Up for critique. Finished this one, but would like some constructive feedback for future paintings. Thank you!
The perspective on the chest muscles looks a little off, it feels like I'm seeing more of the muscles on the far side than I should. The front foot closest to us looks a little funny too, it either needs to come forward or the angle of the claws needs to tilt down a little more so we get the sense that the foot is lifted (I assume it's supposed to be lifted up a lil). Also the structure on the wings is very confusing, I do not understand how they fit together anatomically. Try to picture how the bones inderneath the flesh lock together, and how they would function while flying, or what they would look like unfolded while you are drawing. Lastly, give it a place to live in, things are never as impressive in an abstract space as they are in an environment.
all that being said, the lighting looks pretty good and the textures in the skin add a lot of visual interest. Nice job.
Thank you both. You have pointed out the most important areas I neglected. But then its possibly my first attempt at a dragons body. The head I have painted a dozen times (which is why it looks pretty good here), but I need more studies done on anatomy. I understand horse and lizard anatomy is important.
Are there any other animal anatomy to consider for the study? I suppose bat wings would be ideal for study as well as birds wings depending on the type of dragon.
What would you suggest for feet? Lizards are low-bearing animals so feet may not go well with a high-bearing creature. How about a dog/lizard hybrid foot?
I think a background would be good to distract from the mistakes and to give more character, but I think it was easier to see my flaws for the next one with a simple background like this one. With a background you also need to consider ambient lighting and how it fits in the environment. I think while I am still make mistakes with the look of the dragon I need to do things this way for the time being.
Thanks for the observations. Any more feedback is much welcomed.
Although it is gud to think of design elements when ur drawing i highly recommend u learn to draw the basics lik anantomy/ prespective 1st that way u can effectively show off ur designs ...... here is a PO hop it hepls .. cheers
Sketch book http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=241464
I see major function problems with the wings. They face in opposite directions which means when they flap, they'd knock into each other and get tangled up and the dragon wouldnt get anywhere. The rear wings hang forward over the rear legs which would get in the way of the dragon walking. I think if you're going to use two sets of wings, then you need to make sure they join the body and function in a way that doesn't hinder flying or general movement.
When it comes to dragon design, the sky is literally the limit. They're basically mythical creatures that come with or without wings so you can choose whatever design you want. Just make sure that whatever design you choose, you study sources that are relevant to that so your dragon doesn't look like a mishmash of bits and pieces that don't fit together or work properly. Thats something I'm having problems with myself so I guess I'm talking from experience there.
I may update this thread with a new painting rather than clutter the forum with a new topic.
If you want to keep the background simple change the color. It currently blends with the wing and makes some details very hard to read.
On the idea of feet many artists render dragons with talons like that of the great birds of prey- but like stated before design is entirely yours
All that detailed line work everywhere distracts me, it feels messy- it is very nice but give our eyes a resting point something lacking some texture- also it spins my eye everywhere and I cant focus on individual aspects. Becareful when you do that to because some points of the body texture match the wing and they blend together and dont look as disconnected.
Other than that look at all the previous points as well. I recommend trying one more draft- I know this is your "finsihed piece" but one more may help give it that extra push you need to turn a good piece of art into a great piece of art.
A Cartoonist is just a lazy Animator.
Thank you Marcky for the outstanding advise! I've decided to skip working on it more as there is just too many problems to fix.
Below is a sketch for a new dragon. I have applied changes to the style from what I have studied from both horse anatomy and how others paint dragons.
...Are those marijuana leaves? Why? Wouldn't those get ripped off very easily?
Honestly I'd think properly what the function of the dragon is supposed to be. The dragon is bulky and pretty much earth themed, and the grass mane makes it look like it's supposed to lay low hidden in the grass, but then it has wings that immediately show its place, the wings have totally random muscles that don't do anything to help it fly (again, look at real wings and how much they have muscles in the arms, the answer is: "basically none") and the wings are thicker than the actual legs its supposed to stand on (does it use its wing to walk or something) and the legs are so mismatched that it's not going to be able to walk while standing up (you've given it frog legs that work pretty specifically for how frogs walk and they don't walk upright, but if the dragon is supposed to jump like a frog, then every other bit of its anatomy kinda goes against that) and then it has these bug jaws that just feel very mismatched again considering the overall design and I wonder about how functional they'd be either (especially considering bugs with jaws like that don't necessarily have eating what they catch as their main function and have other things that help them to actually eat). Also its wings look like they're backwards.
Don't just take bits of anatomy, actually research what the animals do with the parts they have and think how you can apply that to your creature or how it affects it.
Last edited by TinyBird; November 6th, 2012 at 03:14 AM.
Great thank you TinyBird! All advise is essential. Yes they are those types of leaves, just thought to be a bit random with this drawing. The tips on anatomy are golden and essential. For my next design I will look into possibly under-developed wings due to it been an Earth-bound Dragon. It does appear the back legs are like frogs and the mouth is insect-like. It would appear I need to do a lot of research if I'm to create my own version of creatures.
Any other pointers would be more than welcome from anyone. Such as line-weight, balance, composition, character etc etc.
Again, study more anatomy! MOARRR!
The things you seem to understand in the other dragon or were pointed out are completely ignored in these other dragons, as the other dragon has legs that it can't really walk with and wings that it can't possibly fly with (due to it lacking any joints to do so, if you wanted some sort of mix between bug wings and bat wings or have the wings remind of a maple seed, you should have paid more attention on how to combine the way both work to create a believable aesthetic, even if it wouldn't really work in real life) and again none of the limbs look like they can hold the bulk of the dragon's body due to them being all wobbly and having the tail be so low it looks like it's drooping off.
Compare those to for example how horses legs work while its running, and how the tendons and the one finger has evolved to hold its weight:
if you just add actual fingers to a horse's foot, they'd just most likely end up breaking if it tried to walk. Or at least they look like it.
I ask, have you done any actual anatomy studies of real animals, dinosaurs etc? (Didn't see any in your sketchbook at least) It just look like you're repeating a lot of the same things over and over with little thought to their function, like the stomach scales and the thin, seemingly jointless and clawless toes (what does it need those for? grabbing prey, climbing, running, holding items?) or just try to add some tidbits to something without actually going through the effort of learning how they work and how to draw them before trying to add them to the critter.
(Nothing personal, Rist. It's just that I... have issues.)
There's a kind of character in your last two that I like, but I agree with Tinybird, if that wasn't apparent. Few of the features really look organic, or put together organically. Parts look tacked on; squashed up (like forelimb and wing shoulders); kind of shapeless, without much sense of weight or structure (esp. the limbs); and not really streamlined. They don't flow, if that makes sense. I think because of the lack of knowledge of how various types of real animals 'flow'. How they're put together, how they stand, how they move.
So again, I agree that some research into said real animals would help; particularly a look at the skeletal structures and muscular systems. I think your drawings would benefit from a few bony studies and stickman (stickdragon) skeletons, and if there's one lesson I'd like you to take away from this post, it's that human deltoids are fairly different to most animals.
In addition to the ING vids, the usual links when I butt into a dragon topic:
I'd recommend Tom Kidd's book How To Draw And Paint Dragons. It's not the be-all end-all of it's subject, but it's a bit different to your standard, Chris-Hart-style 'How To Draw' books, giving good advice and examples of influences, references, and assembly. I think it's a good buy for the ambitious dragon beginner. (Can I call it the Figure Drawing For All It's Worth of fantasy reptiles?)
John Howe has a pretty wee book out too, though IMO a bit less 'how to put 'em together' than 'how to link 'em to an abstract concept'. And there's Terryl Whitlatch's Animals Real and Imagined: not a how-to, but still a very informative portfolio. (worth every penny just for the Daeodon orthographic)
All as a supplement to getting out there and drawing real animals...
Thank you again for a wonderful post. I am taking your advise to heart. I've had a busy week at work this week so the free time I've had has been to draw what I can. I tried to reduce the wings weight in the recent one. I am having difficulty trying to understand the components between a heady land-based animal and one of a light-weight winged animal. Also the legs are confusing as the beast would naturally fly when possible, so does the whole design follow a bird, or do I make it less believable by introducing lizard or horse anatomy?
I have not got around to seeing the videos just yet, due to work, but this weekend ill have more time and set aside time to study them as well as more animal anatomy. I did start studying horse anatomy. Sorry my sketchbook lacks them. No one really visits the sketchbook so I've not updated it regular in a long time.
I've also painted a portrait of a dragon. Which can be seen below.
Ooh this look like interesting books! I'll have to look into getting some of those. I am a big fan of John Howe, I love his watercolours!
Your knowledge and wisdom also helps a great deal. I agree at the moment I am painting what I 'think' a dragon should look like rather than use logic and take reference from the real world. I'm currently studying the horse. I'm trying to fit an animal a week in. I've studied the horses skeleton and muscle structure. I've not shown the initially sketches as they are for notation only. Maybe when I get time ill upload them to the sketchbook.
Last edited by Rist; November 8th, 2012 at 08:19 AM.
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