Artwork on a lark

Wednesday morning at BrainShare I decided to experiment with the markers. Rather than beginning with pencil and ink, and then coloring line-art, I decided to just dive in with the markers.

Since I was coloring “freehand,” with no reference and no guidelines, I decided to do something that wouldn’t look ‘wrong’ if I screwed it up. That ruled out any of my characters, which was a good thing — I wanted to push myself OUT of the comfort zone. So I drew a dragon.

It came out okay.

There’s a blue smudge barely visible in this scan to the right of the dragon at about the height of his knee. I’m considering adding some background to mask said smudge, so that the piece will fetch a few bucks at Penguicon.

I’m ALSO considering doing a few more of these, with differing subject matter. It’s like working with watercolors, only without the tedium of mixing your own colors.


p.s. The black smudge behind the dragon is a speck on the glass of my scanner. Where DID I put the Windex?

28 thoughts on “Artwork on a lark”

  1. Awesome.

    My only critique is the left arm doesn’t look attached to the rest of his body.

    I really like your use of highlights in this. 🙂

  2. I like him. He looks like he’s contemplating a quote like “Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and would go good with ketchup.”

  3. That’s sweet, Howard! With a background (heck, even without one) that should fetch a nice price. And even though it’s not in a style or subject matter you normally draw, it’s also still very recognizable as a Howard Tayler.

    Excellent work!

  4. He’s very cool. And the face is almost something I’d expect to see if a dragon ever showed up in a Wallace and Grommit movie, which in my book is really interesting…

    …hmm. Ever consider making a Schlock Mercenary movie?

    1. Yeah, it looks very water-colorish. I know it’s a pain to do, but have you considered putting up some How-To pages. A couple of comic guys have and it’s really interesting seeing just how this stuff comes together. I still can’t figure out how you got markers to look like that. Cool!

        1. If you’ll email me links to the assorted mascots, I’ll cheerfully consider doing just that… and then auctioning off the full set on eBay. 🙂


          1. On second thought, I imagine those are all trademarked or some such, no? Not a quagmire to be leaping in. Does Novell have a mascot? Would be a big hit and one of the BrainDrain things you do.

          2. Actually, artwork like that wouldn’t cause troubles — especially not for mascots in the Open Source community. Any trademarks (like the SUSE lizard) are very specifically shaped, and my artwork would not dilute the trademark.

            Now, if I started selling merchandise around the SUSE lizard (like t-shirts, or such) Novell might take note of me. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.

            Tux and Konqui wouldn’t cause troubles. What else is there? A BSD devil thingy? The SUSE lizard I know about. Others?


          3. Let’s see: The FSF GNU and Red Hat’s shadow-man are more avatars.

            Several other logos are environmental bits. Debian has a kind of pointless swirl, KDE has a gear.

            The Firefox Firefox and Mozilla probably have some kind of parent-child thing going on. The OpenOffice seagull. I think Apache has a feather…

            Strangely, Gnome doesn’t seem to have a gnome, that I know of. They have a footprint, but who knows what made it?


  5. Looks great, I think the snout is a bit long/square, but it looks great regardless ^__^

    ps: hope you don’t mind the random dropin/adding to list. Love the comic.

    1. I found you through a friend of a friend. Which webcomic do you write? I’ve been trying to find references in this LJ, but they’re either few and far between, or non-existant.

        1. Re: Konqi?

          Work with it, Howard. 🙂

          (Marketing 101: “Oooh, what a beautiful $THINGY, here’s some money!”. Correct response is _not_ “It’s not a $THINGY”, correct response is “Thanks, here’s your change.” And you call yourself a mercenary…)


  6. You’ve got a talent at freehand that I can only *wish* I had, Howard. That dragon looks like it is getting ready to flame toast somebody (or something) annoying off to the left.

    Mayhaps when your doing up some linux oriented drawings you could toss a mock MS butterfly in for a little fun? 😉

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