Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Week 23 of 365 Days of Art Challenge

Can you believe it's June already?!! The year is almost half over! I feel like I'm accomplishing some great creativity this year - this 365 Days of Art Challenge has been a significant part of it! It has really kept me inspired to sketch or quilt, dye fabric, make digital artwork, take photographs with an eye for art (not just family), or do some kind of creative project every week. It has also inspired me to blog at least once weekly, if not more often. The important thing is I'm being creative on a regular basis! Thank you, Deb, for the push!!
DragonArt Evolution: how to
Draw Everything Dragon by
J. "Neon Dragon" Peffer

This week I have gotten back to the book by J "Neon Dragon" Peffer, DragonArt Evolution: How to Draw Everything Dragon.  It's been several weeks since I've sketched the exercises in this book (see previous posts starting in Week 3, with the last one in Week 14).  So far, I've worked on eyes, the jaw, ears, horns, and wings. This week, the exercise worked on dragon scales.

Following are the seven dragon scales patterns introduced in the book. These sketches are not of any particular part of the dragon's body - just a shape in which to practice scales.

Scale Pattern 1: a series of half ovals for scales. Pencil on mix-media paper.
Scale Pattern 2: scales created with polygons to look bumpy. Pencil on mixed-media paper.
Scale Pattern 3: flat scales. Pencil on mixed-media paper.
Scale Pattern 4: v-shaped scales of varying colors. Pencil on mixed-media paper.
Scale Pattern 5: Rectangular, bumpy, glossy scales with a duller,
leathery hide beneath. Pencil on mixed-media paper.
Scale Pattern 6: glossy scales of the underbelly. Pencil on mixed-media paper.
Scale Pattern 7: v-shaped scale plating of the underbelly. These scales are larger
and overlap more then flatter interlocking scales. Pencil on mixed-media paper.

I have to post a couple photos of a dragon painting I did a several years ago. Everyone teased me because my dragon had rectangular scales, telling me that dragons do NOT have rectangular scales, but they DO have forked tongues and bloodshot eyes.   Then today, when I was sketching, I had to laugh, as Scale Pattern 5 is rectangular scales!!  My art teacher, Leonard Baer, a retired illustrator and artist, told me to go with what I felt was right. He was encouraging, had a wicked sense of humor, and inspired me to try different mediums - oil, colored pencil, dye inks, pastel, etc - and that I could do any subject - portraits, landscapes, animals, still lifes, fantasy, whatever I wanted to try. He will always be with an encouragement to me.

He of the Forked Tongue, 16" x 20", dye inks on photographic paper, private collection.
Dragon with rectangular scales. One of the first dragons I ever painted when
I first started taking art lessons with Leonard Baer, a retired illustrator and artist.
Closeup of dragon so the rectangular scales can be better seen. 
It was fun to get back to this type of sketching. I'd been doing Zentangle-inspired art for several weeks and digital artwork for the last couple of weeks. Those have been fun and creative, but actually sketching with a pencil (or graphite or charcoal) and shading to create dimension is a much different process. It's a more intense process for me and I love the challenge of creating a 3-dimensional image on a 2-dimensional paper. 

I hope you've had a creative week! 


  1. I thought I left a comment but I don't see it, so will try again. The studies are a great way to learn various techniques. I really love the colorful drawing of the dragon. The bloodshot eyes are a nice touch.

    1. Thanks, Deb. I'm enjoying the studies. I'm learning a lot from them and feel more confident in drawing dragons that look "realistic".

  2. Love what you did! I wish I had your talent! After reading "The game of thrones" I am totally in love with dragons! :)

    1. Thank you, Sonja. I've been in love with dragons since I was introduced to Anne McCaffrey's Pern series back in the 1980's. I also love the Game of Thrones series.