I conferred with my client, and we figured that since she needs these pics for a school project about European vs. Chinese dragons, a simple side view would suffice.

I went and looked real hard at Chinese dragons, like this one.


They’re long, snakey things. Temeraire is specifically described as having a frill under his chin and behind his head, like a mane. Chinese dragons have that, and it’s sort of like a lion’s, I guess.

So I churned out this sketch.


Kind of a long, snakey dragon with a mane and whiskers. And big wings, because the books make a point of telling you that he has 6 fingers in his wings. My client liked the sketch, so I started refining it.

Then I noticed something about the wings. They look just like the sails on a Chinese junk. Observe:

CHINESE JUNK side view

Count the poles in the mast. Six! Well, seven if you count the top one. Temeraire is a Chinese Junk! … dragon. Yeah.

Anyway, I started roughing in the colors, and here’s what it looks like so far:


I really want to make his ruff run all the way down his neck and under his belly, but alas, that’s not how Temeraire looks. I’m shading him all smooth-like before I add on his scales.


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