Dragon on pottery

I’m getting obsessed with dragons, thus is a quick sketch of one slithering down a bottle oven at a pottery. I’m imagining it’s been attracted by the heat as the oven is heated up to fire the pottery. I probably should have a plume of smoke coming out of the top of the oven. My dragon is golden like the luster on victorian pottery. I think my dragon is a friendly one.

up late/early?

I’m up messing about on my computer, I want to work out characters for a childrens story I hope to write and illustrate for my college project. I am not sharing what it will be called or the scenario. And given my bad grammar here I dont even know if I will be able to do it. But the saying goes that we all have at least one book in us. Mine might be a bit musty and old fashioned! I think I need dragging into the 21st century. I also want to find some watercolour sketches I painted years ago to illustrate this (its a very old project) wish me luck.

Dragon digitally

I’m working on a series of images of dragons for a college project. Working towards a final depiction of a dragon for my proposed children’s book.

Thus started out as a bit of glittery painting I’d called dragon skin. Then I mirrored it so it was symmetrical. Finally I drew features on it symmetrically using a digital sketching app. I like the idea of amalgamating digital and analogue art.

Dragon stone

I painted a stone with a dragon design, then I edited it in photodirector. The paint is in little bottles with a nozzle and you use it to add dots and lines onto a surface. I’m a bit unsteady with my hand and arm so it’s more wobbly than I would like. Once it’s dry I might take another photo. As the colours dry they seem to shrink because they seem to have glue in the paints. Especially the ones with added glitter.

Dragon sculptures

I’m doing a project about dragons for college and suddenly I keep seeing them. Today there were two dragon sculptures in our local garden centre. It’s like if you own a certain type of car you will see that type everywhere. Own a mini? No doubt you will see them. Just mentioning a type of car and I think it prompts your brain to notice them.

Anyway I think dragons I will be spotting all over the place for the next few days.

Dragon heads

Thinking about dragons and how they look? For a mythical beast there are lots of ‘species’. Ancient Chinese and Japanese, medieval dragons battled by saints, dragons in stories by authors like Anne McCaffrey, films like ‘ how to train your dragon’, with a dragon with a catlike head (toothless).

Then, logically, the wings wouldn’t really get it off the ground. But a mythical beast would be magical and easily able to fly. How about having wings like a dragonfly? Gossamer and transparent? And does the dragon have a scaled body or could it have fur?

Lots to think about!

Dragon design

My final major project for college will probably be a story about a dragon and an adventure with it. I wrote a story about twenty years ago but when I asked friends what they thought I decided it was too wordy, more like a novel. Not funny enough. So it’s sat on my computer and each time I have upgraded my system I’ve copied the file so I’ve never lost it.

I won’t tell the story, but I thought of it as a tale to tell my friends baby daughter. I was going to get a book published that I could give to her when she was older. Sadly she is an adult now and I’ve lost track of her mum. Maybe that book will finally be finished. Anyway I’m experimenting with illustrations for it.


Building tension

As part of my illustration course I have to learn about narrative and storytelling. This weeks subject is about building tension in a story and we had to chose a book to look at:

I don’t have any graphic novels to look at, so I chose ‘Guards! Guards!’, by Terry Pratchett.

It tells the story of how Carrot, a human who was brought up as the step son of dwarves, and who may or may not be the heir to the throne, comes to join the City Guard of Ankh-Morpork and ends up fighting dragons to save the city.

The book cover is illustrated by Josh Kidby who helps raise the tension of one of the crucial scenes whilst including many of the cast of characters in the book. The illustration is full of drama but also emphasises the emotions of the guards.

Pratchett’s writing style is humorous and descriptive, he also uses the device of writing a continuous narrative, with no chapters, but swapping between different scenes which create a series of cliffhangers. His narrative carries you through the book with the images he creates almost visible to the mind’s eye:

  The dragon accelerated. The drunken rooftops of Ankh-Morpork blurred as it passed over,     wings sneering at the air. The neck stretched out straight ahead, the pilot flames of its  nostrils streaming behind it, the sound of its flight panned across the sky. 

 Just reading that makes me want to read on. I can see the flames and smoke billowing around the dragon. Will Carrot and the guards overcome this monster? Does Carrot die in a blaze of heat and fire? Will a million to one chance with an arrow save them?

You can see how much I have enjoyed this fantasy story by the state of the well thumbed cover.  I often look through the characters on the cover and try and match them up with those in the book. There is sometimes a mismatch between the words and the image but I think Kidby   handles it well.

I don’t have permission to use an image from Guards! Guards! So I did a quick doodle.