This bat-like dragon is the familiar of a wizard who is under a powerful curse. Determined to help his friend, this devoted dragon has spent many sleepless nights studying and preparing ingredients to concoct this cure for the wizard he loves.
I had so much fun researching historical magic books, herbals, medieval cookbooks, alchemical recipes and medieval and renaissance medicine for this project. I probably spent more time researching than painting! After my attempt to learn Old English in a couple of days proved to be too ambitious I decided to borrow my recipes from “The Compound of Alchymie” by Sir George Ripley and a headache cure from “Bald’s Leechbook.” Don’t try the headache remedy at home though, the hemlock bath it recommends seems a bit risky!
A friend asked me to help him design a dragon for the bottom of his longboard. It was fun to try and figure out how to fill such an unusually shaped space.
I started out painting a grayscale dragon in Photoshop making sure to keep the dragon and background layers separate to make masking easier later on.
(Please note that I do have kind, wise, wonderful friends who care about my sanity and advised me not to worry about painting all the scales. But, as is usually the case with the recipients of good advice…I listened and did just the opposite)
Once I had all the detail I wanted I added color using gradient maps which is something I’ve never tried before. I color sampled from a couple images of copper coins and was able to get pretty good initial color in a relatively short time.
After several (and I mean SEVERAL) layers of this I went back to direct painting and finished it up! Which took forever. But it was probably faster than it would have been without gradient maps.! I’ll definitely experiment with them again in the future. Here’s the rectangular version:
I started this portrait of Marie shortly after she was born. I meant to do just a little speed sketch of this photo:
…but true to form I got a “little” carried away with the details. Here’s a close up so you can appreciate them:
It was an awful lot of fun playing with so many lines! Next time I’ll make the texture a little more obvious so you don’t have to zoom in so far to see them 🙂
Much to my bafflement, my son Daniel has never really been interested in drawing. He’d rather do math problems, study historical maps or read a book. But lately his passion for geography and ever active imagination has led him to draw maps of places from his make believe games…and of course monsters that inhabit those lands. Naturally I wanted to encourage him, so we combined our artwork to create this little picture of Catchie (Daniel’s adventurous alter-ego) and his pet, the flying fire fish!