Friday, March 16, 2012

'Dragon Eye'

Here's where I stopped on this new painting yesterday. I also have more work done on 'The Last Unicorn'. I think that one is going to take a while before I'm satisfied with it... Some are like that, I guess. Plus, I have to create the type. I want to do some cool thing with the 'u' in unicorn where it is a Celtic- or illuminated looking red bull. And something needs to happen with the sky. Something to break up the monotony of the clouds.


  1. Justin, the latest changes to the Unicorn cover painting make that white figure pop nicely. And what you’ve done with that fantasy landscape, glimmering through rips in the clouds, makes it so much more intriguing than before, when it was more hard-edged and competed with the foreground. One suggestion: Can you give a little more 3-D sculptural appearance to the unicorn? It looks a bit like it was carved in low relief, especially the mane and the face.

    The Dragon Eye painting is working well, from the handling of the scales to indicate perspective, to that bright globe of an eye, which tinges the smoke above it with yellow, like a lighthouse lantern. Keep posting!

  2. I liked the dragon a lot before, and I like it better with the changes!

    I never read "The Last Unicorn" so I feel unqualified to give an opinion. I like the fact that your unicorn is a bit goat-like. reminds me of medieval tapestries, although I'm no expert. He also looks a bit sad and worn —hopefully that's the desired effect.

  3. With the 'The Last Unicorn' piece I went with loaded symbolism. I think that way a lot, wanting to foreshadow and use metaphor in generally very discreet ways to give people a different experience every time they revisit the image.

    The unicorn was described in the book as having cloven hooves, a long neck that made her head look too small, and a horn that shone with its own 'seashell light'. She was old, no longer the colour of sea foam, but of freshly fallen snow.

    One thing mentioned in the book that I always loved, which served as foreshadowing for a future event, was the tale Shmendrick tells of his mentour turning a male unicorn into a man. So, I gave the 'female' unicorn a beard, which some may or may not have noticed. The unicorn is actually NOT the unicorn in the book, but the male from the story told by the magician. I added the red rim light to make the presence of the bull more obvious and to introduce some more colour into the foreground. Also, I wanted it to highlight the horn as a dangerous weapon. One of the first images conjured up by beagle is that the unicorn had 'slain dragons with it', healed a king suffering from a poisonous wound, and knocked acorns down for bear cubs. Unicorns are not necessarily viewed as dangerous, so the dragon slaying very much attracted me. I like that her elegance belies her ability to be dangerous. You never really see her in combat in the book, which is nice, but you know she is capable of battling creatures like herself.

    As for the expression, Chuck, the unicorns in this world Beagle creates cannot feel sorrow. But this one does come to know human feeling, sorrow being the chiefest of them. Gravitas, really. I recommend this book to anyone. It is so rich and sits right up there with 'The Hobbit'. I get the same kind of feeling from the two books. They are journeys revolving more around human growth and experience than heroic deeds (though these do exist, as well). It's a sublime read, truly.

    And, thanks, Chuck. I really enjoy the dragon :)

  4. I really like how these are coming as well. My only comment would be to maybe revisit the horse shoulder anatomy. It looks a little funky.