tail untangled.

drawing a cobra frame

Now that we are done with the basic frame, we can apply more pressure on the pencil to draw stronger lines. We are going to mark the outer lines and give a defined structure to our cobra.

Step 4:

I like to begin with the eye, by drawing a small circle with a slanted line on the top of the eye. Then, you can draw another circle on the inside that forms the cobra’s round pupil.

drawing a cobra eye

Step 5:

Now, it is time to draw the mouth and a nasal cavity (one because this cobra is posing sideways for us). Make a small and horizontal line for its mouth and extend it towards the back. Draw a small and titled V line to form its nasal pit.

drawing a cobra head shape

Step 6:

Step six is where we complete the snake’s head. Put a slight pressure on the pencil and draw stronger lines around the front and top of the first oval shape we drew. You can curve the lines a bit inwards around the mouth and the neck, to build the natural form of the structure under the cobra’s jaw. Leave the area that is in contact with the larger oval.

drawing a cobra head

Step 7:

By following the outline of the oval below the head, you can draw the snake’s hood to make a perfect king cobra. You can also get creative and draw the hood as thin or as wide as you would like. Draw a parallel line on the inner side of each edge of the hood to add dimension and structure to your cobra’s neck.

drawing a cobra hood

Step 8:

Draw an outline to the initial S shaped body of your snake to make it broader. If you have drawn a long snake instead of a coiling one, then your job is even simpler. Again, use your creativity to decide how thick the body of this cobra will be.

drawing a cobra shape

Step 9:

Pick up your eraser and clear away the first lines that you drew as the base structure. This will give a clearer appearance to your snake’s body. Although if you don’t want to remove all these lines, you can always blend them into shadings, which we are going to include in the next step.  

drawing a cobra full

Step 10:

The last step helps to make your snake look real and also artistic. A little shading here and there makes your cobra appear 3D. in this black and white snake, all the shades used here are darker on the edges and underneath surfaces, and lighter on the top. The reason is that in round objects the light hits the top surfaces, and just a little of it reaches to the corners which creates the shadows.


drawing a cobra

Remember to hold your pencil in a 45-degree angle for smooth shading and avoid applying too much pressure. In reality, the more pressure you add, the darker your shadow would be. Pay attention to the photo above and follow the shading patterns.

Now you know how to draw a cobra. Keep in mind that drawing is an art and you are free to use your creativity for adding details that are more realistic or more cartoon-like. 

You can draw a few more lines throughout your drawing for extra detail and the snake’s scales. Again you can use realistic patterns if you’d like. Otherwise just draw a few lines throughout the cobra’s body to a minimal frame. How do you like to learn to draw a rattlesnake?

3- How to Draw a Rattlesnake ?

Do you hear that? It is the buzzing noise of the Rattlesnake that wants to model for our drawing today! So without making our reptilian guest model wait any longer, let’s get our pencils and notebooks and start drawing right away. But first, remember to avoid pushing down on your pencil too hard when drawing the rattlesnake’s first frame.

Photo courtesy: here 

Step 1:

Like the cobra’s drawing, all you have to do is draw a small circle, which later becomes the snake’s face.

rattlesnake drawing beginning


Step 2:

On the left side of the circle, draw two curved V shape arches. The one on top should be bigger than the lower one- these are proportionately the top and lower parts of the rattlesnake’s mouth. It is up to you to choose how far apart the jaw line is .

rattlesnake drawing head shape


Step 3:

This one is easy: attach a S shape line to the right side of the circle.

rattlesnake drawing beginning


Step 4: 

Now continue the line to make a large 2, or an upside down S, to form the rest of your Rattlesnake’s body. Tt doesn’t have to be precise, your snake is free to move however it likes.

rattlesnake drawing shape

Step 5:

Continue further on a straight line towards the left. Create two curled up lines that cross each other. It is important that the last part of the snake’s body is straight in the air: just like how the rattlesnake likes to keep its tail while shaking it.

rattlesnake drawing curves

Step 6:

Let’s catch up on the details now. To make the snake’s body more prominent, you can push down your hand.

We can start with the eye by drawing a circle with a diagonal line on the top. Draw a small oval shape at the center for the vertical pupils of your rattlesnake. To make the eye more realistic, keep a small and blunt circle over the top part of the pupil to represent the reflection of light. You can use shadings by imitating the techniques used in the image.

rattlesnake drawing eyes

Step 7:

Make a small curved line in the front to create the nostrils and small diagonal slashes for the rattlesnake's famous thermal pits over just on the edge of its upper jaw.  

rattlesnake drawing nostrils

Step 8:

Here, we define the top part of the head, which is rather flat in rattlesnake species. A small curve over the eye shows the eye cavity and a realistic representation of the rattlesnake’s skull.

rattlesnake drawing nose

Step 9:

To draw the mouth, first draw a crooked and parallel line under the top part of the jaw and line it with jagged teeth. Then make a sharp W shape for its fangs from a side way angle.

rattlesnake drawing fangs

Step 10:

We can transform the remaining simple arc into the lower jaw. A slanted and closed V is a perfect starter. Although the top part should dip with a curve to serve as the mouth cavity.

rattlesnake drawing jaws

Step 11:

Just like the gum patterns that you drew for the upper jaw, the lower jaw is topped with a line of gum and a series of jagged teeth, the only thing is the teeth in the lower jaw are smaller.

rattlesnake drawing head


Step 12:

The initial snake shape line should be put at the center of the rattlesnake body, parallel with two snaking lines. 

rattlesnake drawing structure

Step 13:

Go on ahead and add to the snake’s body. Although as much as you get close to the tail, the lines should slightly get closer to each other. If you are not sure where you are going with your lines, draw a smooth outline, and then make it permanent when you are happy with how it looks.

rattlesnake drawing curves

Step 14:

Remember that you are supposed to keep the idea of perspective in mind, which you show by crossing or not crossing over the lines. The largest section is the middle of the body; it should appear bigger and not overlapped by any curving coils.

rattlesnake drawing body

Step 15:

Now get ready for the most interesting part, our snake’s famous rattle! Make tiny and horizontal O shapes and stack them on top of each other. It is good to use 10 to 15 of these shapes, while the top ones become smaller gradually.

rattlesnake drawing rattle

Step 16:

Wipe out any baselines with the eraser, and start adding the final shades for a three-dimensional rattlesnake.

rattlesnake drawing contour

Step 17: Final Step

Good shading adds volume and dimension to your rattlesnake, making it look round and real. The clue is to choose a direction of the light and create the darker areas of its body and cast shadows underneath the snake accordingly.

Rattlesnake drawing

Not only can you draw a rattlesnake but also you can customize it with your own set of details by playing with patterns, coils, light and shadows. Are you interested in learning to draw other species? 

4- How to Draw a Python ?

Photo courtesy: here

Pythons are one of the most hypnotizing creatures in the snake kingdom. If you are, like me, fascinated by the attractive appearance of these snakes, then how do you like to draw a Python in just a few minutes?

I am going to share with you how to draw a realistic python in six simple steps;

Step 1:

Draw a small oval first, and attach a large S shaped line to the left sides. Now repeat the S shape line to make the body of the Python. As you know, Pythons are not so skinny, so keep enough space between the lines.

python shape draw


Step 2:

We build up the head from our initial python head, using a 45 degree U for its mouth. Then continue each side of the U with curved lines to form its skull. Add a small and crooked line to form the brow, and draw a small circle for the eye right underneath.

Python head draw

Step 3:

Outline the exterior of the S shape lines to make the body shape prominent.

Python contour drawing

Step 4:

This step is very important in how the snake’s body movement appears to us. We are going to separate the inside of its body, by highlighting the empty spaces. Just observe the image and pay attention to the place where the lines are overlapping.

Python neck drawing

Step 5:

Now it is the turn for the most important feature of the python. its beautiful patches. Draw irregular circle-like shapes across its body to form the base of our snake’s prints.

Python body drawing

Step 6: 

You can leave your python like this, or get your color pencil box and start to color: Use yellow and brown combination for a ball python, or chocolate and black for a reticulated python.

Python drawing

Pythons have a long and strong body. So drawing the coils is the most important part of this drawing, in addition to the spots, you have the ability to draw one of the largest snakes in the world, only with your power of creativity. 

5- How To Draw A Snake Tattoo?

Beautiful tattoos have some features in common, such as; a strong meaning, natural designs and geometric shapes. Snakes are considered a good luck charm and also are one of the most popular tattoo designs. Do you love snakes and you want to design your own tattoo? Then you have come to the right place. Let’s get creative!

Photo courtesy: here

Step 1:

Draw a round-edged triangle to form the head and follow each end downwards to connect the head to the snake’s body later.

Snake drawing head

Step 2:

Continue the lines with two double lined and S shape curves. The lines should follow through to make the snake appear in movement.

Snake drawing body

Step 3:

Continue the line with a tasteful coil. Pay attention to the overlapping parts. This defines which is in the front or in the back. And always remember, a good drawing is all about creating perspective.

Snake body shape draw

Step 4:

To draw the tail, make the body slightly straight and bring the parallel lines closer to each other, until ending at the tail. 

Snake tail draw

 Step 5:

For adding designs, start with a diamond on the top of the head and adorn it with double and curved lines on each side. Fill in the eye area with perpendicular lines for a geometric effect.

long snake eye drawing

Step 6:

The designs you create over the body are absolutely based on your choice. But you can use this image as an inspiration.

Proceed to draw small circles to create a scale-like effect over the head and neck area. For the top part of the body, dress the coils with diagonal lines, and cross them over with another set to create a mesh like texture. 

Snake tattoo body

Step 7:

For the underbelly markings, you can use simple stripes distanced equally!

Snake tattoo back

Step 8: Final Step

Repeat the step 6 for the rest of the body, creating top body scale patterns with mesh texture.

Snake tattoo finished

You must have noticed, you see some extra dots and patterns that I have added here and there. The rule for geometry drawings is that you are free to draw what you would like to draw, only if you use; geometric shapes, plus repeating patterns. Replication of the same shapes and putting them together in an artistic manner shows a pleasant visual effect.

If you are looking for more freedom in drawing, you should try my cartoon snake tutorial below!

6- How to Draw a Cartoon Snake?

Snakes are long and limbless creatures which makes the fun subject to turn into cartoons. There are a few elementary designs to follow in order to make your drawing look like a snake.

The most entertaining aspect of drawing cartoons is that they give you the freedom to play with objects, animals, people, and in this case, snakes. You can turn over their usual characteristics as wild and dangerous creatures and give them the personality you like, or even put them in impossible situations or even color them in unrealistic manners. Whichever you decide to draw, remember to have fun, which makes you even more creative. 

Photo courtesy: here

a) How to Draw a Cute Snake?

Do you like to learn to draw a cute cartoon cobra? This tutorial takes you through the simple instructions and teaches you how to draw a cartoon snake one step at a time. You can draw your snake in black and white, using only a black pencil, or use color pencils for a more vibrant drawing. After gathering all your essentials for drawing, begin with the step 1:

Step 1:

In the first step, avoid putting down so much pressure on the pencil. Remember, we are just making an outline that works as the base of our drawing and it should not show in the final results.

To start, all you need are two slanted lines with a very short length. These lines are going to be the snakes’ eyebrows. While the left side of our snake’s face is closer to us, the left line is bigger and longer compared with the line on the right side. Slightly curl up each end of the eyebrows to make a furrowing expression on the snake’s face.

 Beginning snake eyes

Step 2:

After the brows, it is time to draw the eyes. Start with a curved line and continue to draw a triangle. And again, the left eye is closer to us and therefore bigger. Continue the top line of the eye just a little to enhance its shape.

Snake eyes contour

Step 3:

Snake’s pupils are vertical, so draw an oval-triangle shape first. Then, fill it up with your favort snake eye color.


Snake Eyes

Step 4:

A wide open V shaped line helps us to draw the cobra’s upper lip, just below the eyes. You should draw it as if you are connecting the space below one eye to the other, with a deep plunge right in the middle.

Cobra nose


Step 5:

It is time for the most dangerous feature of our snake; its sharp fangs! Draw two long triangles right attached to the upper lip to make a perfect shape of the snake’s fangs. Then, draw to small line right on top of each fang for the cobra’s nasal pits.

Cobra tongue

Step 6:

Make the cobra’s split tongue by drawing two wavy parallel lines like the one in the image, and connect them to an M shaped tip. Make sure not to overlap the fangs while drawing the tongue.

Cobra tongue

Step 7:

Keeping in mind not to cross over the tongue, make another large V shapes line to create the lower jaw of your snake.

Cobra mouth


Step 8:

It seems like the V shapes are helping a lot! Let’s use another one of them right below and parallel to the snake’s lower jaw. This one should have a slight curl on the left side to show where the mouth is ending. Continue the left side to draw a softly curved line which defines the head of our snake.


Cobra v shape

Step 9:

Now it is time to draw the neck, with two side-by-side lines. Here, it is important to decide which type of snake is your drawing. If it is a cobra, the lines of the top part of the head do not link together.

Cobra drawing step

Step 10:

By keeping the face at the top center, draw a large oval to create the cobra’s beautiful hood. Again, keep the perspectives in the mind! The left side is bigger than the right in this image.

Cobra face

Step 11:

On the interior part of the hood, draw parallel lines with a little distance from the outer edge. Then connect the inside part of these lines by following the image. 

Cobra hood

Step 12:

By extending the lines of the neck, we can the body of the snake. Get creative with the coils of your cobra or just imitate the pattern in my drawing.


Coiled cobra

Step 13:

By adding Half- S- shaped lines, you can make a slithering snake body. First draw an imperfect curve on top, and then draw a complementary line right underneath.

Cobra body

Step 14:

Repeat the body curves three more times, only each time smaller than the last set. Finally, connect the both lines at the end to form the snake’s tail.

Cobra tail


Step 15:

Mark the neck and the body of your snake with small horizontal lines for adding some fun details.


Cobra neck

Step 16:

You can use a pen, marker, or color pencil to outline your painting permanently. but after you are done, erase the first pencil markings.  

White cobra


Step 17: Final Step

Choose your color combinations according to your creativity. You can use color pencils, colorful markers or even water colors to design your cobra. Add in the details you; for instance, I have included small triangles on the top part of the body for some playful patterns. Let this example be an inspiration, but use your own imagination to create your favorite cartoon snake.

Colored cobra

Easier than you thought? Drawing is fun, especially when snakes and cartoons are in the middle. If you had fun with this one, don’t stop here! Make your snakes coiled, or perhaps climbing a tree or even in an office suit- wouldn’t that be fun now! 


7- Practicing Art with Snakes From Simple Drawings to Wall Art

By following the simple instructions for each snake, you have become a snake artist. you can perfectly capture a snake’s features into an image using only a pencil and a piece of paper; isn't that magical?

You can create a realistic python or rattlesnake, or draw a king cobra with a splendid hood. You are now even able to design original tattoos for yourself or your friends. Or when you find the occasion, impress the young members of the family with a fun snake cartoon.

Drawing is more than a hubby; it is the gateway to the journey of becoming an artist. Besides hand practice, you should train your eye by watching art pieces any chance you get. Check out the Snake Wall Art Collection to get one or more of your favorite snake canvases- for living in an art-ridden surrounding.

Snake Canvas

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