The Dragon Print

At SPX 2011, I'll have two prints available. My Fistful of Credits print and this new one, featuring a Dungeons and Dragons Adventuring party and their quarry...a fearsome dragon of the woods! Fun fact: My current D&D game is in this very same predicament! But I crafted the print before the encounter.

Here are a few steps from the process.

The finished ink kinda looks like this before color. A little rough around the edges, but complete enough for me.

After inks are complete I make a few changes to the designs or layout. In this case I want to change the dragons horns and spikes. I'll do this final edit in the painting process. I also find a few pieces of reference art I like that I'll use as inspiration for the final painting. I just tag them right on to the PSD file, because I like to keep them attached through the duration of the project. Note: these are not my images. But pieces I'm big fans of. It's also separated in to two 8.5x11 sections for test printings in pieces at home.

This is where inking begins. I use photoshop and some custom brushes (which I normally make new per piece) to ink and add an initial color pass so I can start thinking about value early. You can also see the hint of balloon placement. This print will contain a dialogue for the narrative.

Here's one of the earliest sketches from Sketchbook Pro. You can see a different dragon design below the top one. This piece actually evolved a lot. It started with the same line up of characters, but in full body view and the encounter they were facing was a wall of goblins! In my sketchbook I kept re-tooling the image. Adding the narrative head shots and decided that this print deserved a dragon!

And here's a picture of the Fistful of Credits proof from the printer: