Hockey Bear

My wife suggested at one point that I paint a polar bear playing ice hockey. It took me a while to get a pose and concept I liked, but eventually I decided to have the bear practicing shooting. I decided I wanted some other animals standing around watching, and some pudgy birds fit the bill. Penguins wouldn’t work due to geography, but a search of Arctic birds revealed that puffins live in the Northern Hemisphere, so they were chosen. Here is my final pencil sketch:

I inked the image using a brush pen directly onto the watercolor paper with the help of my light table:

I decided to set the scene at sunrise to contrast the purple and blue tones I wanted to use for the snow and ice. I live in Nashville so I costumed the bear in colors that are reminiscent of the Predators’ colors, without being specific about it. I’m really pleased with how this turned out, and am delighted with the color blending effects I’m learning to add to my work. Thanks for reading!

Dragon siblings

I was commissioned to paint these dragon siblings by a friend of mine who was decorating her recently born daughter’s room in a fantasy creature theme. She asked for a scenario depicting a young female dragon interacting with her older brother (who would represent the real life older brother.) My first task was to create character designs for the dragon siblings. Drawing characters who were recognizable as dragons rather than dinosaurs, were not scary, and who also looked young was challenge for me, but after a couple of revisions, we arrived at these two designs:

With the characters established, I sketched out several possible scenarios for these two. The brother helping his sister stay on the log was chosen (though riding on playground unicorns was a close second):

Here is my cleaned-up sketch. Because it was going to be the focal point of the bedroom, the finished painting was 20″x 30″ (the largest watercolor I had ever done), so transferring the pencils to the final size for inking involved a couple different projectors and a lot of patience:

I did a quick color comp to establish color patterns for these dragons and guide my coloring:

I was really worried that I would mess up the final image and have to start over, but I am pleased to say it all went to plan perfectly the first time, and I completed this massive painting within a week of starting the watercolors. I am really pleased with the result and enjoyed taking this idea from start to finish. Thanks for reading!