This idea was sparked in the car when driving back from Gent comicon. We saw some hot air balloons flying by and that's when I thought of a kind of inventor-robot developing some wings for him to fly. A bit like Da Vinci's flying machines.
For the design of my inventor-hero, I looked at Da Vinci's drawings of his 'flying machines'. I didn't want a pose with both wings spread out, because I felt it might be a little too static. The wings are obviously too small for such a heavy robot, but that's something he will no doubt discover later on today! :)
To give it the Da Vinci-feel, I worked out a sepia background with some 'technical' sketches in pencil as a backdrop for the main character. I also added some details to give it a bit more life.
I remembered that Da Vinci used a secret code in his research note-books, just in case they fell into the wrong hands (because some of his research was cutting edge, but sometimes flirting with what was legal or acceptabe at the time-period). I used the same secret code in this painting: I mirrored the lettering done on a computer and then copied the mirrored text by hand. If you look at the illustration in a mirror, you'll be able to read a part of the adventures of our robot-inventor :).
I'm quite happy with the result. I like his goofy face, maybe he'll invent a time machine in a delorian next! :)
To kick-start this blog: a tutorial about a white dragon.
Painting a white creature is generally quite difficult. The biggest challenge is to mix the main character in with its background. Since a few years I've been using a collage technique. In this particular painting it made blending the dragon in with the background even more of a challenge! I first painted the background so I could plan the shadowing and highlights of the dragon. In the first few layers of the creature I painted the shadows roughly and made sure that the lightest part (e.g. the head) stayed the center of focus. I also added contrasting colors, like pinks and purples, because oddly enough it makes the white look more like white in the final painting. When I was happy with the balance of the shadows and highlights, I added a few layers of detail. I cut out the dragon and put it on the background to make the final adjustments before glueing it onto the background. Hope you like the end result!
because you can't start early enough