2020, among very many other things, has been a year where I’ve finally made time for a handful of pieces that I’ve always wanted to finish!
Along the same lines as The Little Hill from earlier this year, this recent piece is one from a previous sketchbook that had sat in my flat file for a couple years. Why?
The original idea is a sketch from my 2016 sketchbook collection, DRAGONS AND OTHER INCIDENTS OF TRAVEL. At the time, I was satisfied with the thumbnail and sketch and didn’t feel much need to finish the drawing for the sketchbook that year. Like I touched on in the aforementioned post featuring The Little Hill, I always want a mix of finished drawings and sketches in each sketchbook. It lends a nice visual variety to the collection and also serves to help keep me on track finishing new work, not getting too lost in the weeds of just one piece.
That, and while I always really liked it I found it difficult to justify the time to go back and finish. As a year or two went by and the drawing sank further down in the flat file drawers, it seemed unlikely I’d ever return to complete the piece.
Here’s the sketch as originally presented as a double-page spread in the sketchbook.
So why not go back and just finish it? Well, the original is about 20″ X 30″ thereabouts. And one of the questions I always have to ask is would it be a good investment of my time to settle in and go back through that large of a drawing? When the main goal is the sketchbook and I have a presentable sketch the answer was usually no, and move on. Particularly when I’m interested in moving forward with my next idea or collection. Couple that with ever present deadlines for client work and commissions and it’s tough to make the time.
Ultimately, a variety of reasons to set it aside at the time and few reasons to pick it up again.
But, ah! 2020. As I was going through old drawings I kept coming back to The Little Hill and this dragon one. Somehow I felt it; I felt the window was closing for these two. The dragon one, in particular. At some point I’d be unable to go back (I’m not totally sure if that’s true or not but it sure felt that way). I thought, now or never and cleared some time to see this one off properly.
First, I needed to finish the drawing.
It took a couple days, here and there, but once completed I scanned and prepped the drawing.
After that I referenced my original thumbnail and painted some value and texture on illustration board with acrylagouache.
Scanned, assembled, and ready to go!
While it took a winding route, at long last I can call this one done. And it only took a couple years to get there!
It’s been a year long mess out there and I hope you’re able to weather the storm better than this one poor dragon. That said, he’ll probably be ok, too. I’m told dragons are nothing if not resilient.
Love this piece! thanks for sharing
Thanks very much!
Turned out great, I love the result!
awesome. I love the technique of the background. It’s always simple things like this that expand my mind in important ways. Thank you
A watercolor or gouache painting for a background is a simple idea that goes a long way, I’ve found.
Thanks for sharing the process! Invaluable for me, just starting out in the digital art world…
Thanks! Best of luck out there!
Very cool. I love the idea of compositing the traditional art together digitally. Thanks for sharing!
Dragons! Very nice sir. Love the traditional and digital combo.
Thanks Cory, 🙂
Good to know you prof artists also archive drawings you’d like to turn into paints.
Very impressed by the side of the drawing tho, how you come up with such big drawings? Didn’t it come out from a sketchbook sketch first?
Really intrigued by this.
Looks great Corey! I love seeing your process, how simple it really is.
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I love Dragons. thanks for sharing the process.
So beautiful, really cool piece!
Wow thanks for sharing your process!
Loved the composition, very very cool!
Incredible shapes, insane piece!!
I love how simple the silhouettes are, that it’s really clear what is going on in the picture even if it was all in black and white with no grays. This is very inspiring for my work.
Super super cool!
Amazing piece, Corey. The running figures in the foreground really give it tension and spark the viewer’s imagination. Well done, sir.
Man! I am so glad you finished it. Such an epic composition