Matt Lichtenwalner

Mobile mapper for TomTom - roaming the US and Canada constantly. Maybe a bit of art and/or writing here and there to spice things up.

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So I have managed to get very behind on #Smaugust already. The normal process to sketch, ink, and color a single character (or dragon) takes me a pretty consistant 3 hours. I speed up in some ways, but then I get nitpicky and add complexity etc which slows me down. So the magic number these days seems to be that - 3 hours.

Doing that every day is... very tough. Especially on days when I'm working long hours for TomTom.

So to allow myself to catch up, I've dropped back to just simple sketches. I still plan to finish them later, but I want to stay current in ordetr to keep myself motivated.

I managed to get caught up last night with this new philosophy, and I thought I would share.

Above is the Quetzalcoatl - day 5. While not a dragon in the traditional sense, it was on the list, so I thought "Why not?" Also, while I feel pretty comfortable with my limited Spanish, and have always felt very comfortable with the names of obscure mythological creatures, this one just evades my brain. Every time I want to reference it, I wind up looking it up. That's just... unusual.

Day 6 - Spider Dragon. I had fun dreaming up the anatomy of this one. It uses it's spinnerets to weave 'wings' of web onto it's hind most legs. It does this to blow victims into its webs, trapping them. On the minus side, I didn't merge dragon and spider very well - it mostly just seems like a monsterous spider.

Day 7 - Crystal Dragon. Yeah, this one feels rushed even though it took me more time than some of the other 'catch up' dragons. Referenced a number of different crystals, and saw way more internet woo-woo than I would have prefered, but I feel like this is... something. Not my favorite of these drakes, that's for certain. Maybe color will improve my thoughts on it.

Day 8 - Elemental Dragon. I like this guy (gal?). I thought 'nothing thin will work with fire/lava, so everything must be blunt'. So I didn't add wings, and its face seems a bit... pug like to me. I kinda dig it. I suspect colors will really make this one significantly better.

Day 9 - Western Dragon. I sorta copped out on this one. I went with 'western' as opposed to 'eastern'. A stylistic / anatomy based theme rather than trying to do something to imply 'wild west'. The latter would have been harder, and arguably more fun, but getting caught up was my focus, and I have a bit of a plan for these later and a wild west theme wouldn't have worked as well for that.

That does it for catch up. Today's theme (Day 10) is 'Brutish'. I suspect this one will be fun to do.

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I think it's a wise choice to do simple sketches now and then go back and make changes later. besides, these aren't bad.

Western dragon. hmm. I think you made the right choice with stylistic/anatomy based. This looks very Tolkien. I like what you've done here. I'm thinking of like, Scandinavian images of dragons as opposed to Chinese images of dragons, and maybe it would be worth looking at lizards and bats that are common to the American West.
Exactly right re: western dragons. I almost think of it as "Not eastern" which is kinda lame, but I feel like eastern countries have a more consistent sense of 'dragon-ness' than everyone else. So 'western' gets everything else lumped into it that doesn't fall under 'eastern'.

Which, I'm sad to say, feels a little like calling someone 'asian' except that no one can point a finger and say I'm wrong because dragons don't actually exist. So ummm... there's that.
I like the facial expression on the Crystal Dragon. She calms me.
Or he. Men too can be calming.
Thank you. I thought peaceful/relaxing would be appropriate. (S)he has to chill long enough for crystals to grow, so...
 

Some of you may be familiar with Inktober - where there's a list of art prompts for the month of October and the challenge is to create art every day from those prompts in ink. I've done it a few times and 'won' (succeeded) once.

Now I'm doing Smaugust. It appears to be far less popular, but given that I'm the owner of dragonbones.net, I figured I would give it a go. Of course, I have a bunch of other stuff on my plate, and shouldn't really be spending my limited time on a meme, but what the hell. I have an idea that might make it worthwhile (beyond the pleasure of doing it / the experience of 'stretching' a bit).

Anyway, I may a post thread over on Twitter where I'll be posting them every day. I'll probably do actual posts with info on how I made the different illustrations etc on my Patreon page and/or dragonbones.net. That said, I figured I would put the first few up here for you to get a feel for the challenge and what I'm currently doing with it.

Day 1 - the Aquatic Dragon

Day 2 - the Tribal Dragon

I may re-do this one later. I'm thinking about creating an ebook after the month is completed with a write up for each of the dragons to be used in TTRPGs, but this wouldn't make for a good creature as is. Of course, maybe it will be a magic tattoo or something... I guess time will tell.

Day 3 - the Subterranean Dragon

Day 4 - the Wolf Dragon

I went a little 'on the nose' with this one, but I just kinda wanted to.

I used the guy all the way on the right for reference from this pic. Obviously, I stretched him out and didn't stick with it very much. Perhaps it's better to say I used him as a starting point.

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I love the aquatic dragon!
Awww - thanks! I'm already looking at each of these and seeing nothing but the flaws.

It really doesn't take long, dammit.
Don't think like that. Move on to the next day's drawing, and then go back and revise.
OMG OMG OMG!!! Eeeee!!!! I want to see the tribal dragon colored, or more of the tribal markings in black. I love the Wolf dragon.
Beeble will like this meme a LOT!
I'm already super behind (of course). More soon!
 

Sadly, I don't remember much of my dream last night, but I do recall a single scene. I was in someone's house, and there were at least two other people there. I don't think any of us were the owners / renters of the place.

One of the people had to leave but they were terrified of the massive bulldog that lived in the house. So, I approached the animal and coaxed it onto its back for belly rubs. The person who had to leave did so slowly and cautiously, and the dog occassionally gave them the side eye, but overall was happy to have me rubbing its belly.

A fairly unimportant moment of a fairly unimportant dream, but I found it interesting because [warning - potential GoT spoilers for Season 6 ahead] I just watched the episode where one character unshackles two dragons. They did the scene well, and the body language for the dragons is really fantastic. The creators of GoT have done a fantastic job of getting across "wild but very intelligent creature". So much so that I found myself watching for 'tells' in the body language of the creatures as they were being unshackled.

Clearly, the scene had an impact on me because my dream was all about understanding the body language of the bulldog since I only knew them peripherally. 

ETA: Also, this is fantastic.

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9/1 '18 8 Comments
I think you've probably been spending your entire life unconsciously looking for tells from dogs. I mean that in a good way. Maybe the dream was a "yes you were right"confirmation that your sense that GoT got it right was right.

Right?
Sounds about right.

Funny thing is that dog tells are much like dragon tells which are much like human tells. :)
Matt Lichtenwalner 9/1 '18edited
I seem to recall an X-Files episode about human tells and Luke Skywalker, but I might have got that wrong somewhere.
Brian Rapp 9/1 '18
Never watched the X-Files. At least not in any real way. Maybe an episode way back in the past or something.

But you can bet I would watch the hell out of that episode.
OH. OH. OH. I know exactly what you mean. It was an alien who disguised himself as different humans, and once it disguised itself as Luke Skywalker.
#SecretTargaryen
Ray Conrad 9/1 '18
Did you just spoiler me? :(