Art: Dragon - WIP [Update Dec. 8th]
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Thread: Dragon - WIP [Update Dec. 8th]

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    Wasp Dragon - WIP [Update Dec. 8th]

    I'm working on a dragon sculpt for my girlfriends birthday. This is my first sculpt of this size. The only thing I've done before was a few tiny grells for D&D.

    I'm getting close to finalizing the anatomy. I don't know if I should finish the whole thing *then* do the wings after or what...I'm not sure what the consequences of double baking the main sculpt will be. But I want to add some sort of fins on the face and a ridge running down the back and I'm thinking that might be easier after the rest of the dragon is finished.

    Any thoughts on that would be appreciated. The sculpt is based on Todd Lockwoods dragon designs for WotC, specifically the Silver Dragon.

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    Last edited by fukifino; December 8th, 2007 at 09:37 PM.
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    Looks great so far, very well proportioned!

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    seems to be a very good start

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    hmmm... the connecting anatomy of the wings seems a bit odd... i just feel that it could "grow" more towards the base of the neck, and closer to the spine, mroe as if it is "growing" from the back shoulder plate, closer to the bird family, or is it more of a bat like wings? that actually look more like an extension of arms. your dragon's wings doesnt seems to be either, maybe its an early stage of the sculpt, or a totally different anatomy. will do some sketches later to illustrate my point, meanwhile if you have some sketches that would help to understand where you are coming from and going to! also checkout smellybug's tutorial (http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=18287), you'll probably find most of the answer you seek there, especially on the ridge and facial fins. have you also check-out mcfarlane's dragon series?

    a thought about giving own sculpt away as gifts... especially GF, hope she appreciate the works that goes into it and secondly, she's into the subject matter very much!! thanks for sharing, again, a good start and look promising to be a great sculpt!

    sketch from your photos, have moved the wings a bit closer to the front... hmm... some how... i dunno, the anatomy on the "cobra" fin might be too muscular, maybe a more flappy form would be more "natural"? i also try to sketch it more like what you mentioned about a second pair of arms, i think it would also be more "natural" to have different length for each sectmen of the wing-arms. do post when you've updated your sculpt! i'm going to start my first super sculpey sculpt soon, am learning all i can from this thread as well as the whole site! hope you'll drop by then

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    Last edited by zenichi; July 19th, 2007 at 12:59 AM. Reason: attach image
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    Being from the Bluegrass state, when I think of a big animal like a dragon, I think of a horse.
    I reccommend you think more about the musculatureat the base of the throat across the chest
    like this purty gypsy horse... (I'm trying an attachment for the first time: im a new guy, see.)

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    Thanks for the comments folks. I wish I could find some of Lockwoods MM illustrations online, but the Wizards site doesn't include them, and his site doesn't have the illustrations in question. The best example I can find is this one.

    The major problem with describing the chest anatomy like a horse is that the dragon has a scaled belly like a snake, so it ends up needing to be a sort of rounder, smoother surface.

    And Zenichi, I think the way the anatomy I'm working off of describes the wings more like a second pair of arms...I think overall I still need to thin up certain areas to make the musculature stand out a bit more.

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    Todd Lockwood dragons are based on cats (with wings ) so you might want to base it more on cat anatomy and then work on the wings, though they have a reversed/ bird hip I think.

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    Great looking dragon, so far. I think Zenichi does have a point...the wings on your dragon seem to be attached more to the middle than closer to the neck. In all flying animals (living and extinct) the wings are attached close to the front. This allows for a more balanced flight, because most of the mass (chest) would be right at the front...some airplanes use the same design by placing most of the weight right at the front. I know dragons are fantasy, but you want the design to make sense, right?

    Speaking of Lockwood, you ought to pick up Dungeon & Dragons manual on dragons (Draconomicon)...there are many excellent illustrations of dragons by Lockwood in that book. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...6928842&itm=13

    Last edited by Shadowwing; July 18th, 2007 at 11:58 PM. Reason: added link to book
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    Todd Lockwood dragons are based on cats (with wings ) so you might want to base it more on cat anatomy and then work on the wings, though they have a reversed/ bird hip I think.
    based on feline? which explain why i felt like sketching a cat family being when i sketch the lower-body/ hineside/ rear of the sculpt. i think its interesting to see all these dragon's interpretation based on diverse species, which is why i thought the Mcfarlane's dragon series interesting as one can see they are based on different myth and family of beasts.

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    I'm getting close to finalizing the anatomy. I don't know if I should finish the whole thing *then* do the wings after or what...I'm not sure what the consequences of double baking the main sculpt will be.
    Shouldn't be any, esp. if you bake it a little lower than the recommended temp.


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    zenichi, I think you're right. I'll see what I can do with the sculpy to try to push the wings forward on the model. However, I think I may have placed the armature for them too far back. The armature I made had a few issues, being my first one, so I'm not sure if I can correct it. But I really appreciate the drawings based off my sculpt! It helps a lot to clarify some of the issues I was seeing myself.

    Shadowwing, I debated the Draconominicon, but as I'd almost never use it in my games, I couldn't justify the ~40 bucks for it. I picked up another one though called A Practical Guide to Dragons. Looks like it's for the Dragonlance universe, a complete fluff piece written by a kender, but it turns out to be great for this as it has skeletal and musculature diagrams and was only like 15 bucks.

    Thanks for all the interest and pointers everyone! Work's picking up this week and Comic-Con's next week, so progress might be slow. I'll update again when I've got some more work to show.

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    Only some small updates here. Haven't had much time to work on it, plus the flourescent light I had hanging above my workspace came out of the cieling and fell on top of all my crap while I was at Comic Con. Fortunately it only caused a few cracks in the unbaked dragon. It could have been *far* worse.

    Anyways, tried to bulk up the forward part of the shoulders to imply it being attached farther up and just finished meshing the wings.

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    great to see updates! as i'm a beginner, i love to see WIP as it helps a lot in actually "seeing" how to bring things to the next level and how to "rough" clays in. thanks for sharing the updates!

    the dragon is beginning to grow on me... hope whoever's receiving this as a gift really knows how to cherish it!

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    Well, I'm a total beginner myself, Zenichi, this being my first real sculpt, hehe. I'm definately learning as I go and realizing all the places I planned for poorly.

    In retrospect, I should have meshed the wings a lot earlier I think so I could have anchored them back to the body a little better. You can't really see it because of the clay I built up where they connect, but they're just barely touching. I bridged it with some more mesh shoved into the body and attached to the wings for a little stability but overall it was just hard working with it while trying not to damage the sculpt too much.

    Two things I want to do now before I get into the texturing are figure out if I want to cast the horns seperately so I can get them clean (maybe a mold or something, dunno) and acquiring some sorta ball bearings for the eyes.

    And then the texturing itself is going to kill me. I've done a few experiments but I'm still not sure how I'm going to do the scales. I think I'm going to try to roll out a thin sheet, then cut strips from it, then cut a triangle pattern into one side giving me a row of scales I can wrap around the neck in layers. I think I'll just try some sort of "pebbled" texture for most of the body, with a few areas of scales here and there. I'm kind of scared! Haha.

    I'll post again when I have more progress. Thanks for stopping bye, folks.

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    Scales and such starting to go on.

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    Another update. Not gonna get it done in time, but I'm still making progress. I think the wings are going to end up being way too flimsy/fragile. Down to the last bit now though, just gotta texture and smooth for the most part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raytracer View Post
    looks like a gryphon.
    It's good to hear someone else say that. I kept thinking the scales I did ended up looking more like feathers than scales and now that you mention it, that's the impression I was getting too. I made some small adjustments to the scales to make them look more like it, but I think the end result still might suffer from that appearance.

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    It's been a while since I've posted an update. I'm still plugging away at this, even if it is several months late for my girls birthday. :/ But the end is getting to be in sight!

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    this is gorgeous! i wasnt too sure what it was gonna look like in the end (for some reason, i started typing "taste" instead of look.. i dunno, could be the lack of sleep or could be a subconscious craving for dragon flesh) but it really has turned into something special. i can see an improvement in your sculpting abilities from the start to the finish, the scales look a lot more like scales now

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    looking great! What are you using for clay? If you dont mind me asking.. And not sure if you already have been told if its sculpey it can apparently stand a few bakings.. though I havent tried it personally... Love the dragon though cant wait to see how you paint it!

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    Looking good - I was beginning to wonder whether you had quit the project ;-). The "lamp fell on the dragon"-event is every sculptors nightmare - glad you made it though.
    I like your scales - is it correct that your neckscales and bodyscales are made with different techniques? (not that the difference is that visible - but as you know I have a personal interest in scales!).

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    Thanks for the comments!

    Stoph: Yeah, I've learned a LOT doing this sculpture. Mainly to not try anything so freakin' complicated as my first one! Haha.

    Amelyth: Thanks. And yes, it's a mix of Super Sculpey (pink) and Sculpey III (black) for a gray base. I started this well before I'd heard about the Super Sculpey Firm stuff, which is what I want to try to acquire before my next one.

    Aseyngel: Nope, haven't abandoned it! Just didn't want to post endless minor updates. But I took some shots to show to a family member and I figured I'd update the thread.

    And yes, the scales are done with two different techniques. The neck ones were done by making little strips of clay and cutting a zigzag end, then wrapping it around the neck. Make another strip, layer it over the first one, rinse, repeat. I wasn't that happy with the result.

    In trying to figure out how I was going to texture the rest of the body, I was playing with making a negative stamp out of clay that I would use to just stamp all over the body to make scales, but it wasn't working at ALL. It would just leave a nasty mess. One morning, while trying to make a new stamp, I realized that the *positive* pattern on the stamp actually made scales too! *duh* So now I Just press the scales right into the clay using one of these Angle Chisel clay shapers (size 0 if you're curious). I think I need to go buy another one and hack off most of the handle so I can get into some of the harder to reach places.

    I'm actually using the rounded back end of the shaper, not the chisel end, because the back is shaped like a triangle. Anything triangular would probably do. Basically, I press the gap between scales into the model, which leaves two edges of adjacent scales. Works great for this simple, triangular, repeating pattern.

    The whole thing is still a bit cartoony. I hope one day to make a sweet dragon with textures as cool as acornboy's Galapagos Girl.

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    Wow ,

    this Dragon looks awesome with the details
    Some kind of MohawkDragon ? - what i like alot are the scales in the head area ,
    its some common dragon structure .

    bw

    mat

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