I Wanted to make a quick last minute announcement that I have a piece in Krab Jab Studio's "Art of Role Playing Games" show! The show opening is this Saturday (Nov. 9th) at their studio in the Georgetown neighboorhood in Seattle.
Come by and check out some of the great art done for an often overlooked genre: the table top RPG.
I'll be showing an oldie but goodie of mine. The cover to the "Red Dragon Codex" by R.D. Henham. I did this cover in 2007, shortly after finishing a run of twenty three covers for the "Dragonlance: The New Adventures" book series. The dragon codex series was focused on ... you guessed it, dragons. The designs for the dragons were based on the D&D 3rd edition dragons that Todd Lockwood created. Luckily for me, Todd's design work for those dragons was amazing so it was a joy to illustrate them. (trust me I've had to depict some really bad designs over the years and it's an uphill battle)
I thought I'd use this opportunity to show some of my sketches for this cover. The brief from my AD was simple... a nasty looking red dragon. Give it a cool pose and don't worry about the background. Here are my thumbnails:
|Want to get into fantasy art? Learn to draw dragons.|
The biggest problems with illustrating dragons is their wingspan. Most artists find creative ways to foreshorten and crop out the wings so you can still get in close and draw the head. My AD and I decided to go with #4. Pretty straightforward, just a dragon hovering in a cool pose. Sometimes you really don't have to over think the art making process.
Here's my rough drawing:
I really like to get in there and work out the muscle groups and get the weight right. Notice how thick and heavy his neck looks. This drawing is fairly sloppy even my my standards but it was enough to start painting. The only other drawing I did before this stage is two quick roughs to work out how to handle those giant wings.
|#1 makes much more sense, anatomically. The wings in #2 are just kinda hanging there.|
I wish I had more scans of the painting in progress, but I don't, so here's the final painting. It's done in gouache on a 13"x19" piece of 140lb cold press watercolor paper. This is one of my favorite paintings that I've done over the last few years, I still look back on it to see how I handled things. I really think the muscle-y (is that a word?) neck has some good mass and weight to it. I also really like where the wings connect with the body. I think I was able to make fantasy anatomy look believable. There are plenty of things I don't like about the painting but since it's for sale at KrabJab I think it would be unprofessional to bad mouth my own art right now!
I hope you can make it out to the show and see this mean looking guy in person!