|A mythical selfie ... even dragons are jumping into the social media bandwagon|
Initially, I was sorely tempted to paint a less cliched mythical beast, say perhaps a chameleon dragon with hues ranging from green to purple. Apprehension had clouded my thoughts as to how I could ever pull off a colour scheme that was overwhelmingly dominated by a single hue. So for inspiration I looked towards Larry Elmore, a fantasy artist whose works graced the covers of many a book in the genre (Dragonlance as well as Dungeons & Dragons to name a few) that I had read as a child.
|Red Dragon [Completed sans base]|
|Light ochre, beige, white, purple and pink were used to contrast the reds|
|Red, red and more red|
Using Larry Elmore's dragon illustrations as the foundation to work from, I also referenced more contemporary takes such as the movie version of Smaug as well as mother nature's Scleropages legendrei (super red arowana) and Naja pallida (red spitting cobra). Placed into a melting pot of ideas, these references then gave rise to the colours I used to contrast the dominant red scheme. Some more noticeable than others, they consist of light ochre, pink, purple, beige, white and yellow.
|For a slime-like effect, a light coat of gloss varnish was applied to the tongue|
|Wings were painted with near yellow highlights to make them stand out from the rest of the dragon|
There is a good reason why this piece doesn't have a base yet. And it's not the usual 'I suck at bases' excuse. The existing oval base will eventually be discarded for a larger and more elaborate base once I have thought of a suitable diorama. Moreover, the antagonist (or protagonist depending on your view) for the dragon remains undetermined. While the Kingdom Death Pinup Savior was an early favourite for the role, she is no longer suitable because her paint job is simply not up to par. It's likely another Kingdom Death girl will take her place, either one that has been or has yet to be painted.
|One of the more dynamic viewing angles|
|Side view facing away from the dragon|
|Dragon sits atop a soon to be discarded bare-bones oval base|
If there is one thing I might consider doing differently, it would be to paint the dragon's wing membranes to a hue as light as its underbelly. But in the end I loved the classic look better.
|Top view of the dragon in which light effectively catches the brighter highlights on both wings|
One of the marks of a great artist is that he or she inspires others to mimic and improve upon their work. Larry Elmore does all that and more. This dragon is as much for myself as it is an ode to Mr. Elmore whose works sucked me into the world of fantasy. Don't judge a book by a cover they say. Meh! Dragons on the cover opened the door to a wonderful world of fantasy and I'm the better for it.