King of the Castle: I took the reference photo of the Ornate Dragon on a trip to Wave Rock, Hyden, Western Australia. The cheeky little guy was madly head bopping at me, indicating that the rock was his and I was to come no closer. I couldn’t help but try to capture his cheeky attitude with this artwork.
It was completed using polychromos and luminance colored pencils, on Fabriano Artistico 300g/m2 paper.
Size: 33cm x 25.3cm
Wave Rock is an amazing location and these little cheeky dragons scampered all over the rocks, much to my delight. It was beautiful watching them run around and head bop at each other to show who was boss. This little guy was madly head bopping at me to show me that this rock was his. However I couldn’t get close enough to get a really clear photo of the guy before he took off, so I decided I would paint him.
I sketched out the image onto Fabriano Artistico 300 g/m2 hot pressed paper. I then blocked the lizard and rock in with scrap paper to protect the area from spray paint. I then airbrushed the background using a Neo Iwata airbrush and createx airbrush paint. Unfortunately, I had issues with a hose breaking on the compressor so I had to fix that before I could continue.
Once I finished airbrushing the background, I could then begin colouring in the foreground using polychromos and luminance pencils. I started with the rock and worked across it. I first did the lighter layers and built up the shadows on top of those light layers, leaving the highlights visible. I used Zest It colour pencil blender to blend the colours together and to push the pigment into the tooth of the paper so that all the white spots were gone. This removes the scratchy crayon look that you get with pencils. I continued to build up layers of colour until the rock was complete. After that, I started on the ornate dragon. I lightly blocked in the dark areas and coloured in the highlights. After blending it with Zest It, I went over and darkened the dark stripes and shadows.
After the dragon was complete, I focused on the foreground grass. I also started adjusting the background as it did not look quite right. I darkened the shadows and created a twiggy bush in the background. I also used a white gel pen to add some seed heads to the grass to give it a bit more interest. Once that was done, all that remained was to sign my name!