Very nice piece. Your dragon has such a cool look to it. I agree that it may be a little too saturated in comparison to the rest of the piece. But this is stellar work (yes, I said stellar). How do you reference dragons? Do you look at all sorts of reptiles and Chinese hand scrolls and then combine them into something new. Dragons have always been a weakness for me. This has become my new favorite piece from you. Thanks!
To everyone with compliments, thank you very much.
To everyone who critiqued, I agree with all of you. Some things you pointed out were concious decisions, some were things I let slide that I shouldn't have, some were just a case of running out of time. While I'm very pleased with this piece, it's still nowhere near where I hoped it would be when I started.
Now for some specific replies...
Originally Posted by MIKECORRIERO
That's one hell of a character portrait Tristan, really nice man, what kind of reference did you use for that, did you just have a model or yourself pose and then reference the clothing for the time period?
I was fortunate for this one in that I was able to get a model and costume that pretty much exactly matched what was in my initial sketch. The model was great, and gave me the exact feeling I was going for.
Originally Posted by Gory
Great painting. Although he didn't seem to have a very hard time slaying that dragon. He even managed to keep the dragon's blood off himself.
Actually, it was a lucky crossbow shot, right through the roof of the mouth!
Originally Posted by Mr. Visions
Great work again Elwell. That Dragon got owned by.... Stalin!?!?
This totally cracked me up.
Originally Posted by dogfood
One thing, though, and you can tell me what's going on: there seems to be a hot spot where the curve of nose smoke intersects the shining wing claw (made hotter with the sword pointing right at it).
The smoke was actually a late addtion, requested by the client. It was a good idea, but if I had planned for it from the beginning I probably would have arranged things slightly differently.
Originally Posted by voodoochile
Very nice piece. Your dragon has such a cool look to it. I agree that it may be a little too saturated in comparison to the rest of the piece. But this is stellar work (yes, I said stellar). How do you reference dragons? Do you look at all sorts of reptiles and Chinese hand scrolls and then combine them into something new.
Yeah, let me talk about the palette a little bit. The color of the King's uniform and the dragon were both given in the book, and getting them to work together was tricky. I guess the jury's out whether I pulled it off or not . If it had been 100% up to me, the dragon would have probably been done in dark reds and browns. In the original the darkest darks do actually go to a sort of deep maroon, but it's too subtle to come through in reproduction.
As for how to do reference dragons, yeah, that's pretty much it. Look at lizards, snakes, crocodiles, dinosaurs, bats, pterosaurs, lions, etc, etc, plus existing dragon pictures, mix it all up, and see what comes out.
Here is my initial, super cartoony sketch, along with another unused concept (fantasy publishing rule #17: dragons sell books).
Pretty cool piece of work, everything was really well done only thing I think was that the blood should have been thicker or darker it looks kinda sprayed over the ground.
I think its better you used the first sketch too, dragons ftw