Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dragon Tales and Scales

Drawing a Bearded Dragon

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Bearded Dragon. 11x17" Ballpoint Pen and Ink wash

I'm really really enjoying drawing reptiles with lots of scales right now, and this drawing is probably my most ambitious reptile drawings to date. The detail that a Bearded Dragon possesses is truly amazing. It's complex scaly skin, patterning, and thorns are extraordinary at close examination, but my drawing only scratches the surface of what this little lizard's body really looks like.

when I take on a drawing as detailed as this, I like to break the drawing down into several stages and tasks. I don't try very hard to mimic reality, I'm more concerned with making up cool designs and patterns. So first I figure out the size and style of the scales I'm going to draw by adding in just a few throughout the piece. All the others are drawn spontaneously as I go. I then lay down the outline of a row of scales and after that go back and shade in each one, one at a time. It's kinda like building a mosaic of tiles. After I finish an area of scales I shade over them to create texture and depth. You can see this in my progress pictures below. I've been ask to shoot videos as I work, so I hope to do it during my next drawing. I see artists posting videos as they draw on Instagram all the time, which are very interesting to watch. If you have any interest in following my day to day progress as it happens, you can follow me on Instagram.

I've reached 40!

I've reach 40! not in years old, (I'm older than that!) but this is the 40th black and white animal drawing I've done in this series. They are all ruffly 11"x17" in size, and it's taken me about a year to get this far. I feel I've learned a lot along the way about drawing with ink, learning about the animals I've drawn, and had an amazing time meeting and communicating with so many wonderful people through social media and in person about art. So thanks to everyone who as been supportive and encouraging. I've got lots more drawing in me, so the next year should hopefully even be better.

To end, here's a little bit of info about this amazing creature in this drawing. Pogona, which are more commonly referred to as Bearded Dragons, are a reptile which lives in arid semidesert and woodland regions of Australia. They are a common pet in the US but have been banded in Australia from the pet trade. Their triangular heads and flattened bodies with spiny scales arranged in rows and clusters. These are found on the throat, which can be expanded when threatened, and at the back of the head. These spiny scales are used to scare off predators, yet they are not very sharp.

Here are some photos taken during my drawing process

The finished drawing

Prints, posters and signed fine art reproductions are available 
for purchase in my Etys shop at: