I haven’t drawn a dragon in a while .
I haven’t drawn a dragon in a while .
A commission I worked on for Cuddlebug . The character’s name is Shiloh, cool furry dragon wizard. I am very pleased this painting, It feels like all my training and practice as an artist is coming together to a more refined level.
I’m out of town and forgot to put my still life in my Dropbox, so I won’t be able to finish the still life till Thursday. After sketching at the zoo for 5 hours I didn’t fell like painting anything from scratch. So I took a photo of a sketch in my sketchbook and on my ipad attempted to paint over it in Procreate (I forgot my Wacom tablet). I found it too frustrating for me to handle tonight. I’m too tired.It’s tough not having pressure sensitivity. I’m going to bed.
20 minutes on my ipad.
I thought since I’ve already designed the head, I might as well finish the rest. I might draw a traditional western version of this character in the future. This character is not for any project or comic. In fact I really don’t know what to do with it. I thought it would make a good sample for a price commission sheet. Members of Deviant Art often commission people to draw their characters. Since I’m in a pinch, I though maybe I could start drawing people’s characters for extra income. 3 hours in Photoshop. Feedback is always welcome.
Update: Fixed some minor issues.
Update: Added a version with a more dragon like face
Alec is finally completed and is ready. He is a co-protagonist for a comic-animation project. He is a humanoid dragon that lives a modern world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals. This model was made for both animation and as a reference for the comic. I went all the way and made his face very dragon like, removing all the human elements (with the exception of the eyes) such as hair and eyebrows. Gave him a dragon snout. Shrunk his eyes, added many horns, changed the ears to make them more fin like. Added a bone jaw. Curved out his neck and made the connection on the back of the skull (like a reptile) instead of connecting to the bottom of the cranium (like a human). Added the textures to the model. I wanted his face to scream ‘Dragon’ despite being humanoid and having no wings. Originally Alec’s skin color was a golden orange but I changed it to white for two reasons. It’s more readable, and since he’s a dragon which is usually associated with ‘monster’, giving him white scales associates him with ‘good’ since that is what the trope tells us, it kinda a balancing act.
It might seem odd to have a dragon as a main protagonist instead of a villain or loyal steed. There seems to be two stereotypes for dragons in popular media, one is that of a ruthless monster ( usually the main villain) that is usually burning down villages, capturing damsels, and sleeping on bucket loads of treasure (AKA Beowulf, St George). The other stereotype is that a dragon is the equivalent of a loyal pet steed aka “man’s best scaly friend” (AKA How to Train Your Dragon). Alec fits into neither of those stereotypes but has to deal with them on a daily basis. However Alec’s personality is ‘dragon’ like. Most of the humor with be about the stereotypes and cliches in our culture and flipping it on it’s head. For example, the two main protagonists are a dragon and a cheetah, the main villains in the project is a rabbit and a mouse. I intentionally flipped the roles. Why are deceased infested rodents that spreed plague and death considered heroes in popular fiction? Why are lizards and reptiles the bad guys in films, when in real life most reptiles are pretty docile? Why is a domesticated dog character never the villain but there are plenty of villainous domesticated cat characters?
You might of notice that I have had been developing two different dragon characters for two separate unrelated projects. At first they both look very different but as I got better drawing dragons the two characters looks have merged together. The major difference is that Chris is a more traditional western style dragon that walks on all fours. Alec is a humanoid with a dragon’s head and tail.
I’ve also included a turnaround of the model so you can see him at different angles, a some facial expression tests. I was also curious if Alec’s design would allow him to stand on all fours. To my surprise, he can. I could think of some good gags with him doing this. It’s rather odd thing to see. Cruz the Cheetah is next on my list to finish.
The last render is a test pose with Alec sitting. For fun I used my own paintings as decorations for the wall 🙂
I draw Chris every so often and I always make such dramatic changes with every revision. I think I have finally found a design that is substantial. This current design would allow him to walk upright and walk like a cat. Kept the scarf but might replace it with a bandana. Made Chris much more dragon like with the exception of his human like eyes (Chris was once a human in my story, he needs human like expressions with his eyes). I removed the eyebrows, it’s hard to take a dragon seriously with eyebrows, even if it’s a lung. Replaced eyebrows with eyebrow like nubs. Apparently when I get below the torso, I start to get hasty with the rendering. The tail, drop shadow and feet could use some more attention. I added some scale details. Let me know what you think. I have the most fun value painting (or tonal painting). Value painting is awesome. I enjoy rendering light and shadows. I enjoy doing those lighted sphere exercises they teach you in art class, yes I am strange. I going to do value paintings daily. No time limits, no themes, no speed painting.
1- treat below the torso with as much attention as the rest of the painting if doing a figure.
2- be more clean with your line work
3-work on adding details to enhance the image and bump it to a professional painting
4- take your time. take breaks from a painting. It’s not a race.
5-Easy on the dragons. Try all sorts of characters and environments.
1- try rendering the highlights first instead of the shadows.
2- render interesting backgrounds
3-try compositions with more then 1 to 3 figures.
Portrait my character Chris the dragon, a character that is stuck in my head and refuses to die. This portrait was a experiment to see if I blend the painterly look with halftones,I think it might of worked. I’m happy that I understand lighting now, and I no longer guess when shading. After I finish Becky Wisdom’s portrait tomorrow, next weeks portrait theme will be ‘human faces that have been exaggerated but still look realistic’. Right now I feel frustrated with my art. I have been drawing for the last 6 months learning a more realistic style that concept artist and some illustrators use. When I visit the galleries of more polished and advanced artists and I know the steps and techniques that they used instantly when i look at their images, yet I feel I myself cannot produce something at that nature yet. I will just keep trying to improve. that’s all I can do.
Time spend 1 Hour
Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop
After attempting to use my 3d characters for a comic strip, I found the look to be disappointing. It just doesn’t look good to put 3d art in a 2d medium and I just couldn’t get satisfactory results from the toon shaders in Carrara. It’s almost as strange looking as 2d characters in front of photos. So I have decide to use 3d as a reference tool for things such as perspective, buildings and complicated poses.
As for the actual Character Sketch I wanted to keep Chris consistent to the 3d model in proportions and looks. However the fins didn’t look well in 2d so I changed the fins to hair which strangely enough made him look like a eastern dragon. I then gave him those silly whiskers eastern dragons have just for silliness. The rest is about the same. Next is Jed the Unicorn.
I will still be using the 3d characters for the animations. I just need to give Chris hair and whiskers, which shouldn’t be too hard.