Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dark Winter Dragon Part Final

Edit: On 3/8, the winners were announced. This piece won second place! Awesome!!!
The winter dragon art entries are up, so I'm posting my entry up. Here she is in all her dark glory!

By the way, if you're wondering why I called her the DARK winter dragon, that's because she's my second winter dragon. Here's my first one from 6 years ago!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dark Winter Dragon Part 3

The challenge deadline has passed and I've submitted my entry, but I won't show it just yet. Here's a sketch of my dragon in the meantime!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dark Winter Dragon Part 2

So as mentioned in the previous post, I had done a bunch of sketches in my sketchbook and felt I was getting somewhere, until I decided my idea was too sweet and not me. Back to the sketchbook! Now for my sketchbook, I tend to use no nonsense pencil, but I have found in the past that sticking to one medium for too long tends to dry me out and that was the case here. Suffice it to say, the drawings I did were uninspired and not worth showing here. It was time for a change. I decided that to start fresh, I would go digital for the sketch and use a brush I hadn't used very much before. The main brush I believe I acquired from Kekai Kotaki's collection which he donated to Imagine FX magazine. I grabbed a texture off my texture library and went at it. After about 40 minutes here's what came out.

I finally felt like I was getting somewhere.....I felt like there's still a mother/child connection. What could be more basic and at the core of parenting than providing food for one's child? I had to make sure the dragon was dark, scary and a little demonic too; I like this juxtapose of an evil looking creature being a caring mother. I've kept the colors desaturated so the blood stands out more as well.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dark Winter Dragon Part 1

Hello! Sorry about the lack of posts. A few weeks ago this showed up at the Dracopedia Project Blog....
William, you're a good man! The rules are simple enough; interpret 'winter dragon', any media, style, etc. Just make it cool...pun sort of intended. Off to the sketchbook!
This is one page of several I drew trying in trying to come up with a painting. As an artist, my thing is story. Narrative. I've never been a money shot kind of guy (you know, the scene where the hero is standing there looking heroic, but not really doing anything). There has to be something...going on. I played with a few ideas. At one point, I was going to have Santa Claus riding on my winter dragon! Why, not, Christmas is only 10 months away!
Finally, I stopped to think about what the term 'winter' means to me. Some people think snowmen and snowball fights, school days cancelled and hot chocolate by the roaring fire, but I think of winter in terms of cold environments, such as the Arctic. Terms that come to mind are white, cold, beautiful, unforgiving, harsh, survivors. Winter is a time of deadly beauty. So how do I tell a story around a lovely but brutal background? Well, I stumbled upon the idea of a mother and child struggling to survive. And here's a color rough of such an idea.
This is a mother winter dragon watching over her sleeping young in a cold, harsh mountain morning. I felt this had a lot of opportunities, artistically speaking. Most obvious is the unusual horizontal composition. I could also play with color, lighting and extreme atmospheric perspective. It has story, a sense of the epic, it's original and....sweet. Not me. I realized I would probably hate doing this painting. There's no action, nothing. And this contest should be about a dragon, I felt this composition was more about a scene that just happened to have a dragon in it. Also, these characters didn't have to be dragons; I could've put goats in their place and it would've worked. I did like the original idea of a mother and her young, and  I wanted to carry that, but I had to lose the saccharine sweetness.

Check in again on Monday to see where this goes.
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