The last time I drew a dragon, I was in college working on an independent study of book illustration. I was illustrating the Hobbit and was tasked to draw Smaug over lake town. I haven't drawn a dragon since. Well not really, the awesome Art Order is creating a collection of tiny dragons and not so tiny dragons for a book. I was recently published in the Art Order Invitational Gallery and knew I wanted to create a piece for their next project.
As a person who doesn't draw dragons, I had to figure out what my dragons look it. It was a mixture of using reference images for lizards and chickens. Chickens? Well for the wings, my idea was that since baby birds don't fly, maybe baby dragons have the same learning curve and anatomy.
One of the unusual parts of my normal process for this piece was doing a rough digital sketch in photoshop. Normally, that process is on paper, but this time I pulled all of my references together on one file and was able to look between the two files to create the rough drawing. It's something I want to continue to do for larger, complex pieces moving forward.
So I learned two things with this piece: digital mock ups and play with texture!
We'll see if it gets into the book!