Dragon in the Dungeon

Dragon drawing in pencil by Leo Hartas

Wonderful fun doing a detailed pencil drawing of a classic Dungeons & Dragons type scene. It was done on cheap cartridge paper with HB and 4B, (the only ones I could find had leads that kept breaking) I did some finishing in Photoshop mainly because it’s difficult to get dark enough with pencil alone. I’m wondering if I should tackle some actual Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, but I fear my visualisation of stories is so distorted now by the films that it would be difficult to come up with anything original.

Any way, a critique of my own work. It could be a lot better. The biggest problem is in the basic composition and the position of the big arch, I’m not sure it works properly for two reasons. The first is that I have cut off this side of the arch which leaves it hanging in space and the other end lands just behind the dragons tail, not really leaving enough believable space for him. I don’t like his head which is too bent over like a horse. This fault goes right back to the model I’d designed in paper, which was the starting point for the idea in first place. There are many other disappointments, such as the poor drawing in the warrior riding or subduing the dragon, or the too small scale of the adventurer emerging from the tunnel, or the pointless door on the ground level.. I could go on and on.

Instead I’ll say what I like and think is working. The stonework. It’s far from perfect but I love the detail and texture and the arches disappearing into the dark roof. The treasure looks good too, really seems to be glowing. I like too that I just enjoyed doing it, for it’s own sake, for sitting listening to audio books and calming my jangling nerves.

I want to do another one now!

Kaliedabec Marshes

Kaliedabec Marsh - Leo Hartas

The great hound had clambered awkwardly over the roots and carried the huntress her vantage point. Jasp couldn’t believe that he had not been discovered, but then he’d been so long amongst the rot and decay that he felt his body would soon become a part of it.

From my sketchbook. I only like parts of this drawing which finished yesterday while attempting distraction from awful stomach cramps and a fluey temperature. I consider this a, ‘comfort’, drawing, similar to comfort eating, though easier on the waistline. Pretty much begun in one corner without knowing where the rest of it is going and full of elements I like and are easy to draw, such as tangled roots and skulls.

Pug Dog

Pug-Dog - Leo Hartas Illustration

From my sketchbook.

The pug was sad. All day he had sat on his little velvet covered stool at the queen’s behest, never once averting his eyes from hers. How that little dog love his mistress, how little he knew the power he wielded in the royal court. “Well, pug”, cooed the queen, “should this man loose his head?”. Her gaze turned to the accused, “If pug nods his head,” she informed him, “you loose yours”. With that she produced a small delicacy from her purse, and moved it up and down before the pug who dutifully nodded his head. The man was dragged away to his fate, and queen rewarded the dog with the morsel and, until the next time, the little pug was happy.