Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Plague of Dragons

By Justin Gerard

Previously on Muddycolors I did a few posts sharring some reference boards showcasing the different ways that artists handled painting eyes and hands. I've found that making reference boards on specific subjects is really helpful in examining how other artists tackled and solved visual problems. This can be extremely helpful when you go try to work out how to handle these problems in your own work.

Muddycolors is no stranger to dragons, so this week I thought I would share some of my favorite paintings of these fantastical creatures from a few classical and contemporary artists.

As I went through my folders I couldn't help but be fascinated at just how differently each artist chose to visualize their concept of a dragon. Some artists painted them as magical and benevolent spirits, while others painted them as forces of nature, and still others as manifestations of human vices. The artists seem to pour a little of their own soul into these creatures, and through this we see hopes and fears and something curiously human in them.
I hope you enjoy!

Links to the original posts:

A Show of Hands

The Eyes Have It


  1. Am I blind or did no Easley dragon make the list? Heresy!

    1. Haha, no unfortunately you are correct. There is a dragon he did a long time ago that I always really liked (I think it was from the Silmarillion) but when I went to search for it I couldn't find a copy of it anywhere. (There are actually quite a few of my favorites that I couldn't manage to get on here because I either couldn't find an image, or if I did find the image it was just too small or grainy...)

  2. I'm sure Dan will nail more of these, but here goes...
    Row 1: ????, ????, ????, Donato, Tyler Jacobson
    Row 2: Nico Marlet, Bonner, Rackham?, Annie Stegg-Gerard, Rayyan, ???
    Row 3: ????, Jesper, Kidby?, de Sève, Alan Lee
    Row 4: Bonner, Lockwood, Gustafson, JB Monge, ???
    Row 5: Mignola, Sweet, Bonner, Raoul Vitale, McCaig, Bosch?
    Row 6: Jesper, Rackham, Godbey, Bonner, Lars Grant-West

    1. I think there are a couple of John Howe's in the top row. Great critters all!

  3. OK, Scott Brundage and I decided to ruin everyone's fun, and make it a team effort. Here are our joint guesses:

    1: John Howe, Sergio Martinez, John Howe, Donato Giancola, Tyler Jacobson
    2: Nico Marlet, Paul Bonner, Arthur Rackham, Annie Stegg, Omar Rayyan, Lord Leighton
    3: Iain McCaig, Jesper Ejsing, Tony DiTerlizzi, Peter de Sève, Alan Lee, Lord Leighton
    4: Paul Bonner, Todd Lockwood, Scott Gustafson, JB Monge, Salvador Rosa
    5: Mike Mignola, Xiaodi Jin, Paul Bonner, Raoul Vitale, Iain McCaig, Hendrik Goltzius
    6: Jesper Ejsing, Arthur Rackham, Cory Godbey, Paul Bonner, Lars Grant-West

    1. Wow, haha you guys got it! I didn't think anyone would figure out the Goltzius one (Or the McCaig one for that matter). And I actually didn't even know that Salvador Rosa was the artist for 4 down, 6 across. (So thanks for clearing that up) I think you guys win the prize. But you'll have to split it.

    2. Xiaodi Jin and Goltzius took us the longest. Sergio Martinez and Diterlizzi were tough untill you zoom in and could see the pencil marks as giveaways. Somehow Dan knew Rosa at a glance.


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