Sketch of the Month

Sketch of the Month

 David Vase Dragon

I knew I was going to draw this dragon before I'd seen it. It was one of the main reasons for my recent visit to the British Museum. I thought this would be a challenge and I wanted something to test Autodesk's Sketchbook pro application, a desktop app for the Mac and a drawing tablet.

After taking several pictures of the vase to capture the entire dragon I sketched out the basic picture using a pencil in the app. Using this as a guide layer I then used simulated paintbrushes using Copic Royal Blue at various thicknesses and paint loading. It was a little hit and miss at first as I was trying to reproduce an effect which was satisfactory - I wanted an effect which appeared to replicate the variable colour saturation of the galzed image. It's not an easy task in sketckbook Pro but I persisted. Generous use of layers allowed me to create some of the effects, like the nose and the fine white dividing lines between body and spine for example.

I've long wanted a pro tablet. The iPad is amazing and accurate but for limited image size and use. With a tablet I can adjust photos more precisely and, more importantly indulge my pencil sketching in a digital form.

Using iCloud I worked on the image using the wireless mode of the tablet and a MacBook pro and wired using an iMac. As I suspected, there's a level of disconnection between the pen and the image which a a Wacom Cintiq would address. Unfortunately I can't justify the cost of one of those at the moment.

The finished article took be three weeks, on and off.

I have shown a detail of the head below the entire painting. The image size of the final picture is 4880 x 1200 pixels, a little to much to upload here.

(iMac/MacBook Pro and Sketchbook Pro v6.2.1, Wacom Intuos Touch)

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