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
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/
yeah man, that sounds like a good plan
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
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.
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!
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?
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
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~
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~
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)
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)
both legs have that kinda weird curve in the lower leg (it’s more of a style thing here, so it might just be me, but I don’t rly think that curve fits well w/ the style of the rest of the piece), so that’s where I just added an outward curve to the nearest hind leg. then the tail base doesn’t match w/ the perspective of the rest of the piece (it should be well /behind/ the nearest hind leg, but it’s actually /below/ it, making it look like the rump is resting on top of the tail, where the tail should look like it’s extending out /behind/ the rump). the base of the farther hind leg shouldn’t be so close to the front of the dragon, especially at that angle; the base should be hidden by the belly. plus, the proportions of that leg are way off (the upper leg is super long, and the lower leg is rly short). and idk why the heck the front paws are lifted up like that. they’re drawn w/ a hand-like structure (IE- there’s no large pad-base below the first finger knuckles that’s typical of a digitigrade front paw, so the dragon wouldn’t be able to walk around like that), so they ought to be planted fully and firmly against the ground in a relaxed pose like this
then there’re a bunch of other little things, like the too-wide shoulders, and the fact that the ear is shooting out of the jaw, rather than based /behind/ the jaw. also, the wing/feather structure, but that’s almost always a complaint of mine
it’s just a whole bunch of little, anatomical/structural things that add up to a weird dragon when u actually /see/ them, but at base value, they’re masked by the LOVELY rendering
not necessarily, no
you see, snakes are built to move w/o legs, hence the belly scales (used to “crawl” across land), and the structure of their muscles/skeleton
if anything, eastern dragons would probs work more like alligators, lizards, newts/salamanders, or otters/ferrets. these animals all have somewhat long, extended bodies, and are all built to work w/ four legs (in different ways, of course)
now, if ur dragon spends significantly more time in the air than on land, and ur reworkings/ideas/myths about their physiology allows them to somehow move thru the air as a snake might, THEN I could see the potential in basing a dragon off of a snake. keep in mind, tho, that if their body was based on a snake, you’d still have to rework the body a bit to allow for the shoulderblades (maybe clavicle too, depending on the front limbs u want) and muscle placement of front limbs, as well as the hips and muscle placement of hind legs (they’d probs attach very similarly to how alligator/lizard/newt legs attach). also keep in mind that, even w/ reworking, the legs would be significantly diminished, weak, and all-around not very graceful/coordinated
it’s been a while since i’ve drawn dragons. mind looking at the base sketch?
the biggest thing here is that, when flying, the body ought to be more horizontal than vertical (horizontal allows the wing membrane to have the most surface area to push down against the air, and lets the wing have a shape that allows it to work properly in general. vertical makes the membrane edge hit the air, which doesn’t exactly work)
the head looked small, so I made it just a tad bit larger. the neck also looked very thin and not very well supported, so I added some more muscle mass to the back of the skull, where it seemed particularly lacking. the neck also didn’t seem to have any particular “end point” on the torso, so I put a more definite end about where the collarbones of the wings would connect w/ the keel bone of the chest
the wings were very tiny, so I lengthened all sections, and gave the arms a bit more muscle mass. also remember that, while bat wings don’t necessarily have a “palm” in the human sense (cus’ their metacarpals make up more finger sections instead), the carpals still push the fingers out a bit from the arm, so remember to not connect the fingers STRAIGHT into the arm (I usually use a tiny circle at the end of the arm, to hold a place for the carpals). the biggest thing to help w/ this is to /at least/ leave a small space between the arm and base of the “pinkie” finger. the fingers themselves were also very straight and stick-like, so I gave them a slight curve (u can choose to give them more defined angles/knuckle if u want, depending on ur style, but just DON’T make them stiff sticks). the position of the wings is also very stiff and not well placed for flight. to help w/ this, I pulled the fingers up (so they’re more smoothly flowing out from the main “action line” of the arm, allowing for more surface area to push down on the air), and repositioned the farther arm so that it’s more pushing out from the body, and less of a flat copy of the other arm
when birds are flying they often hold their legs close to their body to reduce drag, rather than leave them hanging down, so I pulled up the legs as well (though, I tried to keep that sense of moving /up/ that I think ur going for in ur’s, so I didn’t pulled the legs /right/ up against the body)
I hope this helps! 0v0
ahh no ur not bein’ rude, don’t worry!!
-I- feel like I’m being rude for neglecting to go thru the inbox for so long!
actually, since I have time tonight and tomorrow, I’ll see if I can get thru a good chunk of them~