Friday, June 4, 2010

Forest Dragon

My latest dragon painting. Funny to think it's been a while since I did one. I've been working on this for a bit more than a month (hence the long delay between posts).

The dragon is based loosely on the Forest Dragon from the Warhammmer Fantasy universe. I was a teenager when this piece was first released and I fell in love with it. I've been wanting to do something with it for a long time now, and I finally figured it out. And yes, the big tree is based on Avatar's Hometree.

I thought I'd show you my process. This admittedly ugly painting was the seed of the final piece. This is where I established what I wanted the painting to convey: an immense dragon hanging from a giant tree in a forest lit by moonlight. I also knew I wanted a color scheme dominated by blues and blue greens.

This is the refined pencil sketch. Here I determined a lot of fine detail, such as the vines on the giant tree and the smaller dragons on the lower left to give a sense of scale. Note I also extended the left side of the piece to show a bit more.

And this is the maquette I built. The foliage was created with moss. The wings were torn off a cheap Halloween decoration (oh the advantages of working for Amscan....). Note the lighting here is completely off. I did not use this photo for painting. I just gently backlit the maquette and painted from life. Obviously, I could only do this painting at night. How appropriate.

Well, hopefully this has been an enlightening post. Let me know if you thought so. I would appreciate it. I you think I'm a complete idiot, well, let me know that too. Just be nice and tell me why. Thanks!


A. L. Ryder said...

Piya-- this is a stunning dragon! I haven't built my maquette yet but I'll be sure to post a photo of it when I do. This is really lovely work, I love the convincing way you've shown the varying reflections of light in the dragon's scales.

Bishop Kenneth Myers said...

Any chance I could use this dragon image for a little book for the children in our church?

Shoot me a note at


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