Q&A: dragons

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents -

Noah Craw­ford, US

Lee­sha replies

The abil­ity to paint wear and tear can sup­port both the char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion of your crea­tures and the nar­ra­tive of an il­lus­tra­tion. Has your dragon been at­tacked with weapons or claws? If it gets into a fight, does it usu­ally come out on top? The ap­pear­ance of in­juries can help the viewer an­swer these ques­tions and more.

When you be­gin ren­der­ing in your scales, don’t worry about paint­ing wounds un­til the dragon’s fin­ished. Typ­i­cally, scales are oval or diamond shaped. The scales on the face will be smaller than those on the body. You don’t have to ren­der in­di­vid­ual scales. Fo­cus on ren­der­ing the scales where the light hits the skin, be­cause that’s where the most de­tail will be present.

To paint a re­cent in­jury, use a sat­u­rated dark red to out­line the gash, and fill it with a lighter red. Use dark pink in the mid­dle of the wound for ex­posed flesh. Paint a sub­tle high­light around the edges of a wound for torn skin. If there’s a lot of blood ooz­ing out of the wound, add a few spec­u­lar high­lights to the drops of blood.

Con­sider adding some tears to a dragon’s wings. On a new layer, paint in a hole us­ing the colour of the back­ground. Add some sub­tle pink colours around the edges of the tear to im­ply in­flam­ma­tion.

This bat­tle-worn dragon is look­ing a lit­tle worse for wear, with scar­ring caused by claws wrap­ping around his neck, and scratches on his face. Scars can be as sim­ple as flaws in the scale pat­terns in a slightly

darker colour. Add some sub­tle high­lights to em­pha­sise the edges

of healed scar tis­sue.

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