what kinds of wings are good for gliding?
Anonymous

long, narrow wings, generally

the second half of this post has more details about wing types, and what wings make for certain flight patterns

-Mod Spiral


I drew this picture of a character of mine as a style experimentation. Any thoughts? O:

lookin’ good~
the back of the jaw looks as if it’s pushed too far back (the back line of the skull ought to angle more /back/ rather than curve /forward/). the bases of the fingers on the wing also seem a bit odd, but overall, this is a very nice piece! 0w0
-Mod Spiral

I drew this picture of a character of mine as a style experimentation. Any thoughts? O:

lookin’ good~

the back of the jaw looks as if it’s pushed too far back (the back line of the skull ought to angle more /back/ rather than curve /forward/). the bases of the fingers on the wing also seem a bit odd, but overall, this is a very nice piece! 0w0

-Mod Spiral

What do you think of dragons with pawpads? I find it adorable and I like the idea.

yeah man

technically, most creatures have “pads” of some sort, but they just aren’t as distinguishable. I mean, humans have tough palms and soles that are bare of hair for obvious practical reasons, so I don’t see why a dragon WOULDN’T have paw pads

-Mod Spiral


hell-o! i’d like a critique on the anatomy in this pic. i worked really hard on it, but, unfortunately, i know next to nothing about anatomy. though, this blog has helped me improve my art since i discovered it, so thanks.




one of the main things is that the dragon is very stiff, and the stance is too weak. I redrew the whole figure off to the right there, cus’ I was having difficulties fixing it on top of the actual dragon. having a curved action line (the blue line) helps w/ movement, and creating a more natural posture (also keep in mind that when rearing, the chest/belly would be pushed /out/ so the main curve of the action line should land there). as for the stance, the legs need to be much farther apart to provide better support (and not just farther apart at the sides, but front-back too, so one leg is planted forward and the other back). I pushed the tail out as well, cus 1) it follows the action line I drew better and 2) if the tail is sticking out more, it provides more balance, especially in this more unbalanced position. it also seems like u miiiight have been going for a partial view of the back, so I also shifted the figure so it matched this view
on to general anatomy tips (what I redlined on top of ur dragon)-
the neck is very thin, so I’d suggest adding a lot more mass to the back (where it connects to the skull), and a bit under the jaw. the front limbs looked small and had somewhat awkward positions, so I added more mass/length, and repositioned them. the shoulderblade also looked like it was angled /up/ into the spine rather than /back/ into it (especially in that position, w/ the arm pulled up and all), so I also repositioned that. the wings are in a very strange and uncomfortable position (I’m not rly sure what position ur rly goin’ for there), so I tried the give them a better position. the lower leg of the hind legs is very short, while the foot is long, so I resized those bits
I hope this all helps! 0v0
-Mod Spiral

hell-o! i’d like a critique on the anatomy in this pic. i worked really hard on it, but, unfortunately, i know next to nothing about anatomy. though, this blog has helped me improve my art since i discovered it, so thanks.

one of the main things is that the dragon is very stiff, and the stance is too weak. I redrew the whole figure off to the right there, cus’ I was having difficulties fixing it on top of the actual dragon. having a curved action line (the blue line) helps w/ movement, and creating a more natural posture (also keep in mind that when rearing, the chest/belly would be pushed /out/ so the main curve of the action line should land there). as for the stance, the legs need to be much farther apart to provide better support (and not just farther apart at the sides, but front-back too, so one leg is planted forward and the other back). I pushed the tail out as well, cus 1) it follows the action line I drew better and 2) if the tail is sticking out more, it provides more balance, especially in this more unbalanced position. it also seems like u miiiight have been going for a partial view of the back, so I also shifted the figure so it matched this view

on to general anatomy tips (what I redlined on top of ur dragon)-

the neck is very thin, so I’d suggest adding a lot more mass to the back (where it connects to the skull), and a bit under the jaw. the front limbs looked small and had somewhat awkward positions, so I added more mass/length, and repositioned them. the shoulderblade also looked like it was angled /up/ into the spine rather than /back/ into it (especially in that position, w/ the arm pulled up and all), so I also repositioned that. the wings are in a very strange and uncomfortable position (I’m not rly sure what position ur rly goin’ for there), so I tried the give them a better position. the lower leg of the hind legs is very short, while the foot is long, so I resized those bits

I hope this all helps! 0v0

-Mod Spiral

Is there ever a time when a dragon's wings can be used for looks and not function? Kind of like peacock tail feathers or something.
Anonymous

absolutely!

and it doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to attracting mates- they could be used to puff out and scare predators, startle prey, or send non-verbal signals, etc.etc.

-Mod Spiral

This is probably a silly idea, but what do you think of a invertebrate dragon, like an arthropod (and not exactly just features of one)?

go for it!

most any vertebrate structure is very easy to apply to a dragon, but once u move outside of vertebrates, it becomes much harder to do

tho, I certainly, wouldn’t say impossible, so just make sure u do ur research, and understand exactly what ur going for

good luck! 0u0

-Mod Spiral

Could a dragon maybe have belly plates to protect like the neck and tummy area? Like not for moving on them like snakes but for reinforcement? Idk lmao.
Anonymous

mmmmmmmmm I’d say it’s…. highly improbable

the thing about belly scales is that they just aren’t all the practical. snakes are built to accommodate their belly scales, whereas quad critters just aren’t. they often need a lot range of movement in their belly/chest/throat regions (ESPECIALLY the throat, in most cases)

that’s why animal undersides are often the most vulnerable- protection is sacrificed for the range of motion provided by soft, stretchy skin (as well as limbs based very close together- u just CANNOT put big, protective scales between shoulders, it literally would not work)

the only animals I can see it working for are lizards, alligators, and newts/salamanders, cus’ they have far-spaced limbs, and little forward/back flexibility that would make belly scales a hindrance. BUT a new improbability arises from this- WHY would they need belly scales? these animals are based so low to the ground, that they don’t necessarily even NEED belly protection, cus’ the ground has already got them covered

hmm I guess I COULD see them working for bipedal dragons (IE- bird-based). birds don’t have a lot of spine flexibility (considering their huge keel bones), so I could see some scales working just fine on their chests. however, bird necks are INCREDIBLY flexible, so no scales for the neck

just know what anatomy ur working w/, basically. MOST animal structures cannot accommodate belly scales in the way snakes do, so just know what ur working w/

-Mod Spiral

I have a question about dragons that breath fire/etc from their mouths; would it possible to have them create a gas from digestion that they store beneath their lungs, that would then connect to a gland under the tongue like a human spit gland? So, in order to breathe fire, the dragon would have to open its mouth and lift its tongue to open the valve, and then it could compress the 'gas pocket' to force the gas out. The gas would react to oxygen in order to ignite, drop in temp, etc. Thoughts?

yeah man, that sounds like a good plan

-Mod Spiral


hey I was wondering if you could look over the anatomy of this?
you dont have to go to in depth since its just a sketch tho :3
so far the only details I have of this character is that they are smug as hell

hmm the wings could use a bit more muscle mass (and the arm is also kinda short). and the wings are based in front of the front legs, rather than behind, where the clavicle and shoulder muscles would be able to properly reach down to a keel bone. u might also want to lift the bottom line of the throat up so that the throat ends at the point of the shoulders (so there’s more of a distinct transition from throat to chest). mayyybe add a teeny bit more mass to the neck, connecting to the back of the skull (tho, it’s hard to tell, so I wouldn’t worry about that too much)
otherwise, this is a fab base sketch! this character’s got a great base to start from~ 0v0
-Mod Spiral

hey I was wondering if you could look over the anatomy of this?

you dont have to go to in depth since its just a sketch tho :3

so far the only details I have of this character is that they are smug as hell

hmm the wings could use a bit more muscle mass (and the arm is also kinda short). and the wings are based in front of the front legs, rather than behind, where the clavicle and shoulder muscles would be able to properly reach down to a keel bone. u might also want to lift the bottom line of the throat up so that the throat ends at the point of the shoulders (so there’s more of a distinct transition from throat to chest). mayyybe add a teeny bit more mass to the neck, connecting to the back of the skull (tho, it’s hard to tell, so I wouldn’t worry about that too much)

otherwise, this is a fab base sketch! this character’s got a great base to start from~ 0v0

-Mod Spiral


Also i’d like to ask about stylizing dragons.
(i apologize for the quality of this picture)
I would like some pointers on how to stylize a dragon.
I’m hoping to make a painted picture, but with a cartoon style.



(first half of submission)
hmmmmmhmhm stylizing is a very subjective sort of thing, so I hope I can give some accurate pointers here, aha
there are a lot of different ways u could go w/ it. u might want a round, smooth style, or maybe a sharp look w/ hard edges and lines. maybe a semi-realistic style that utilizes exaggerated curves and corners to accentuate musculature/joints, yet it’s based within the realm of cartoon/fantasy. MAYBE u even want to take that anatomical realism a step further and push and pull the flesh and bones until you’ve got urself a bending, distorted creature, ready to give the viewer a sense of general unease and disturbance (Picasso, anyone?)

this photoset is a FABULOUS example of this last sort of style, applied to dragons (the movement is so great, ahh)
I think one of the main things to do here is pinpoint exactly WHAT kind of look ur going for (from ur examples, it seems like u prefer some sort of anatomical realism?)
the next step is simplification, I suppose
just take whatever parts of anatomy u deem most important, and keep those bits while simplifying everything else
let’s say we’re trying to simplify a wing

here I have pointed out the essential bits of anatomy that I, personally, believe should be present in ANY sort of style/simplification. beyond those bits, u can choose more bits that u might want to keep and/or apply urself, depending on the style ur going for (IE- maybe a certain curve of the tricep, or the knuckles of the fingers). once u know what u want to keep, then just slim, smooth, and shave down the rest of the wing until it’s simplified in the way u want
this can be applied to any and all body parts (or full figures, or objects, etc. etc.)
I think it’s also important to try and stay consistent. like w/ that first part of ur submission, and how I pointed out that the first finger had mass, while the other fingers were lines. just try and keep one thing goin’ for any one body part (unless u think a different look would better benefit the overall piece). just… those sorts of inconsistencies in styles RLY RLY bother me (basically, choose either lines or full-out fingers for the fingers. don’t try and do both, cus’ it rly looks weird)
none of this post is meant to be taken as me telling u to sit down and map out how ur planning on simplifying a wing- or any body part, for that matter (tho, if it helps u, go for it!). these are just things to keep in mind while drawing (this whole process can take me seconds to think out as I’m sketching out a figure, so don’t, like, overthink all of this)
also, again, style is a very subjective sort of thing- these are all simply SUGGESTIONS to maybe help ya get started on something
Anyways, I hope this all helps!
-Mod Spiral

Also i’d like to ask about stylizing dragons.

(i apologize for the quality of this picture)

I would like some pointers on how to stylize a dragon.

I’m hoping to make a painted picture, but with a cartoon style.

(first half of submission)

hmmmmmhmhm stylizing is a very subjective sort of thing, so I hope I can give some accurate pointers here, aha

there are a lot of different ways u could go w/ it. u might want a round, smooth style, or maybe a sharp look w/ hard edges and lines. maybe a semi-realistic style that utilizes exaggerated curves and corners to accentuate musculature/joints, yet it’s based within the realm of cartoon/fantasy. MAYBE u even want to take that anatomical realism a step further and push and pull the flesh and bones until you’ve got urself a bending, distorted creature, ready to give the viewer a sense of general unease and disturbance (Picasso, anyone?)

this photoset is a FABULOUS example of this last sort of style, applied to dragons (the movement is so great, ahh)

I think one of the main things to do here is pinpoint exactly WHAT kind of look ur going for (from ur examples, it seems like u prefer some sort of anatomical realism?)

the next step is simplification, I suppose

just take whatever parts of anatomy u deem most important, and keep those bits while simplifying everything else

let’s say we’re trying to simplify a wing

here I have pointed out the essential bits of anatomy that I, personally, believe should be present in ANY sort of style/simplification. beyond those bits, u can choose more bits that u might want to keep and/or apply urself, depending on the style ur going for (IE- maybe a certain curve of the tricep, or the knuckles of the fingers). once u know what u want to keep, then just slim, smooth, and shave down the rest of the wing until it’s simplified in the way u want

this can be applied to any and all body parts (or full figures, or objects, etc. etc.)

I think it’s also important to try and stay consistent. like w/ that first part of ur submission, and how I pointed out that the first finger had mass, while the other fingers were lines. just try and keep one thing goin’ for any one body part (unless u think a different look would better benefit the overall piece). just… those sorts of inconsistencies in styles RLY RLY bother me (basically, choose either lines or full-out fingers for the fingers. don’t try and do both, cus’ it rly looks weird)

none of this post is meant to be taken as me telling u to sit down and map out how ur planning on simplifying a wing- or any body part, for that matter (tho, if it helps u, go for it!). these are just things to keep in mind while drawing (this whole process can take me seconds to think out as I’m sketching out a figure, so don’t, like, overthink all of this)

also, again, style is a very subjective sort of thing- these are all simply SUGGESTIONS to maybe help ya get started on something

Anyways, I hope this all helps!

-Mod Spiral


I guess this is a two in one critique. I feel like the wings are too small on this one, and it’s feet are a bit too big. I really should have done a little bit more rendering on it, But may i have some more opinions on this one?

(second half of this submission)
holy motherfucking christ I hate everything that exists
my computer just bluescreened and wiped all of this AND the second half of this submission HAAHAHA FUCK ME
anyways

the wings do indeed look a bit small. I’d suggest adding some more muscle mass to the arm, and warping that mass w/ perspective a bit more, to make the arm look bigger (I just lifted the lower arm up, cus’ it’s arguably easier to convey perspective that way, rather than trying to adjust the lower arm to perspective as well, but ur arm position is just fine. just make sure to, as mentioned, apply a bit more perspective, so the arm doesn’t just look tiny). the wing fingers are also a bit odd- the first finger has full mass/rendering, while the other fingers are just simple lines, lacking any sort of mass/weight. make sure to be consistent in giving all the fingers mass/weight, in order to give the full, realistic representation of the wing
the paws actually look just fine to me- not too big at all. however, the thumb on the nearest front paw is misplaced. according to your other paw, the thumb is on the inside of the paw (or maybe directly behind the palm), whereas that near paw gives the impression that the thumb is on the /outside/ of the paw. that thumb should be hidden behind the arm, and not visible at all (maaayybe just a bit visible on the inside of the paw, but note that that’s that /inside/, not the /outside/)
the knee of the nearest hind leg looks like it’s pushing in too much, so I pushed it out a bit, so it’s facing more forwards, towards the front of the dragon (and the viewer), rather than inwards
I hope this all helps! ur rendering is LOVELY, and I and I LOVE the shape of the face! also, the colors and scale placement remind me of blue skies and lil’ clouds~
-Mod Spiral

I guess this is a two in one critique. I feel like the wings are too small on this one, and it’s feet are a bit too big. I really should have done a little bit more rendering on it, But may i have some more opinions on this one?

(second half of this submission)

holy motherfucking christ I hate everything that exists

my computer just bluescreened and wiped all of this AND the second half of this submission HAAHAHA FUCK ME

anyways

the wings do indeed look a bit small. I’d suggest adding some more muscle mass to the arm, and warping that mass w/ perspective a bit more, to make the arm look bigger (I just lifted the lower arm up, cus’ it’s arguably easier to convey perspective that way, rather than trying to adjust the lower arm to perspective as well, but ur arm position is just fine. just make sure to, as mentioned, apply a bit more perspective, so the arm doesn’t just look tiny). the wing fingers are also a bit odd- the first finger has full mass/rendering, while the other fingers are just simple lines, lacking any sort of mass/weight. make sure to be consistent in giving all the fingers mass/weight, in order to give the full, realistic representation of the wing

the paws actually look just fine to me- not too big at all. however, the thumb on the nearest front paw is misplaced. according to your other paw, the thumb is on the inside of the paw (or maybe directly behind the palm), whereas that near paw gives the impression that the thumb is on the /outside/ of the paw. that thumb should be hidden behind the arm, and not visible at all (maaayybe just a bit visible on the inside of the paw, but note that that’s that /inside/, not the /outside/)

the knee of the nearest hind leg looks like it’s pushing in too much, so I pushed it out a bit, so it’s facing more forwards, towards the front of the dragon (and the viewer), rather than inwards

I hope this all helps! ur rendering is LOVELY, and I and I LOVE the shape of the face! also, the colors and scale placement remind me of blue skies and lil’ clouds~

-Mod Spiral


This character is a male of that species I submitted around Christmastime for critique (in fact he’s that character’s father).
But yeah I think I’ve improved a wee bit over the past 2-3 years, no?
What was I even doing with those random elbow spikes and useless membrane ohgawd. like they were explainable as vestiges but they would restrict movement and the ELBOW SPIKE WAS JUST NO. I never had an actual reason for that, I just put it there because it looked cool to me. WHY WOULD I EVER SLAP ON A USELESS TRAIT JUST BECAUSE IT LOOKS COOL WHAT WAS WRONG WITH MY PAST SELF
Tagging dat anatomy and MWS for the old one. MWS because those limbs are highly modified/specialized derivatives from wings, adapted purely for climbing. Specifically, they stabilize/support the upper body and free the forearms for hunting with weapons. They used to have their own set of scapula when they were wings but the entire configuration became so specialized for climbing over time, the scapulae merged into the assembly I submitted before. This structure is TERRIBLE for flapping but is ideal for up/down movements, which when climbing through trees, is much more important than being able to flap.
Like you said, the limbs cannot “roll” forward and back because of their configuration and lack of collar bones (they are not meant as a full second set of arms). But they can rotate pretty flexibly around the axis point they are connected to. They are attached to a layer of cartilage which separates them from the forearms’ musculature, so there’s no clashing there, and cartilage is flexible so it doesn’t restrict those shoulder muscles. I hope this description makes sense, I’m trying to clean up the mess in my previous description of this anatomy because I forgot to mention some important things, haha.
This is also that species with the tails that are technically abdomens. They have to point downward because their digestive tract runs through them.

OH YESSSS GREAT IMPROVEMENT HERE
and I LOVE the explanation and configuration for the second set of arms (that was the only other thing that bothered me about their physiology- WHY/HOW the second shoulder set came to be attached to the shoulderblades of the first). I rather like ur explanation of the shoulders losing their own, separate shoulderblades
as always, very cool species, and awesome explanations/ideas surrounding them~
-Mod Spiral

This character is a male of that species I submitted around Christmastime for critique (in fact he’s that character’s father).

But yeah I think I’ve improved a wee bit over the past 2-3 years, no?

What was I even doing with those random elbow spikes and useless membrane ohgawd. like they were explainable as vestiges but they would restrict movement and the ELBOW SPIKE WAS JUST NO. I never had an actual reason for that, I just put it there because it looked cool to me. WHY WOULD I EVER SLAP ON A USELESS TRAIT JUST BECAUSE IT LOOKS COOL WHAT WAS WRONG WITH MY PAST SELF

Tagging dat anatomy and MWS for the old one. MWS because those limbs are highly modified/specialized derivatives from wings, adapted purely for climbing. Specifically, they stabilize/support the upper body and free the forearms for hunting with weapons. They used to have their own set of scapula when they were wings but the entire configuration became so specialized for climbing over time, the scapulae merged into the assembly I submitted before. This structure is TERRIBLE for flapping but is ideal for up/down movements, which when climbing through trees, is much more important than being able to flap.

Like you said, the limbs cannot “roll” forward and back because of their configuration and lack of collar bones (they are not meant as a full second set of arms). But they can rotate pretty flexibly around the axis point they are connected to. They are attached to a layer of cartilage which separates them from the forearms’ musculature, so there’s no clashing there, and cartilage is flexible so it doesn’t restrict those shoulder muscles. I hope this description makes sense, I’m trying to clean up the mess in my previous description of this anatomy because I forgot to mention some important things, haha.

This is also that species with the tails that are technically abdomens. They have to point downward because their digestive tract runs through them.

OH YESSSS GREAT IMPROVEMENT HERE

and I LOVE the explanation and configuration for the second set of arms (that was the only other thing that bothered me about their physiology- WHY/HOW the second shoulder set came to be attached to the shoulderblades of the first). I rather like ur explanation of the shoulders losing their own, separate shoulderblades

as always, very cool species, and awesome explanations/ideas surrounding them~

-Mod Spiral

Do you know Zonoya? If so, what's your opinion about the thing that almost every other red and blue dragon is considered to be her, that the artist of the other dragon stole her design, despite their different personalities, aswell as design differences, just this red blue thing being similiar? (Sorry for my bad English, it's not my first language)
Anonymous

ye, I know her, but I’ve never heard anything about dragons being mistaken for her? I’ve heard of this for Spyro and Skye, but not Zonoya, so the best opinion I can give is based on my Spyro/Skye experience

the thing is, the dragon art community has developed a “style”, and it’s been copied from a good handful of popular dragon artists (IE- CASF, the creator of Zonoya, etc.)

I was actually talking about this the other day w/ my friend, who’s not a dragon artist, and, thus, doesn’t know much about the community. I was showing her a couple of popular artists, and she asked me if this one character was the same as another one that was COMPLETELY different (and even drawn by a different artist). she wasn’t even trying to make some statement about the artist stealing that character- she was simply curious about the character. one character lacked horns that the other had, one had an eyespot the other lacked, one had filament/whisker-things the other didn’t, and they had different personalities. BUT, they had the same base color (white), and the SAME BODY SHAPE typical of that SAME STYLE for drawing literally. every. dragon.

that’s the horrible problem w/, and my main critique towards, the dragon art community- SO MANY PEOPLE love the styles of popular artists, and end up applying it (and, eventually, outright copying it) to the point that they don’t even develop their own style. EVEN THE POPULAR ARTISTS DO THIS. they all hang out and talk w/ each other, and their styles morph to be similar (or maybe their similar styles brought them together? if I’ve learned anything from stats, correlation doesn’t prove causation, so I can’t say for sure)

it’s like that thing where people w/ vaginas have hormones that cause other people w/ vaginas to switch to their same period schedule. there’s like some kind of “dragon-art-hormone” out there causing everyone to develop the same style. it’s kinda weird but also rly funny

that’s why it’s hard for me to exactly give advice for this kinda thing. this style is so popular, it’s become THE style for dragons. it’s so popular, it’s become THE style for Spyro, even (a big reason why, I think, so many peeps on dA have those stamps that are like “dragon character =/= Spyro character”. uh. well. yeah, it kinda does, when u draw it in that same exact style)

I mean, people IN the community, such as myself, learn to differentiate the styles (I can easily tell CASF apart from her friends at this point), but there’s something VERY WRONG when it takes a DISCERNING EYE to tell apart the styles of LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF ARTISTS. it’s like trying to tell apart the styles of animators drawing for the SAME SHOW and that is NOT OK

and I don’t mean this as me trying to force peeps to stop drawing in this style. like, ok, if u like it and ur having fun, then whatever, do what ya want

but this phenomenon is, undeniably, VERY BORING and VERY WEIRD

anyways, back to ur original question, I don’t have much to say about it. I myself have mistaken characters for other, completely different characters. it’s just this whole style thing that messes people up a lot

(also, ur English is just fine, don’t u worry ^3^~ here I am, born and raised w/ the English language, using “u” and such, aha)

-Mod Spiral

What if a dragon has "mangled wing syndrome" on purpose? Like they can't fly, and they were born/created that way? I've seen some arm deformities in humans, why not dragons? But emphasis on the CAN'T FLY WITH THE WINGS.
Anonymous

OH YEAH, ABSOLUTELY

deformities can work greatly in ur favor to create odd dragon anatomy

just remember to do some research on different kinds of deformities so the mangled wing is still along realistic lines (like, obviously, a non-feathered dragon won’t suddenly sprout feathers from a mutation)

-Mod Spiral