What the dragon did next..

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    Here's an updated version. Hope it's better.. If there is anything else I can improve, or if I need to push any of the suggestions further, would love to hear any thoughts.


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    Hi Dulcie! Wonderful drawing, I really love your character designs, they are appealing and have a lot of expression.

    One of the things I was noticing was that you have a lot of things in the scene following one angle. The dragon's body, the birds wings, the rabbit, both of the closer trees. Something that might make the scene a little more interesting would be to add some contrasting angles, or things that draw the eye toward the center. The most obvious choice to me was the tree on the left, which currently seems to take my eye up and into the left corner.

    I did a quick chop job to test it out, so see what you think. Anyway, hope the feedback helps, beautiful piece, really nice style and curves!


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    Hi @Natiwata, thank you for taking the time to critique my piece! And also for the kind words about my drawing 🙂 Yes I was aiming for sort of a swooshy set of parallels going on, but I can totally see why it might be better with the tree flipped. I'm working on a new version incorporating your suggestions..Thanks again 🙂

  • very nice drawing and I love the design of your characters!. The dragon is so adorable! @natiwata that is a very good change. The before composition left out a space on the bottom left while this one really ties everything together. Anyway I love your style.

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    Thank you @Naroth-Kean! I'm glad you like it 🙂

    Here is an update, hopefully it follows what @natiwata was suggesting. I did like having the mouse sort of separated so I re-drew the tree a bit, to make it fit.


  • When considering the galloping run cycle of a quadruped (the dragon), the back legs are almost always very closely mirrored in terms of gesture. If the dragon is bounding after the other animals, I would advise having those back legs be close to in unison.

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    Here is an update with colour....I took out the second bird because it was getting a bit lost/tangenty with the branches. Open to any more suggestions on how to make it better!


  • It's looking beautiful but I agree with @Pixby about the dragon's pose. If the back legs are both down and the front legs are out it would look more like the dragon is bounding forward after the other animals. He or she seems to be doing a core workout or ballet routine with the opposite legs pointing out.


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    Thanks @gimmehummus...I appreciate your thoughts, and those useful references! Looks like I should re-work the legs then...I might have to do that after the critique though as the deadline is coming up soon on the 9th 😞

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    @gimmehummus is this any better? (or worse?!) I moved one of the legs up more behind the tail...


  • It's the extreme curve of the back half of the body that's off. Google image search "dog running". If the back legs are off the ground, they are always pointing behind and down but not skyward.


  • @gimmehummus makes some very good points about the legs. Also, consider this... the dragon is juuuuust coming up over top of that little hill. And yet, the body is angled as though he is already traversing parallel to the elevated ground. For him to be in the pose he is now, he'd really have to be much farther on that level already. Like, where the rabbit is, for example. Where he's at now, you probably wouldn't see much of his legs or tail at all. They'd still be out of sight behind the hill, and his body would be angled upward, not down parallel to the ground he's landing on. I think that's what catches my eye the most. It's almost like an imaginary hand is yanking the backside of the dragon upward--which is why I originally wondered if perhaps the dragon was flying and swooping in... just landing at the moment we see this. I love your style and rendering. It has a very appealing old-storybook-feel. But, the gesture of the dragon is still quite a bit off.

  • I have to say, I really LOVE this piece. The colors, characters (especially the little mouse), rendering, everything! But unfortunately, I have to agree with the others for the dragon... he still look a bit off. I think @gimmehummus and @Pixby are right on with there comments. Change that and it's gonna be prettyyyyyyyyy close to perfect!

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    @gimmehummus Thanks very much for taking the time to draw what you meant! I see what you are getting at now (I hope). I did use a running dog as reference but obviously I didn’t get it right still. I’m going to have one more try to make it better!

    @Pixby Thanks also for your thoughts and explaining in detail. Yes I will work on the pose more, if I can get it done in time… originally the dragon was running through a (flat) cornfield and I imagined him sort of jumping-bounding through the tall grass, but then I ditched that version because I couldn’t make the background interesting enough…I don’t mean to defend it or anything, it’s just how the piece evolved. So I will try again to correct it 🙂

    @NoWayMe Thanks also for your feedback and your encouraging words - it’s so frustrating when one part of your piece is not quite right like this one, so if other parts are good then that’s really encouraging, thank you 🙂

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    Here's another update..hope it's better....


  • @Dulcie It is better! The back legs look more natural, like they have bones. Quadrupeds are challenging, for my brain anyway, because they have that extra joint. Yours is a little foreshortened so it's extra brain-tangling! When you draw do you sketch out the skeleton with connected shapes? It really helps with anatomy and volume. Good luck with your critique!

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    Whew at least it's better! I did find sketching this tricky, with the foreshortening, especially since he has a big behind and smaller shoulders. Yeah normally I start with a line of action, then build up with skeleton and shapes. But I should definitely work on my knowledge of anatomy, for sure, I think that would help. I'm really excited that yesterday I got Andrew Loomis' Figure Drawing book - if my animal anatomy needs work, my human anatomy needs it even more! And it looks super helpful on that front.

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