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Thread: Alien Dragon

  1. #1
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    Alien Dragon

    Working on a birthday present for a friend. He likes the Alien movies and Starcraft so I'm using both Giger and Zerg references. Right now it's very messy as I'm only fleshing out the basic look right now. But his birthday is March 23 so I need help so it's perfect by then! Please help me out! I don't want the lack-luster crap I normally dish out.

    REFERENCES:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...arCraft%29.png

    http://th04.deviantart.net/fs70/200H...75-d519qx3.png

    http://origin.kaboodle.com/hi/img/c/...=1305935320000

    Alien Dragon

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  3. #2
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    What is your dragon standing on? Where is the ground plane?

    Recommended reading: "The Art of Animal Drawing" by Ken Hultgren, "Perspective Made Easy" by Ernst Norling.

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  4. #3
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    I didn't realize it made a difference in the early stages. And it's a bit late for me to order books. If you have them would you mind scanning the pages you think would help me most?

    Drew again from scratch. Cleaned up some of the lines and added some more musculature. Still having trouble with the headpiece even with the new reference.
    http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs28/f/20...cromanthil.jpg

    Alien Dragon

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfyre View Post
    I didn't realize it made a difference in the early stages
    It makes ALL the difference in the early stages. Theoretically, the early stages is exactly where you want everything to be perfect so that you have a good solid base to work from. Without that good basic sketch, not even the prettiest rendering in the world will be able to cover up your flaws.

    Order the books when you can or look them up on the internet; a few day's wait isn't going to make a dramatic difference in your artistic career (or this image for that matter). Regarding the image, it has a lot of beginner's flaws; your dragon is still not standing on the ground (the toes are going right through it), there is no indication of a basic structure (skeleton) and the proportions need work (why such a short neck with such an immense tail?), in short there's a lot of studying of forms, perspective and referencing from real life needed to make this work. Be sure to look up some of the more common animals; cats, dogs, horses, birds and lizards. Study how they work, how their bodies are built up, how they balance their weight on their legs. You can't build up a creature without knowing the structure underneath it's skin, which seems to be your main problem right now.

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    Ok. I'll at least look them up and see if there are any pages posted online. I'm usually good with the 3/4 view but that headpiece has been giving me trouble. I already own NeonDragon's book DragonArt and it helps a little but her style is a bit cartoony for what I'm going for here. Also, the tail is long because I'm using the Alien reference who's necks are extremely short. Unless you're talking about how it would effect flight which I haven't decided on whether or not the wings will be flight-worthy, vestigial (Zerg queen maybe?) or if it'll have wings at all. Also contemplating extra legs to follow the insectoid/Zerg theme.

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    Your anatomy looks extremely cartoony and unbelievable. All I can say is use as much reference as you can and you need to add structure. At this point though it's a matter of you need to invest a huge amount of time into learning drawing fundamentals which will take a while. Since you are on a limited deadline for this piece I suggest doing some quick thumbnails trying out different poses and design options to make it more interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avvatar View Post
    Your anatomy looks extremely cartoony and unbelievable. All I can say is use as much reference as you can and you need to add structure. At this point though it's a matter of you need to invest a huge amount of time into learning drawing fundamentals which will take a while. Since you are on a limited deadline for this piece I suggest doing some quick thumbnails trying out different poses and design options to make it more interesting.
    Ok. This is going to make me sound incredibly stupid but you're going to have to define "thumbnail" to me in the context you're talking about. I've been taught that thumbnails were tiny little sketches for trying out different poses and styles. But the way you said it made it sound like I have to draw a bunch of little perfect portraits. I've been sitting here for 40 minutes trying to do a bunch of thumbnails to post and they all look like crap. I can't even work with the ground lines because I always end up going through them rather than resting on top of them.

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    It doesn't have to be perfect at all, the opposite, is a crude tiny drawing (in grayscale if you can), with 0 details aside for the general forms

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  10. #9
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    These are thumbnails (for example, there are many ways to do them); http://www.jasonzuckerman.com/wp-con...sitionsweb.jpg . They are small, quick sketches that show the overall idea you have for the character, composition and/or value setup.

    As for the alien reference; not a very good reference in my humble opinion. The alien tails move in completely unnatural and illogical ways (and honestly I've never been a fan of the alien's animations). Your dragon seems to be made of skin and bone; a long, extremely flexible tail on a body like that would hinder any sort of movement. That, and your creature simply looks very heavy at the rear right now; a massive tail like that has weight to it that can't possibly be countered by such a short upright neck. It's all in the weight distribution, in other words balance.

    Look at these guys for example;

    Alien Dragon

    Alien Dragon

    Alien Dragon

    Also, the tail will be shorter as the neck is more upright, because that will shift the weight over the legs more.

    Alien Dragon

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    Ok I think I gotcha. Short neck = short tail.

    I never really cared for Giger's art in general and I've never really watched any of the Alien movies save for bits and pieces.

    What id the dragon was strictly terrestrial? If it was able to move quickly then a sleek and slender body with a long tail would make sense right? Like a cheetah. Or would it be a bad idea to use a cat as a reference for this?
    http://joshuamhood.com/wp-content/up...02/Cheetah.jpg

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  12. #11
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    You can use any animal as a reference; whichever you think is best for your design . A long tail yes, but even the cheetah's tail is not thrice it's body length and it's not quite as heavy at the base; it has a lot of freedom of movement which it needs to turn sharp corners and stay balanced while running. You have to consider the functionality of your design; most animals are built the way they are for a reason. If you know the reasons, you can play with them.

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    Ok. Reference first then embellish.

    Sorry this took so long. Stuff happened. And because I'm unable to access Photoshop I wasn't able to scale it down so it's a bit big and I'm just giving you the link instead of posting the image itself.

    Sketches with X's are ones I like best. X1 is up on its hindquarters looking forward. X2 is hunched over and stalking prey ans X3 is what I've already been working on.
    http://i435.photobucket.com/albums/q...psba3532e5.jpg

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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfyre View Post
    Short neck = short tail.
    Giraffes and squirrels show that is wrong.

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