Friday, March 11, 2016

Illustration Friday -- Dragon

It's Friday -- YAY!

It's "Illustration Friday" too.

Last week the theme was Childhood ... and my brain just could not figure out how to illustrate that topic -- there were just too many choices.  :-)

Back in high school, when in my senior year I finally chucked off a foreign language as my elective course and took Art 1, I had done an illustration that included a stack of alphabet building blocks, some kiddie scissors, a few crayons and a paint brush.  I thought about re-capturing the essence of that but then limited the scope by telling myself that the illustration needed to be done in ATC size -- 2 1/2" x 3 1/2".  Too small.  It did not happen.

This week, the theme is Dragon.

A few years ago, 2012 (further back than I thought it had been), I had done what I considered a fairly decent dragon in colored pencil.  I had watched a YouTube video by Cindy Angiel of Rainbow Elephant (find her channel here) -- she described her process for making a set of ATCs for a swap at  I got interested in swapping some ATCs and went over to take a look at the swaps they had going.  One that I thought about joining, and actually made a series of trading cards for, had the theme of Chinese New Year.  I made a couple featuring cherry blossoms and one (then two "sort of copied" from that one) of a Chinese dragon based on a Google Images picture of a gorgeous painting of a dragon.  I wish I still had the link to that picture ...  **sigh**  In the end, I did not sign up for the swap because I did not like an attitude I saw at work at the site ... I have received ATCs and cards in swaps that are probably not the artist's best work and had felt slightly disappointed but I understood that things happen, supplies or time may be limited so that a do-over isn't possible, etc.   But swap after swap at the site had in its description "send only your best work."  It seemed just a bit too arrogant, or maybe demanding is a better word -- whichever word you choose, it was a bit too judgmental for something that should be fun.  I did not actually sign up for any of their swaps.  From time to time, I do visit for some ideas of what to work on if I feel I am getting stale or feel like I am just redoing the same thing over and over.

Since our move last fall, I'm not sure where those ATCs are that include that dragon that I enjoyed doing and was so pleased with the results.  Today's Dragon theme made me think of that trading card.  And, so, I grabbed a sheet of white cardstock and decided to "have a go."

Today's dragon is only a vague shadow of that one that was so good.  This is a just-for-fun Dragon.

It started with the eye -- using the finger hole in a pair of detail scissors to make the shape and then building the rest of the image out from that.  The dragon scales are more like the ones in my fishes and maybe should be a bit more squared off ... Dragons are, after all, products of the imagination ... so the shape of his (or her?) scales is really not a "should," is it?

If "should" does apply, then the snout needs to be longer, the teeth sharper and some horns need to be added in ... the spines on the back need to be longer and sharper and, and, and ... Eh, this is MY dragon based on my memory of that previous dragon -- a "mannerist" version of it in a way.
Wish my scanner was set up so the dragon could have been scanned and then printed out to be colored in using various color schemes.  The one I used was because it was the one I had the widest variety of pencils in ... (I ended up propping up the cardstock against the screen of the laptop and shooting a few digital pictures of it -- so there is a small curvature to the final image that really doesn't belong there ... **sigh**)

Hop on over to Illustration Friday and join the weekly fun!

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