Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Many-Eyed Bone Moon 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 three words: Many-Eyed, Bone, & Moon.

I opened several tabs of google image searches of dragons, pterosaur skeletons, bird skulls, and of the moon phases. 

I knew from the start I wanted a dragon that had the stance of a walking pterosaur. So, I started with that body drawing. I didn't leave quite enough room on the sheet of copy paper for the head, so I drew it separately on another sheet (referencing bird skulls, but adding more possible eye sockets).

Somewhere in there my concept of a halo of moons in their phases (with the skull lighting them like a sun) it dawned on me that those moons could also serve as the many eyes. 

I scanned the drawings I had, merged them in photoshop, used some shape tools to lay out the moon-eyes and did a quick color blocking to see the forms better. 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. 

Most of the inking was straight forward other than the on-the-spot line weights and contours that imply more form and planes to the bones. I also wanted to play with the idea of this dragon glowing a bit, but also letting off some darkness (like the Balrog being a creature of smoke and shadow--but also flame). So, on the back of the bristol I stippled in a darkness aura around the creature while leaving a little air gap around it. 

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 and then scanned both sides of the bristol and assembled them to start the color flatting process––basically professional coloring-in-the-lines. I kept the idea from the layout phase of using a yellow-purple contrast for my color scheme (though toned down more). I also added color holds to the darkness aura (making it a pale mauve), the moon-eyes, & pupils.

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.







Sleepless Ninja



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