Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Horned Cyclops Terror Dragon

Last Friday on my Twitch Stream, we did the our first-Friday-of-the-month #DiscoveringDragons Community-Draw-Along! It's a fun event where I welcome all skill levels to push their pencils (or whatever tools they use to make art). I worked on my piece live on my Twitch stream while viewers worked at home and then on Monday we shared our finished pieces.

Here is my finished colored Ember Ferret Dragon. And below are my steps to create it as well as the community submissions.
For #DiscoveringDragons, I post two or three prompt words for everyone to make into a dragon. It's a nice framework for artists of any skill level to focus some time on an 'assignment' to shake the rust off or get the pencil moving again––all while also being loose enough that there's plenty of room for individual expression and interpretation.

This month the prompt words were Terror, Cyclops, and Horned. I opened a few tabs of google image searches of those words & one for 'dragons' as well as a piece of art of a Roper from D&D by Tony DiTerlizzi.

I started with a pencil drawing on copy paper. I started with the body shape of a Mouser from TMNT (or really a chicken) and started drawing ideas for where the eye was going to go. My original thought was to have it magically hovering over the head or horn of the dragon, but then saw an opportunity to put it inside of the mouth, which also covered 'terror' (not to mention the slit under the horn implying that the single eye can shift up to that location too). I went with a very spikey body, but I consider the single unicorn/narwhal like horn on the head to cover 'horned'.

I scanned this drawing into Photoshop, made a few slight tweaks and added some quick color blocking to help me see which areas were hard and which were soft and belly-like.

After I was happy with my above design, I printed that piece out on copy paper and taped it to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series bristol. Using a lightpad, I was able to see through the surface of the bristol as I inked the dragon. I used Copic Multiliner 0.7 & 0.3 SP pens to ink the art. I worked on the head first, and then pushed through all the texture of the rigid parts on the wing and neck before using a different texture for the fleshy parts. I wasn't quite able to finish the inks before needing to end the Twitch stream.

I wished the viewers all luck with their pieces and told them we'd take a look at everyone's work on Monday. After some dinner, I finished the inks, scanned them and started the coloring process
. That first step is to flat in the colors––basically professional coloring-in-the-lines.

I also added a color hold to the pupil of the eye so I could give it a little more dimension in the next step.

 For the final colors and all the highlights, shading, and texture I used the dodge and burn tools with a stock photoshop texture brush. I also selected areas and used the color balance tool to tint them warmer or cooler. As you can see, I swapped out the ruddy pink flesh with something a bit more pale yellow-green. Below you can again see the final rendered dragon.

But, as this is a community event, I wanted to share all the other entries posted in the Discord.






Matt Goodall

Nate Pride

NPL illustration



Shake Zula

Shakuras Ender

Sleepless Ninja



Wicked Goblin King

Yannik ohne E


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