Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Morose Wooly Dragon

Last week 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). It takes place on the first Friday of the month.

I worked on my piece live on my Twitch stream while viewers worked at home and then on the following 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: Wooly & Morose

I opened several tabs of google image searches of sad dragons, Pokemon's Snorlax, Rams & Sheep, and some Mercer Mayer illustrations

I started on copy paper with the head and then worried about fitting it on the paper, so I drew a small thumbnail of the body below it, scanned it into Photoshop and started combining and digitally drawing over the top until I had the bigger shapes figured out I also used a 3D model of Ram hors rotated to the right angle for reference).

I printed that rough out and on a lightpad drew tighter pencils on a lightpad and a new sheet of copy paper.

Those pencils were then re-scanned and I cleaned up my color blocking to help me see what areas were what colors (what was horn vs wool, etc).

I printed out the above design at full scale and taped that onto 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 pen to ink the art.

The inking on this piece started with the nose and mouth, but moved quickly to figuring out the texture and line density of the wooly hair so it felt matted and curly, but not heavy. I was unable to finish the inks on-stream, but returned to them later that night off-stream, where the inking continued on the rest of the body and the ankle and tail wool.

The next day, I scanned the inks to I could start the coloring process. After prepping the digital scan of the inks, I established a color hold (an area where I want the ink to be a color other than black)––the overall lines became a dark brown. Most of my #DiscoveringDragon pieces have at least two color holds, I think the is the first where I only needed one.

Then it was time to start the color flatting process––basically professional coloring-in-the-lines. Some of this is just to make it easy to re-isolate various parts when doing later painting & rendering. Most of the colors were established in the rough, but I played with the final value/hue choices.

For the final colors I used the dodge and burn tools to add shadows and highlights to give the dragon some form. Most of the work was in darkening in all the shadows in the wooly bits. and then––I opted to do a 2nd color hold on just the wooly bits. Below you can again see the final Dragon...

But, as this is a community event, I wanted to share all the other entries posted in the Discord. 




Nate Pride




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