For just over a week now I’ve had to take a break from the Ruins Project to work on a commissioned piece, I’ve now finished the commission and thought that I would publish some of the work that I done in the early stages whilst gathering ideas and conceptualising; and also the finished piece of work that I produced.
The first thing that I had to do was to figure out the pose that I wanted the finished dragon to be in and how the dragon would look, they’re not the easiest creatures to find reference for without trampling all over someone else’s artwork so I spent hours looking at all different types of reptiles, from lizards to crocodiles trying to build up a good reptilian profile in my mind. I did also have a look through a lot of dragon pieces created by other artists, it’s incredible how popular dragons are as a subject of artwork.
Anyway that’s enough of me waffling, let’s get the sketches up.
These images show some of the initial sketches that I produced, very roughly, to capture certain elements for the final drawing. I was working out the pose, head design and eye for the final dragon. I also did a quick anatomical sketch for the wing structure for the dragon.
Once I had established the pose that I wanted to use I produced another sketch, this time bigger, and roughed it in on the scale I was going to use for the larger piece. I also established the light source at this stage, ignoring detail and just looking at pose, negative space and lighting. I also decided to have the dragon’s figure slightly cropped at the wings rather than fit the whole thing on the page as I think it would have looked a bit isolated. After all, how can one expect to fit such a colossal beast onto a single sheet of paper.
The next stage was creating a head design for the dragon, something obviously draconian and reptilian but from a source that can be referenced. With that in mind I looked at dinosaur skulls, using a combination of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Dracorex and I incorporated the aforementioned crocodile and lizard elements.
I drew up one final sketch, laying in the all the different bits and pieces I had come up with and liked the look of so far, I also adjusted and tweaked elements from previous sketches. From this pencil sketch, I transferred the outline onto a piece of watercolour paper and got ready to draw up the final piece in ink.
I am pleased with the final outcome of this piece, as is the commissioner, the hardest part of the entire process will be parting ways with the original piece, but I can’t complain as it has been an interesting piece to work on.
I hope that you have enjoyed this post and I’ll be back as soon as possible with the next stage of the Ruins Project.
Until next time, take care and please feel free to leave any feedback and comments.