Florentine Dragon

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"Florentine Dragon" my watercolour painting.  It is a complete product, but I may seek to produce a large painting in time, based on the same concept.

“Florentine Dragon”: my watercolour painting. I imagined that this scene may turn out to be a radical historical fantasy idea, placing dragons in the midst of Renaissance Italy during the age of the Medici (dragons being apt metaphors for that wealthy family, not to mention the Borgia clan). One crazy dream I have is to become a fantasy artist in my own right and design book covers, maybe even Magic cards. It is a complete product, but I may seek to produce a larger painting in time, based on the same concept, and possibly change the lighting to a night scene. (I’m working on my skills here.)

florentine dragon pencil

My first concept sketch. I knew I wanted the dragon to look like he inhabited the Renaissance, so in my composition, I tried to play up the sympathy between the shape of his wings and the Duomo of Florence Cathedral. I was actually thinking of making the arms of the dragon’s wings white, to match the marble ribs of the dome. I knew that my colour scheme would have many reds and oranges, the colours of the roof tiles. I also thought it would make a good night scene. However, there are more daytime shots of Florence and I did not know how the night lighting might have been in the Renaissance.  They didn’t have spotlights, after all. As you can tell, at this stage, I was too lazy to look closely at my architectural model. I wished for my focus to be on the dragon and the cathedral, mostly cropping the city.

Florentine dragon white

I redrew the dragon and roughly put in the shape of Florence Cathedral in this pencil crayon colour experiment. I was aiming for a night scene in this one, which I abandoned at the watercolour stage. I wanted to see if an abstract blurry technique could work for the roofs of the city, but I ended up hating the chaotic mix of colours. I learned that the city was going to be very warm, so I aimed for a cooler backdrop, mixing green mountains with a blue and purple sky. I kept the moon, since you can see it in the daytime and it adds an aura of mystery and romance.

"Florentine Dragon" my watercolour painting.  It is a complete product, but I may seek to produce a large painting in time, based on the same concept.

And then I did the watercolour!

Florentine Dragon3

Now some fun with photoshop. This looks rough, but has harder edges that I find appealing.

Florentine Dragon4

Is this an nineteenth-century daguerreotype of an actual sighting of a dragon around Florence? Maybe my historical fantasy can take place in the 1830s.

This is the same watercolour but more saturated. Do you find the colours more appealing? I'd like to know.

This is the same watercolour but more saturated. Do you find the colours more appealing? I’d love to know.

Florentine Dragon2

Poster edges, one of my favourite filters. Gives it that modern art look. Thanks for the comments!

 

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2 comments on “Florentine Dragon

  1. BELA DEMETER says:

    What a delight to run across your blog. I’m a retired reptile keeper – now docent at the National Gallery of Art – who conducts a tour of reptilian motifs in the Gallery, including dragons. I love your Florentine Dragon. I like the second one that you photoshopped. It has a stronger sense of verisimilitude to it – probably due to the way the stones in the Cathedral turned out.
    Also loved your comments on the French courtier. I’m thinking of using fashion as the thematic thread in an upcoming tour of 17th C life in Europe.
    Your review of Bram Stoker was also great, with a name like Bela Demeter, it must be obvious that I’ve got more than a passing interest in Draculania.

    I’m looking forward to exploring more of your blog. Thanks for the hard work and effort.

    • Wonderful comment! I’m very pleased you liked my Florentine Dragon. While I don’t have any school training with watercolour, I have been practicing every now and then. Your comment really validated my talent. Thank you!

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