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Primarily I draw people but I want to start expanding into creatures so this is my attempt at designing a dragon. Feedback would be great.
The dragon is based on eastern dragons but I wanted the head to be more lupine and added wings. (wings were part of the description I was working from so not optional but the type of wings was my choice.) I wanted it to look elegant and female with an indian feeling to it.
EDIT: I realise that it isn't clear but the dragon is presently crouching. When standing properly the legs would be less bent. This is so it would walk with more of a stride instead of scuttling.
Last edited by csButt; May 20th, 2011 at 01:25 AM.
Hi there. I think this is starting to shape up nicely, but the anatomy of the creature isn't as cohesive as it could be.
The way the head sits on the neck and how the neck connects to the body could be tweaked- depending on the direction you want to take this in, looking at some references for small lizards like geckos or dogs could help you connect the parts up in a way that is stronger.
The torso area looks a little blob-ish (this might just be because it isn't as rendered yet) but to me, it looks like the rib cage area is too large in comparison with the pelvic area, and in most animals, there's a more distinct area where rump ends and tail begins. Referencing how real life critters are put together can help resolve that too.
I really like you color choices! I hope the suggestions will be helpful!
Thanks for the feedback.
I was originally referencing a lot of lizards for the ribcage but despite the length I think that it will look better and be more believable if I reference dogs instead. Most of the lizards that I looked at have incredibly long rib cages that go nearly right to the pelvic bone but it doesn't look as believable or as interesting.
Thanks for pointing out the neck I hadn't noticed before but now I can really see how it looks a bit off.
Hmm... the legs look a bit small compared to the rest of the body, and the torso could be more defined. I like your color choices, it does look very eastern.
I think the wings could be made more interesting by having them be smaller where they connect to the body and larger the further they go out, maybe? It's looking pretty good so far, just need to refine the anatomy a bit.
Every critique helps me improve! Have a look at my sketchbook, it won't take long.eat-drink-fuck-draw-sleep. repeat.
It is well with me only when I have a chisel in my hand.
@SDNolan: Thanks for the feedback
I would think if she was standing her legs would actually be fairly long but maybe it's because they are very thin that they look out of proportion, also now I look at it the hindquarters hip joint might be a bit low and over defined.
I still haven't resolved what to do with the wings, a wider connection is more accurate to the photo reference but not sure if it's as aesthetically pleasing.
Not too many changes but here is an updated version looking into people's feedback. I decided after playing around that she looked better with a lizard's ribcage, which moves very smoothly into the pelvic area instead of exaggerating it like with a dog. I also lengthened the neck and made it stronger, made the connection of the wings thinner and tried to strengthen the hind leg.
What do people think, is it an improvement. Not sure what to do about adding more rendering to the ribcage since there are a lot less muscles to vary the shading there.
Vary the colour? Right now all the skin is the same hue (aside the shadow), and it gives that sort of boring rubbery matte toy look, so you could try adding bit more saturated brown/yellow to the back, lighten/darken the head and so on... Just like humans aren't the exact same hue through their whole body, though we're still "one coloured".
Or choose one body part to be the focal point, right now it's all equally presented:
And the mass of wrinkles on the front leg shoulder looks awkward. They look like a mix of muscles and rolls of fat and are something that can't be seen in any other part of the body, making them look out of place.
Thanks for the advice. Now that it's pointed out the lack of colour variation does make it look very bland.
The muscles also do kinda confuse the focal points, just not sure if I should tone them down or look to see where muscles would vary the lighting in other areas, such as the hind leg.
Broadening the wings at the tips is both illogical and doesn't improve the look of them, so I'd definitely change it back. I don't know what reference it is you used, but pretty much every bird that I know of has the base of it's wing either broader or at least equally broad as the end. Your first wings looked better in that regard, but I think you could scale them up in their entirety.
I'd also like to add that yes, lizards have very big ribcages and so do birds. A large ribcage on a dragon is not unbelievable, it is in fact more plausible. Much more so than a dog's ribcage, anyway. I would suggest giving the wing a set of pectorals of their own that extend far beyond the front legs as such wings would need a lot of muscle to support them.
@Lhune: I was using a kestrel's wing for reference so I knew it wasn't as realistic to have them taper as they approach the body so I wasn't sure which way to go. I was just worried that such a large straight line lacked aesthetic.
Pectorals might be just what I need. I played with having muscles stretch from the humerous down the torso but it didn't look right, it didn't have enough shape so it looked like just a random line.
I like the long rib cage. Everybody bases their dragons on dogs, or cats, or people, make yours different! You could certainly show some of those ribs without making it look emaciated. There could (should?) be muscles in there, even if you have to kind of borrow them from other animals, pectorals for the wings, lattissimus dorsi, serratus, etc.
I'm a bit of a stickler for 'realism' so you don't have to take my advice on this, but the head seems really small (scale of eyes is also important), those legs certainly wouldn't support that body, the tail seems kind of thick and heavy, and the wings would have to be a lot larger to do anything. A quick look in my reference collection shows that lizards tend to have really straight cylindrical-ish limbs, they don't taper much. And really long toes! It could make your design stand out from the pack.
@ Mr Corlan: Thanks for the suggestion of good muscles to use in the torso.
I like cartoon styles but I'm coming to believe that to be good at cartoon first I have to be good at realism. So I'm trying to make this dragon as believable as possible while still keeping the overall feeling of elegance.
Now you point it out the tail does look a bit off and the wings are a bit small. My only concern with the wings is that they are such a simple shape they will loose interest if made much bigger. I looked into lizard and dinosaur legs a bit when originally drawing it but maybe should look over them again, a lot of them tended to stick out a lot from the body and scuttle instead of walk which I want to avoid but some don't and most dinosaurs don't either.