Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Ancient Storm Stag Dragon

Last Friday on my Twitch Stream, we did the #DiscoveringDragons Community-Draw-Along! Normally it happens on the first friday of the month, but because I was at Emerald City Comic Con on the first friday, we postponed it until the second friday for this month. 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 words were Ancient, Storm, and Stag. I opened a few tabs of google image searches of those words & one for 'dragons'. 

I knew going into this dragon that I wanted to push a sense of scale more than my previous pieces.

I started with a pencil drawing on copy paper of an elk head and then a separate drawing of the body shape & pose. I used a kneaded eraser to lighten the elk feature enough that I could draw more dragon-ish features that happen to be in the shape of an elk's head. I assembled those drawings in Photoshop and added a photo of a stag's antlers. In this step I was able to make adjustments, resize, reposition, and refine the rough shapes.

I then printed it out so I could do the tighter pencil drawing you see to the left on top of it on a light pad.

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 started with the head, but them moved down to the body. I hesitated on the antler-like spines down the neck and tail, so I postponed on those, moved on to the antlers before needing to end the Twitch stream for time concerns. After I had some dinner, I came back and redrew the antler spines and inked them in off stream.

At the end of my stream I'd wished the viewers all luck with their pieces and told them we'd take a look at everyone's work on Monday. After I finished the inks, I also wanted to draw some weather effects to get 'storm' in the piece more. So I inked a separate cloud on a piece of scrap, and the lightning on the back of the dragon art. 

I scanned them all, assembled them and started the coloring process. That first step is to flat in the colors––basically professional coloring-in-the-lines.

 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 did a little bit of painting with a brush on the cloud effect. 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.








Sarah Crumb

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