Princess and Dragon Sketches

This weeks topic for illustration Friday is ‘Dragon’ and so I wanted to depict a typical medievalesque image of a princess captured by a dragon. I used the Brothers Grimm story ‘The Four Skillful Brothers’ as a starting point as I am familiar with that story due to using it for a project in my first year at university. In the story, a princess is taken to a rock in the middle of the sea before being rescued by four clever brothers. I originally sketched the princess as being quite serene still, using various poses from medieval manuscripts as reference. However, it thought I would be funny to have a bored and impatient looking princess sitting above a sleeping dragon and decided to use this for my illustration. I have finished sketching the final illustration and will post it as soon as I’ve finished applying colour to it.

The Selfish Giant Sketchbook Progress

Despite this project being over a year old now, I haven’t grown tired of it and am determined to finish it. Luckily it is only a personal project and so I do not have a deadline for it. I have recently gotten back into the project and have been working on finer details I want to add to my illustrations, mainly scenery and background things. I find scenery quite tricky and so I have been looking at medieval manuscripts for inspiration, the images above focus mainly on the finer details of the Giants castle and the surrounding landscape.

Night Time Colour Practice

I am currently working on a commission for someone which requires a night time setting atop a cliff. As I am not used to painting night time scenery I thought it would be good to practice and I started painting the medieval style plants I’ve become accustomed to through my Selfish Giant project in my sketchbook. I used quink ink for the dark background colour, before working on top of it with watercolours. I kept to the colours I normally use when painting plants, dark blues and greens, but left out lighter colours like yellow to create more of a night time feel. I found that the combination of a dark background and a lack of light colours really helped to illustrate this. However, I also really like the dark coloured plants against a plain white background and think that that could be interesting to explore further.