Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Drunkard Mushroom Dragon

Last Friday on my Twitch Stream, we did the #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 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 was two words: Drunkard & Mushroom.

I opened a few tabs of google image searches of various mushroom species, images of people drunk, & dragons. I also found an artist named 'Coliandre' who did a whole #Smaugust series of mushroom dragons (which inspired me, but also was hard to avoid when coming up with my own ideas)

I had several mis-starts (not pictured) of mushroom shapes with toothy mouths like The Bolete of Coliandre's. I then saw a photo of a Komodo Dragon in my 'dragon' search bar and it lead to the pencils you see on the left. It's pencil on copy paper, incorporating fly agaric caps, morel pores, enokis, and mushroom gills. 

On a separate sheet of copy paper I drew the 'wings' and then assembled the two drawings together in Photoshop and added in flat colors just to help me see the forms and know where certain textures would begin and end.

I then printed it out so I could ink it.

The printout was 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 SP pen to ink the art. 

The texture of the morel pores was where I dove in and had the most fun. I was certainly inspired by the textures of my friend Nate Pride's ink work. The rest of the linework was my normal thick/thin line weights and varying densities of detail.

I was unable to get the inks finished before my stream ended but 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 came back up to the studio and finished inking the piece. The next day I started the coloring process as I listed to a live streamed concert by Joshua Lee Turner. The first step in coloring (after scanning and cleaning up the scan) is to flat in the colors––basically professional coloring-in-the-lines.

It was a fairly basic color palette I'd already established in the pencils/layout. This piece had very few color holds (areas where I want the line art to be a color other than black) only on the pupils and the roots coming off the pads of the feet.

For the final colors and all the highlights, shading, and texture I used the dodge and burn tools with a stock photoshop texture brush. 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.





Jonathan Towry


Nate Pride



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