Tuesday, October 6, 2009

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Remember how I said that I love the visual art side of fantasy in addition to the other mediums?

Well here is a how-to-draw book on dragons. DragonArt: How to Draw Fantastic Dragons and Fantasy Creatures by J "NeonDragon" Peffer. I am not an artist; that's more of my sister's thing. (And she's gotten pretty good at it, too.) I prefer to write. But there is something about a well done picture that makes me wants to grab paper and pencil and attempt to draw something of my own.

I've been eyeing this book for weeks. Every time I was in the store, I'd flip through its glossy pages and think, "Maybe I could actually draw something." Since this is Dragon Month and all, I decided now was the time. I bought it a few days ago, and this morning, I made my first attempt at drawing a dragon. It's hard with no model, to see how the light falls on it, where the muscles bulge and the face creases. But this book is pretty good at showing and telling what to do to create more than mere copies of the specific examples in the book.

First step is to lay out some basic shapes and posture lines. I'm not talking about the outline; think rough stick figures. Then move on to creating the body outline, still keeping lines light, no erasing yet other than to fix what you don't like. Add in limbs, wings, facial detail and anything else your dragon needs. Erase out the extra lines. Color and shade. There are full dragon diagrams as well as ones for focusing on individual sections such wings, hind quarters, and claws.

In addition to the step by step diagrams, there are also verbal explanations, shading/highlighting/color tips, how to make your dragon unique, and bits of dragon facts. It is told as though Dolosus, the green dragon of awesomeness, is the one doing the teaching. He even agrees to explain how to draw a few other creatures besides dragons, including gargoyles, chimeras, and phoenixes. An entertaining as well as instructive read.

Here's my first attempt at drawing a dragon.

Made the little fellow blue like Azuranna. Took lots of erasing while I figured out the pose and how to make it look good. But I'm pretty satisfied with the result. A tip I would add is to have a scrap sheet of paper to lay over the drawing for resting your hand on. Less smudging that way. I may have to take an art class to learn more of the drawing basics (or another drawing book). But overall, this book still gets two claws, er, thumbs up from me.

If you want to know more about the author/artist of this book, go to http://neondragonart.com/ for her gallery, tutorials, and items for sale. Very talented.


Emily White said...

I love the pic, Jaleh!

Jai Joshi said...

How cool! Love the pic, Jaleh. I'll have to try this when I get some time to sit and relax. I'm not an artist myself but I do like to draw occasionally. I drew tons when I was younger.


Brandi Guthrie said...

Aw, how cute. That's a first attempt? Fab!

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