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Dark Vyvern Dragon - Challenge #2

Sakura Alexia


Okay, here's a new entry for you, about the fictional creature challenge made a while ago.
As creature, since human-like creatures weren't allowed and I had to change my first idea which was a siren, I chose a dragon, an elemental one, and more specifically the dragon is a vyvern.
Then of course I chose the element, I wrote a number of them, about 7/8 on a piece of paper, broke it to pieces and put them in a box. The chosen element was darkness.
Once done I got a few references and started working on it, but instead of making a drawing on paper like I always did before I also challenged myself to make the drawing entirely with the graphic tablet.
This is the sketch of it:  (I've changed host site so now you should be able to see all the pictures, I apologize for the previous entry that doesn't have most pictures anymore)


Next step was the color, since I had to represent something dark I chose a really dark and greyish purple as main color, a really dark gray for the fur, as pure black can't be shaded, and a slighter brighter and lighter purple for the internal part of the wings.
Coloring wasn't really easy since I had to trace again the sketch with the color instead than filling a part like I do when I have a lineart, I also had to redo the part of the fur on the head and neck several times too, but the ending result was pleasing.
Here it is:


Then I did the shading and lighting, first I started with the darker colors, I usually shade twice, the first time I do bigger portions of color with a lighter tone than the second stage, where I use a darker tone where things have to be more detailed, this also helps give the piece a bit more of tridimensionality.
After that of course there's the lighting done with a lighter tone than the basic one where the color was looking a bit too plain or was without shading. Still I didn't use much light as the dragon had to be dark and too much light would have thrown things off, I used it mostly on the muzzle to make a bit more of detail.
I also switched the background from white to black as I couldn't see well what I was doing while I shaded, especially when I shaded the fur, changing the background color helped me see better what I was doing.
Here's the result:


Next step, and probably the longest and most tedious one, making up the scales and detailing the fur.
Now for the fur it was easy, I just had to choose a lighter grey with a really smal brush and do lines after lines following the direction of the fur itself, but for the scales it was all another story.
For the scales I did use a really small brush too, with a dark, almost black, purple color, all I did was to draw small circles all over the body of the dragon, its not hard to do at all, but it was really, really long. The result paid off eventually though.
Also I lowered the opacity of the layers of details too, the scales have a 40% of opacity while the fur has a 25% instead.
You can see it here: (Here is a little bit lighter as I fixed it later, but I was too lazy to make another screenshot XD)


Finshing touches, the background, the dark flame and the addictional lighting.
I went for a sort of cloudy and stormy background, I used really light colors for the lightnings as I felt they would have contrasted well with the dragon itself, and then I laid down some light all around the dragon itself.
Then I made the flame, this was fun, I used no more than 3 colors mixed together with some help of the burn tool, that makes thing darker, and the dodge too that does lights instead, the effect was really cool and glowy. At the end I added some purple shadows around the muzzle and in a few other places, I didn't do too much though, I could have done a little bit more but that's okay.
Here's the finished result after 44 layers and 8 hours of work divided in more days, nights actually.


Hope you guys liked it, I can't wait for the next challenge to begin. ^_^ 


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