Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sixty Minute Monsters Extra

And now for something a little different!

It's been a frustrating few days as far as my daily monster project is concerned. Not only have I had school starting up and guests visiting, but for the last couple days I've been spending hours struggling with a single critter. At this point I'm forced to conclude that it's not so much a matter of drawing composition or technique, but the fact that my creature design simply doesn't work. Allow me to illustrate:

I think my idea of the dragon was permanently fixed by Paolo Uccello's Saint George and the Dragon, which I saw in London's National Gallery when I was a little kid. Not only does Uccello's dragon have two legs and two wings, thus obeying the basic laws of vertebrate anatomy, but it has these lovely little circle patterns on its wings which resemble the "eye spots" seen on butterflies. Based on this, I did some sketches of a carnosaur-like dragon with vestigial wings and a frilled lizard collar which it could use as part of an intimidating threat display to scare off enemies. Unfortunately, not only was it hard to show off this design in the portrait-style dimensions I've been using thus far, but no matter how much I fiddled with it the end result always looked like a tyrannosaur with a frilly collar and funny little bat wings. Which, after all, is exactly what it was.

So I've decided to go back to the virtual drawing board with this one. In the meantime, I did a new version of the salamander, since I wasn't really happy with the old one. At least I've accomplished something!

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