Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Crystal Pixie Owl 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: Crystal, Pixie, & Owl.

I opened several tabs of google image searches of crystal formations, mythical pixies, barn owls, saw whet owls, and butterfly wings.

I considered that it would be possible to make a dragon that was entirely crystalline with owl features and pixie wings––but I knew wanted instead to have the crystals be horns and back-spines of the beast. Originally I was going to limit the owl bits to the face & beak, but after trying some scales on the body, I opted for a feather pattern seen on barn owls.  

This was drawn on a few sheets of copy paper (sometimes with them overlaying each other on a light pad to make corrections/amendments to the earlier versions) and then assembled into what you see here in Photoshop. This process to find and draw a design took me much longer than normal for some reason.

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 inking on this piece started with all the line weights for the fluffy feather wringles around the face. I was able during the stream to get into the crystals and the pattern on the body, but ran out of time before getting to finish.

Since I was unable to finish the inks before my stream ended, 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 the bristol to start the color flatting process––basically professional coloring-in-the-lines. First step was creating color holds (areas where I want the ink lines to be a color other than black) for the crystals, body markings, & wing patterns. Then I flatted in the various colors (Though I did start painting a lighter belly tone)

On Saturday I dove into the final colors. I did do a bit of painting with the paintbrush tool, but did most of the highlights, shading, and texture with the dodge and burn tools and 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.

88 Uncle Ernie






Jonathan Towry

Nate Pride


Sleepless Ninja


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