Tuesday, June 8, 2021

The Komodo Wyvern

Last Friday on my Twitch Stream, we did the sixth community draw-along event #DrawTheExtinct where I posted an image from an old block print I made with a few animal photo inspiration prompts and the idea to create an imaginary extinct animal. 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 Komodo Wyvern. And below are my steps to create it as well as the community submissions.

We started with the prompts of my original linocut print & sketch from a piece titled 'Extinct' as well as a Komodo Dragon, a Crocodile, and a vulture (thrown in to make it interesting and a wyvern instead of a dragon). I named the creature the Komodo Wyvern.

I told the viewers that they could use any combination of the inspiration prompts––they could make their version as cute and cuddly as a pocket pet stray kitten, as monstrous and deadly as a giant kaiju destroying cities, or anything in between. I also wanted this to be an excuse to get their pencils moving. I invited all skill levels, because I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't have to be good at something or pursuing mastery of it to just simply enjoy the act of it...and art is no exception.

On the Friday stream I started drawing with mechanical pencil on a sheet of copy paper to try and reimagine the beast. It went fairly well right off the bat. I looked at a few artists depictions of fantasy wyverns to get the body language right. The image here is after I'd scanned my pencils into Photoshop and made some proportion checks moved the head out a bit and added in a vulture feather ruff.

After I'd locked in 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 Komodo Wyvern. I used a Copic Multiliner 0.7 SP pen to ink the art. I was still streaming this portion on Twitch, though as my end of stream time was coming up, I was nervous I wouldn't finish in time. Turned out, I went a little over-time to get the inks completely finished before I said goodbye to everyone watching and offered encouragement as they worked on their pieces over the weekend. 

Off stream I scanned the inked artwork into Photoshop to prep it for final color. First thing was to drop it into the template I have for #DrawTheExtinct pieces with the border, background, and a base shadow already established. Then I started drawing in flat colors. This part of coloring (called flatting) is just a professional digital version of coloring-in-the-lines to establish the color areas.

My color choices were mostly based on the real animal species I based the creature on––but as is my way, most of my greens are a bit muted and warmer than real-life.

Below you can again see the final rendered corrected colors with a border and type applied. 

But, as this is a community event, I wanted to share all the other entries posted in the Discord. I awarded a prize and we voted together on a few more (prize winners marked with *) on Monday's Twitch stream and we all enjoyed seeing what each other had done. I hope we get even more participants next month (first Friday!)

Captain Nemo

Chris AU_Tiger


Evil Cartoonist*


Nate Pride*



SpacePiratePluto WIP



Wicked Goblin King

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