Tron griffin

There’s a griffin club on DA that’s having a contest: design a griffin that would fit in a particular universe, be it a movie, book, whatever.

I keep thinking that a Tron griffin would be wicked.

I’m messing about with the details, but this is the design for the body, I think. Very sleek and streamlined, with no ears, so there’s lots of room for those glowy blue lines. I’m still messing with the lines, trying to get a design that looks fluid, yet robotic.

Blue sky

Skies are relaxing to paint. I just sat down and started pushing colors around to get a nice, summer-looking sky. But it’s awfully empty. It needs some clouds and birds, or dragons, or pterodactyls, or something. Not sure what yet.

A boy and his dino

Sharing Secrets

This was a horse pic submitted to Pioneer Woman’s horse photo contest. I kept going back to it and thinking, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if it was a dinosaur?”

Totally and completely without permission, of course.

Anyway, that’s a duckbill called a corythosaurus, and I’ve always thought they would resemble a horse if alive. Something about the cheeks and the size of the eyes. I always want to draw them with horse eyes, with the horizontal pupils and the long eyelashes.

Anyway, I just loved the sweetness of that photo, and was trying to duplicate it with a dinosaur. Not that dinosaurs are ever portrayed as looking sweet at all.


Got some work done on their faces today.

I’m understating her face because she’ll be pretty small in comparison to the rest of the painting, and you have to go for simplicity when it’s that small. I haven’t got the values quite locked in yet, so she’s still too light.

And the dragon:

I’m going with a couple different methods of drawing scales here. The highlight bits just cried out for iridescence on his face, so I chucked some on to see how it looked. I’m still waffling about it, so we’ll see if it stays in the finished version. Scales do have some limited iridescence, but not as much as a feather, and certainly not as much as I’ve put in here.

I still like this pic every time I pull it out, so I think it’ll be a good one when I’m done.

Dusk beach, problems

Got a bit more done today, still roughing out the main color masses.

The lighting on the dragon is really harsh because I’m still figuring out the shapes of the light and shadow. Not sure I like the color of the light very much, either … it looks good on the girl, but not a blue dragon. I’ll continue to tinker with it.

Also, now that I’ve established that the light is coming from the far left, the color of my ocean is wrong. I’ve been staring at pictures of the ocean at sunset, and it’s always darker than the sky, but it tends to pick up the strongest lights. This, too, requires some tinkering.

Dusk beach, blocking in color masses

I found a beach sunset on google image search that I liked, and set about painting the background from it. Here’s the sky and the ground. You can see how I just worked on the biggest chunks first.

Then I added in the mountains and the ocean, once I knew what color the ocean was going to reflect. Also a scattering of clouds on a new layer. I’ve gotten to where I like painting my landscape backgrounds all on one layer, like a real painting.

The reason I always do the background first is because the background colors and light heavily influence the color of the characters. The characters are the juicy part for me, but the background is soothing to work on, too.

Here’s my background color reference: Laguna Beach! No, there won’t be a big hotel thing in the background.

How do you draw other dimensions?

I recently re-read Conrad’s Fate, by Diana Wynne Jones. I wanted to take a stab at drawing the scene where Conrad summons a Walker. And this other dimension opens up, and this … being comes walking toward them across Eternity, to bring him exactly the thing that he needs.

But how in the world do you DRAW that? Pff. It just looks like some tiny person in a cloud. I don’t know if I could even convey the idea of vast distance with shading.

Ah well. A sketch it shall remain. The book describes it so much better than this anyway. :-p

Note: Christopher (Chrestomanci) is the one by the door. This is the first time I’ve ever got him looking halfway like I imagine him: very posh and well-groomed.