Pencil – Golden Dragon Ornament

Pencil - Golden Dragon Ornament

Here is a traditional pencil drawing of a dragon ornament. It’s been many years since I’ve done an observational drawing on pencil; so I wanted to see where I am now with my drawing skills.

I’ve chosen to draw this ornament as it’s sentimental and looked interesting to draw on paper. The image took around 6 hours to do and it’s roughly the size of an A6 paper. I used a 0.5 leaded pencil and a good old eraser.

I’ve never been a natural at traditional drawing so it took a while to get the general shape looking right, after a few trials and errors (and lots of rubbing out) I was fairly satisfied with the outline and begun shading in the different tones of the metal surface.

I tried to give the outline depth and variation by applying heavier and lighter strokes, this can be seen particularly on the dragon’s head.

The trickiest part of the dragon was drawing the scales on the body, it was difficult trying to keep them all uniformed and angled at the same time.

After finishing the piece; the image was scanned and imported into Photoshop for image resizing. I’ve avoided major touch up of the image as I wanted to keep it mainly as a traditional pencil drawing with no digital manipulation. The only things added were levels, curves, desaturation and vignette to present the work better.

I’ve experimented with the image and created an inverted version of it which appears to have more depth to the subject. Click here to see the inverted version.

I am fairly pleased with the result considering it’s been awhile since I’ve done an observational drawing in this medium. There are still some issues with the angle and proportion of the dragon but I think generally it’s looks fairly close to the actual object.

This piece is an improvement to all the pencil drawings that I’ve attempted, I believe it’s down to the experiences I have from looking at people’s work and doing 3D and illustration work. My observational skill has improved over the years so I’m better at spotting mistakes and correcting them now.