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Sapient Dragon Profile by KatePfeilschiefter Sapient Dragon Profile by KatePfeilschiefter
Update: Came up with a different coloured version, previous edition was too monochromatic.

Playing around with dragon anatomy. Trying to evoke a feeling of intelligence while still being as anatomically realistic as possible. I kinda like this guy, let's call him Rhaigo. He parties hard and likes to trot.
Dragons are called Drakons in the Aerie, (a minuscule difference I know). It's more consistent with how "dragon" has been spelled historically.

Drawn with pencil, painted in photoshop.

Concept (c) me.
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:iconjacob-reddinger:
jacob-reddinger Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That . . .is amazing! Great artwork! :)
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:iconvincentrinehart:
VincentRinehart Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That face has a lot of personality to it. And that hole in his hocks is a very interesting addition. Is there a specific reason or purpose for it, or just for aesthetics?
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Just trying it out aesthetically. In nature that space is covered by skin, but it's really just an empty gap
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:iconvincentrinehart:
VincentRinehart Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry, I just noticed that someone else asked that same question. x3 My bad!
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:iconniteclaw:
niteclaw Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
he is gorgeous D:
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:iconolivethebreloom:
OliveTheBreloom Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This fellow does have a very clever face, and I like how you've done the torso and wing muscles and the whiskers.
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:iconazureith:
Azureith Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Student Artist
i just love how detailed your art always it :)
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:iconmikecorriero:
MIKECORRIERO Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2012
Love it Katie
The color came out beautiful and I love the texture/detailing. Forgive the question if this was intentional, but did you leave the opening between the Achilles tendon connected to the heel and the tibia on purpose? Instead of it being covered by skin such as in horses and other ungulates.
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!

Yeah, and really just for the heck of it. I imagine it would be funny thinking of all the strange ornamentation they could loop through there. And as far as I know, there really is nothing other than skin filling that gap in other animals.
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:iconmikecorriero:
MIKECORRIERO Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012
Yea, most likely as an obvious protection of that vital tendon as well as not to allow stuff to get stuck or catch on the open "port between the tendon and the tibia/leg. Interesting idea, to perhaps decorate the open ankle with rings, tied feathers, maybe even armor/artificial spurs.
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:iconazefish:
AzeFish Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Spectacular musculature!
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:iconsarienspiderdroid:
SarienSpiderDroid Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
It's a very beautiful dragon, thanks for sharing!
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:iconsagittarius-a-star:
Sagittarius-A-star Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Student Digital Artist
What are your main inspirations when you design creatures like this dragon? It is obvious that you put a lot of thought into designing your creatures. I noticed you explaining some of the features you associate with dragon intelligence below- have you ever seriously studied biology, paleontology, anthropology, etc. to get a sense of how real creatures are put together? I've always studied science courses enthusiastically, partially because I was drawn to the idea of finding a career in a scientific field, but recently I also recognize science courses as a great source of inspiration for drawing creatures and such.
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I'm not traditionally taught in the subjects, but I study/read about all of the above whenever I can. It does come in handy for drawing creature designs, but it also genuinely intrigues me so it's not hard to force. I'm kinda the same in respect to that last sentence, when I was younger my first career idea was to be a biologist of some sort, and even if I'm never able to pursue a degree in any of the subjects, I still like learning about them. And there's plenty new to learn every day, especially since finding information on the net is like a surprise treasure hunt. You learn all sorts of interesting things from random articles you happen across that are never mentioned or skipped over in documentaries/books.
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:iconbmsolari:
bmsolari Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
OMG , it's awesome , LOVE it
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:iconkurokikumo:
KurokiKumo Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
Nice colors, very cool :)
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:iconbrynnmetheney:
BrynnMetheney Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Love it! Awesome job on the color too! :D
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!
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:icongalidor-dragon:
Galidor-Dragon Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I like this version more, great choice of colors!
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:icondavehollis:
Davehollis Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
Why does Hollywood think that dragons = four-limbed creatures with animal intelligence?

More intelligent, six-limbed dragons pls.
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It's more believable, dragons are usually used as monster fodder. Throw intelligence into the mix when the world/film isn't tailored to it and it's a lot to deal with.
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:icondavehollis:
Davehollis Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
I wouldn't say it's about believability. If I were going to look closer and pick out an actual reason I'd say it's got something to do with relative power and human arrogance. These storytellers want dragons to be powerful, but still tamable, like horses only bigger, a creature man can bend to his will. They want man's only real enemy to be other men. If dragons have the power of intelligence then man is hopelessly outgunned, and some storytellers are uncomfortable with a world where humanity doesn't straddle the top of the power pyramid.
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
True, but not all. You should check out the Age of Fire series. It takes place from the POV of three dragons and deals with those and other issues.
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:icondavehollis:
Davehollis Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
Well I don't mean ALL stories with dragons, just the ones where dragons have 4 limbs and aren't sentient. And I'm sure my analysis isn't completely accurate for every example of that kind of dragon, but it rings of at least some truth, to my mind.
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
To delve deeper, I've thought about this a lot due to having to deal with the same problem. I'd think because dragons could easily survive in the wild without their intellect in most cases, they wouldn't develop much if any technology. Leaving them quite vulnerable actually in a fight against a modern human with firearms. Not to mention jets, bombs, sniper rifles, shotguns, artillery, etc. All dragons have is their physical attributes and fire. And their fire likely can't be projected too far, making it a close quarters weapon. It'd kind of be a case comparable to that of native Americans versus the English and Spanish settlers. The natives had been on the continent for a very long time, yet didn't develop ships, firearms, or anything else. Not because they were stupid, but because they didn't really need them.
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:iconphoenix-samurai:
PHOENIX-Samurai Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
Thats amazing. The feet are very well constructed, with the use of a raptors talon.
This reminds me of a sneaking cat, only this cat has wings and horns!
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:iconkevin-studios:
Kevin-Studios Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Student General Artist
I love it. If I may ask, what kind of settings did you use to paint it? Multiply layers? Was it the brushes? You get a very clean finish and I was just wondering. You're one of my favorite fantasy artisit.
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Wow thanks a lot!

I didn't use any fancy brushes for this one. I started with an overlay layer on top of the pencil drawing to infuse the graphite with hue. Then on top of that used a multiply layer on which the majority of the painting was done. Then a normal layer on top of that with a little over-painting to add highlights, extra detail and paint away messy frayed edges.
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:iconkevin-studios:
Kevin-Studios Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Student General Artist
The overlay layer!! Thats it! Do you go over the pencil marks exactly? or just broadly paint over it?
But thank you, this was helpful. And again, I LOVE you art!
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Just broadly paint over it, and thanks, glad I could help
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:iconsupercj:
SuperCJ Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012
Would his name be inspired by the dragon Rhaego from A Clash of Kings:D? If not, it's an awesome coincidence.
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I have no idea about the name really. It was just the first thing to pop into my head, so it could have come from any number of places.
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:iconsupercj:
SuperCJ Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012
I realized after I wrote the comment that the name of the dragon was "Rhaegar" not "Rhaego". Not so coincidental now :/
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:iconserpentwined:
Serpentwined Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
He's named after a rune :D
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:icongalidor-dragon:
Galidor-Dragon Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I love the talons! C:
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:iconphenomi:
Phenomi Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Very nice! I love all the cool little details that you don't see so often in dragons, like the gaps in the hind legs and the whiskers on the face. Wonderful expression on this guy. Two thumbs up!
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:iconjbrenthill:
jbrenthill Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Beautiful! I especially like the gaps between his tendons on the back legs!
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:iconregklubeck:
regklubeck Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
What elements in him do you feel indicate intelligence? Certainly eyes, I suppose.
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:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
There are certain anatomical qualities such as the large elongated cranium and the upright posture of the neck (providing more direct bloodflow to the brain). Then there are primate/human traits, such as the excess skin on the face and brow which allows for expression, and the human-like forearms and hands, which allow for the manipulation of tools (as well as being generally useful for grabbing prey). Also, though it's a slight touch, I purposely made him lankier and skinnier than dragons tend to be drawn. Not just because it means he'll weigh less and have an easier time flying, but also because it suggests he relies on his brain a little more (or just as much as) his brawn.
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:iconregklubeck:
regklubeck Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Excellent - thank you! =D
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:iconsagittarius-a-star:
Sagittarius-A-star Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Like all good artists, we both come out at night- mostly. :D Nice dragon!! :heart:
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:iconbellavega:
BellaVega Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
WoW he looks so friggin awesome ... I just wish I could have him as my pet :3
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