Therefore, it's easy for an artist to let his or her imagination run wild an create a dragon that's not acceptable for the audience.
Basically, there're two types of fantasy dragons that you want to take note of. Eastern dragons and western dragons look very different. Somehow, through the ages, people have come to accept different images of the dragon. What's the difference between the two?
Eastern dragons have evolved into a slender looking creature with short legs. The head is often the area of focus with majestic looking hair and feelers. It has short legs, and usually seem to be just floating around. It'll be hard to find a picture of an eastern dragon walking on the groung.
Western dragons appear more stout and powerful with their muscular bodies. They look more logically built with wings and four legs that they use to walk on. Also, they don't have as much hair on the head compared to an eastern dragon.
Both eastern and western dragons have scales and are able to breath fire.
The back drop for eastern dragons is usually clouds, while the background for western dragons is usually mountains.
When drawing dragons, the key essence is to make the dragon look powerful and majestic. So you can play around with the hair, the wings, and the eyes to achieve a fierce and magnificent look.
The scales are optional, but if you have the time, try drawing the scales to give the body a shiny coat of armor, especially for the western dragon. That's because a western dragon are well known for their fighting ability, while the eastern dragon are more well known for their magical powers.
Whichever type of dragon you're drawn to, keep in mind that dragons are mystical creatures. That means you're allowed to push the boundaries sometimes and experiment with different looks. Nobody can tell you that your dragon looks wrong!