Thursday, 11 October 2012

Bateman's Dragons

I remember a prof telling me in my first year of art school that he knew my type: I was the kind of student he'd been weaning off dragons for his entire career. All these kids showed up to art school, he said, with this penchant for drawing scaly, fire-breathing monsters and his job was to snap us out of it. I was just another Lord of the Rings who was going to learn the merits of true art. I believe I wished him good luck, and kept drawing.

And so here I am nearly three years later...still drawing dragons. That's the trouble: if a kid who with a pencil and a love of fantasy decides he's gonna make his living as an illustrator, there are certain things you'll never break him of. Like dragons. They're just so versatile, you know? Big and scary, murderous, practically made of teeth if you want them to be, but with the potential to be cute and just a little dysfunctional (thinking specifically of the dragons Paul Kidby draws for the Discworld novels). So yeah; I figure I'll draw dragons until the end of my days. Like these ones, which were originally mountain goat sketches by Robert Bateman adorning the cover of my sketchbook, but were deemed lacking in character and originality. So now they're dragons.

The goal here was to post a sketch a day, something that's successfully made the journey from my imagination through my pen to the page, but that hasn't really happened. Art school, y'know? So while you wait for the next one I'll send to a man I greatly admire, a certain Skottie Young []. As storytellers go, he's among the finest. Enjoy.

"Pinfeathers and gollyfluff!"
-Archimedes (the owl)

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