Scene with Dragons
Project Info

Digital painting, figure and composition study done in January of 2018.


There were more then one program used while creating this project:

  • Photoshop
  • Drawing and digital painting
  • Patience

Full Work

The Scene with Dragons

Yet again for the fantasy works. This however was more about work then fantasy.  I keep wondering the internet looking for nice fantasy art, filling up my pinterest board and DeviantArt Favourites folder and I keep looking at tons of amazing paintings. What really gets my attention, I discovered, is the light. I was browsing my collections and I realized that the images that truly stand out for me are ones with strong and dramatic lighting.

Then, as a proper egocentric, I looked at my gallery and continued my slow track towards epiphany. First of all, I saw that laziness and fear usually got the better of me when it came to painting. Second of all, I saw that I strive to get the dramatic light I like, but never really do the proper preparation for it in the picture itself. So, for the moment I let my ego take over and decided that I want to push myself a bit. Did a composition sketch, I like and started working.

The Elf, the Dragon and the Ego

So, here is what happened: There was a part of me that wanted to finish another nice picture and relax. And then there was a horrific power of ego circling the sky above. The first part was thinking: „Let’s just give him a nice long coat and a lot of stuff and equipment, so we can play around with shiny bolts and leather straps.“ Then the ego attacked… Fuck the shiny stuff, lets do a figure that is as complicated as possible, every limb should be in a different position and the face should look away from camera. And don’t forget to rotate the wand too, so it is in perspective, you lazy prick.

So, I did. And because I didn’t want spent twelve hours finishing it, I suddenly didn’t have time to play around with multiple belts, shiny daggers, shoulder pads and complicated elvish armor. I worked mostly on getting the clothes working, the limbs right, the lighting that would build space rather then just fill it. I stepped so far from my comfort zone, I couldn’t really go back anymore. There was no way to save myself and turn this into some nice flat contrapposto I enjoy so much.

Scene with Dragons (sketch+monochrome)

Thousand Faces of Progress

Scene with Dragons (face)The face. The fucking face. It is 1 AM, I am tired, my girlfriend is mad as hell, that I haven’t stopped scratching the tablet since dinner and I am still trying to do proper shading of the face. I thought that I can just put helmet over it, or cloak or a damn boulder and instead of a face just do a bunch of red drops flying through space. But I eventually I returned to my sketchbook and tried a bunch of quick drawings to understand that less is more in this case. How would have guessed, right?

I finished the face that night and finally went to sleep so I can have a fight next morning and try to explain how my brain works to my girlfriend. There is big value behind this image for me—there was no time to play around, I used three brushes altogether and didn’t even try to go for the soft ones until the very end when it came to getting the lighting done. Hard-edged brush, quick strokes, though figure, though camera angle and no shortcuts all the way.

It was actually a step I needed for a long time that pulled me out of my comfort zone, laziness and mostly fear of failing. It is far from being a masterpiece, but it literally changed my perspective and now I am more motivated to look for more dramatic lighting, unusual angles and complicated figures. Coming up next will be a werewolf doing yoga in room lit by a single firefly. From the point of view of the firefly.