Archive for October, 2012

It’s been a while since I have posted and I have now managed to find time to get one out.  Currently I have been extremely busy working on a new project:  My dragon diorama.   To sum up in a nutshell, eventually the diorama will be complete and will include a handmade mommy dragon and nest, and for effect an erupting volcano.  As far as scale is concerned, I’m building the entire diorama to be able to sit on a bookshelf easily.

Check back later for more insight to the building process on the mommy dragon and the landscape.  I will make a future post about it.

Dragon/Castle (c) D. Hellm 2012

It all started with a ceramic incense holder which was given to me by my other half.   He had it given to him as a gift and had been carrying it around for about 15 years.  The person who painted it meant well, but I wouldn’t put it out because honestly I thought it was very ugly (up there with purple dragons.  Dragons ARE NOT a metallic purple.  I’m sorry.  It just looks fake no matter what you do to it).  Imagine a ceramic figure painted by a kindergartener — that’s what it looked like.  Basic gray castle and bright green three-headed dragon.  No detail work and colors that didn’t seem to mesh well.

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Detail Dragon Head (c) D. Hellm 2012

Finally, I decided to pull this poor unloved sculpture out of storage and paint it so I could enjoy it.  I started with a flat black base (normally it lends more of a realism to the finished result), although on hindsight, I should have made it a nice primer gray, my lighter colors wouldn’t have needed so many layers.

The dragon’s coloring was inspired by autumn/fall colors (most particularly pumpkins and Chinese ornamental carp.)  After working the dragon almost finished, I decided why not make a diorama out of it.  So I stepped back and started looking at the dragon closer.

Personally, all artwork must tell a story down to the smallest detail.  I’m sure the original artist of the mold for this piece had a story in mind for it, but I’m at a loss for what it is. The dragon looks like it is bursting out of the castle, but why?  Proportionally, the dragon is almost the same size as the castle, but if you look at the tiny doorways in the castle the scale is set at 6mm = 6ft.  That’s a HUGE dragon.  So then, I got to thinking, what could place a dragon inside the castle AND be frightening enough to the dragon to force it to try to escape?

A bigger, angry dragon.

So, to tell the story of this dragon, I decided he was a thief who stole and broke eggs from another much larger mother dragon’s nest.

I painted the castle first, after looking at tons of real castle images so I could capture a sense of realism.  Then I started on the dragon after I was done.

All Images are (c) D. Hellm 2012

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