Jan 3rd Thursday - Roar of a dragon

  • Well, I have nothing so far, but I really need to get this thread going so I get the feeling that something started. Since this month is not restricted to childrens book illustration, I will try to do something more realistic (emphasis on try). Some fantasy illustration - a dragon roaring in the street or maybe a battlefield. I thought I will have some sketches and compositions by now...but...I didnt know how to draw a dragon... so I just did studies of komodo dragons...aligators...leguans...and copied Jake Parkers dinosaurs 🙂 ...and finally I have design of my dragon. I still have to work on those horns though... do you know some artists who draw great dragons?
    IMG_20160103_0003 copy.jpg

  • I think you have a great start here - A pinterest search for dragon yields some great results for dragon artists... 🙂

  • @Will-Terry Thanks 🙂 I am creating a special pinterest board just with dragon references 😃

    So I came up with this composition. I wanted to achieve 3 things

    • Give a good view of the street and show of some Normandy architecture
    • Good view on dragon, he should be in a focal point
    • Impression of a tense moment by putting camera on ground
    • Stan just arriving to a scene, nobody yet noticing him


  • Really like this composition. Especially how the dragon is sort of slithering/squished in the alleyway. Look forward to seeing the steps you go through.

  • @Jiří-Kůs Love this concept, a lot. An idea for the composition could be from behind the damsels shoulder, from slightly underneath her looking up at the menacing dragon and in the background you could see Stan coming to help. It may give a more dramatic feel to the piece. Just a thought. I can't wait to see the finished version. Great work.

  • @Jiří-Kůs Really fun illo Jiri - I couldn't help but play around with your shapes and sizes...5464564.jpg

  • @Will-Terry whoa, this looks much better! i will have to try moving them a bit around.

  • I wanted to know my characters a bit better before I move on with the final illustration. So I did a study how might Stan look like. He is that kind of guy who really wants to be the courageous skillful swordsman, but he is kind of clumsy (hence the bandainds on his right hand) and not really that courageous. I guess we will never know if he saves the damsel after all...!stan_small.jpg

  • She is kind of reckless paesant girl. Always bored, always looking for trouble. But dont worry, she always carries her lucky charms with her, so nothing bad can happen...!damsel_small.jpg

  • it's coming along great! one thing I would bring attention to is your characters form/anatomy... the hem of her skirt and left eye are looking a bit flat, easy fixes that are easy to miss. However, the dragons form and build is excellent. well done

  • And now to study some Normandy architecture. I found this one in Dinan.

  • SVS OG

    Wow! Really love your style and inking on this. Very nice.

  • @natiwata thanks! You know, Got only 10 months before inktober, gotta practice! 🙂

    Here are two more studies. I guess I think I can get back to the main illustration now 🙂

    IMG_20160109_0002.jpg normandy03_small.jpg

  • So I tried to fix some things @Will-Terry pointed out. I really wanted to somehow show Stand suddenly stopping when he sees the dragon...and could not find find out a better place for him. So I added more foreground elements - one more pedestrian, some flags and a side of a house with a lantern. Does this bring more size variation to the image?RoarOfADragonValue2.jpg

  • Status update! I wanted to ask, if somebody would help me with shadows. Does this look realistic? I think the right roofs should be light too, but that will do no good to the composition...the same goes for left roofs, if I make them in shadow, it will make the composition less pleasing 😞 What now?

  • SVS OG

    I really like the version you posted earlier today - lots of size variation and I like the repetition of the jagged shapes with the flags, roofs and dragon spines. I think with your newest version - the biggest difference I can see that I'm not sure about, is that it looks flattened to roughly two values, whereas your earlier one had more values from white to black. Personally I think if you worked in more variation in the shadows it would really help. (although the maiden having lighter values and more detailed shading in the latest one, that is a good change)

  • @Dulcie Ye, the newest does not contain whole values. Its just basic shadow with lineart. I will be painting over it hopefully to achieve my value study 🙂

  • SVS OG

    Ah I see - well the linework looks great, will be good to see the next step 🙂

  • So here is my first color pass. Still lot of work to do. Blend backround with sky, make foreground actually useful for the composition, details, cleaning... Just wanted to know if my colours are somewhat in balance for this stage and if I can get away with red/yellow flags or if it will ruin my coposition 🙂 And if the pink lizarddragon is not too pink 🙂

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Sweeeet! Very nice to see your process!

    Here's a quick draw over for color notes, etc. I thought there needs to be a bit more focus on the business end of the dragon. I want to feel nothing but fear for the poor girl there on the ground. So I worked on the face a little. Adding glowing eyes and some bigger teeth. Maybe a snake tongue there to draw some attention there.

    I really modified the dragon's back leg. In yours, that seems a little weak compared to the rest of the dragon. Go for that real animal anatomy back there with the high heel bone sticking up.

    That building on the right really needs to either be cut out or expand your canvas here to accomodate it a bit more.

    For color, I added a quick warm in the light and made the sky like a sunrise/sunset type thing. Take what you want as needed.

    One thing to watch out for. The 5 head high character is a really awkward size to draw people at. It's a very standard proportion that people go to, but it ends up making the characters seem a little dwarf like with a big head and body that is too short. For a scene like this, I'd go for a 7-8 head high character or really play with the shapes if you want to make it a stylized type image. Look at Will's work for that. He's great at it. : )

    Let me know if you have any questions at all.

    Keep it up! Can't wait to see the finish!



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