-By Justin Gerard

Sometimes, before I begin a painting, I will do a study of the subject from the painting just as a warm-up. Why? Because like most artists, I lost my mind a long, long time ago.

If I’m being positive about it, I tell myself that it’s like a color study, but with a portrait mixed in. If I’m being realistic with myself, I know it’s more like delayed adolescence; just another way of not actually getting started.

But today is not a day for being realistic with oneself! Let’s be honest: Nobody paints dragons to be realistic with ones self. You paint dragons to escape! You paint dragons to imagine a world filled with one great challenge, which while daunting, can be met and defeated, the outcome of which, is total victory over the forces of wickedness and entropy. That’s why we paint dragons!



For this painting I will be working in acrylics. I use a mixture of Golden Open acrylics for glazes, and heavy body acrylics for details and highlights. The video below shows the general progress taken for laying in shadows and colors and then detailing over them.  (I apologize for the complete silence. I have no video-editing skills. I made this out of bailing wire and matchsticks)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZGNLpjhmHE?rel=0]

The final product is quite small (4″ x 6″) but has gotten me really excited to begin the actual painting.  I feel more grounded and confident knowing what colors I will be using to slay this beast. As I said before, we want a challenge that is daunting but that we know we can accomplish. That is what these studies are about. Ensuring victory through practice. (Well that and truly committing ourselves to madness)

Next post: The actual painting! For now, here is a sneak peak of the color comp and drawing.