It’s that time of year again! Time for another dragon for my wife for her birthday. I stuck with black and white again this year, since my wife has expressed she prefers my black and white work. The last several months have been absolutely nuts, between trying to repair my rotting barn, our oldest son’s quest for Eagle Scout and his start of college (and trying to finally get his license), high school starting for the other two kids, scout stuff, general life stuff…I haven’t had much time to think, let alone get in the studio. So, it took me a while to come up with an idea. I had a few, but I gravitated towards the Cat Dragon.
This is the first time using Clip Studio for one of these. I usually use Procreate because of the time lapse feature, but that’s the only time I use that app at this point, which means I have to relearn how to use it, figure out what it’s capable of and not based on the updates, etc. CSP added a time lapse feature, and I’m much more comfortable in that app, so I gave it a whirl.
You may have noticed the semi insane grass texture. No, I didn’t draw all of that by hand. I used CSP’s very versatile brush creation engine. I drew several different clumps of grass based off a photo I found, then turned my drawings into brush tips. By varying which tip displays when (or by choosing which one I use manually) and playing with the randomification (I’m making that a word) parameters (like rotation, scale, scatter, etc), I was able to make this non-repeating texture. I’m pretty happy with it. I don’t think I’ll ever have a need for it again, but you never know. Plus, I did get some ideas for other, more useful foliage brushes during this process.
The format is different this year, too, since my wife got a new, wider monitor in the last year. It made composing this image challenging, and I’m not sure how it will display on other monitors, but it is what it is. It’s for her to enjoy first, y’all can deal.
I could have spent a lot more time on this, noodling away at details, like drawing every single scale. But, I realized I had hit a nice balance between the busy-ness of the grass and the dragon, and I think if I allowed myself to go nuts on details, that would have been lost and the whole thing would look muddy.