Building up the detail

The dark areas were slowly built up to form the major structures of the composition (a), and, within these structures, textures were established by dabbing the wet surface with pieces of kitchen roll (b) (detail right, actual size). This technique is excellent for natural surfaces, but requires great care as you are unable to repeat or revise the results if they are unsatisfactory. During the painting, the highlights (c) are worked back into the picture by using thicker, opaque colors.

Sutton Alaska

Constructing the dragon

Detail on the dragon was achieved with a very fine brush, and care was taken to smooth the dark drawing lines into each form. The anatomy is a mixture of crocodile (for the head), birds' claws (for the feet), amphibian (for the smooth underbelly) and the pose is one of lazy, relaxed enjoyment.


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