I was beyond excited to have the chance to make this big dragon on commission. I gave the client a size and price range, and then he basically said go to town. The only input he gave was the color.
I estimated about 30 hours of work for this one, and I didn’t do too bad. The entire piece took about 32 hours from sketch to final clear coat. Some of the extra time was the result of deciding to cut out and attach individual scales!
I got creating the scales down to quite a science. I’d cut a long strip the height that I wanted the scales to be, and then cut that strip into triangles the appropriate width. Then, I’d trim the end of each one into a little point to create the scale effect.
The wings are made with a large flat piece of cardboard, with another layer of cardboard making the branches of the wings. I then put a layer of brown paper over the branches to create a leathery, webbed effect. It gave the wings a more flowy look.
The larger front wing was mounted at an angle to make it pop out from the canvas a bit. I did this with a few layers of cardboard to serve as a mount. It definitely made transporting it a little more challenging, but looked really awesome.
The final coats of paint included a little bit of purple in the red to making it deeper and give it a slightly tarnished look. The spikes have metallic gold tips, along with metallic gold highlights here and there across the piece.
I’m drawing a blank on the size of this one, I’m fairly certain the canvas was around 24″ x 36″. I was actually able to relay it from Maine to it’s new home in North Carolina via New York with a family member!