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Craft Techniques and Processes Discussion of the techniques and processes we use to write, create art, take photos, etc.

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Old Jul 10 2012, 09:54 PM   #1
Nako
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Default My (almost) annual dragon chart rework.((Art))

I have a habit of, whenever I rediscover Pern, I go through a stage where I start drawing dragons, sometimes in a drastically different style than I used to. Then... comes the charts. Figuring out how big they are compared to humans, etcetera.

Here is my typical method. I draw out the dragon to the proportions I'm happy with, then I make a little person roughly the length of the dragon's head. That dragon will now be the base queen size. Then I arbitrarily shrink the other colors down to the point they look roughly the right size. I don't try to measure out the feet/meters any more. I found it eventually became unfun (For me!) and really, I just need a general example with my current style so that I can draw dragon/rider pairs easily.

And here.. is the beginning. The sketch that starts it all. It's a semi-relaxed pose, with the back legs bent so that it stands a touch more evenly. I want to give it the feel that it is still ungainly, but at least knows how to stand when stationary to not throw itself off balance.


Also, the circle shows where the wing would connect. This dragon has its far wing showing.



To Come:
* Draw a watch-wher for size comparison
*Finish the sketches
*Line, flat color
*possibly shade
*Duplicate the main template several times and shrink it down to the other dragon color sizes.
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Old Jul 10 2012, 11:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: My (almost) annual dragon chart rework.((Art))

This will be my little "Update" area. I'll edit this whenever I add more to it.




-------------
Update 2:

I gave all the males the same body type for now, since I imagine that despite the difference in size, they are all build basically the same way (And blues are fast because of their size, but if they are going to last an entire fall as the smallest males I imagine they're built very similar to the powerful bronzes and browns.)

The differences in gold and green though, has a lot to do with fat deposits, and muscle tone. I tried to make the green much thinner overall, and gave the gold a bit of a paunch. The green has a more refined muzzle, not necessarily because a green is more feminine so much as I imagine them to be kind of girlish, as if they aren't as mature as a queen.

Also, I have no idea what the 'truth' behind dragon genetics is, but I like to toy around the idea that both bronzes and golds are cut from the same cloth, and gender is what affects color instead of a 'gold vs green gene'. So, I give the queen a more mature face. In my mind, a gold is pretty much a female bronze. Powerful, but huge, and with a bit more fat reserves for laying eggs.



Perhaps I'll post the one showcasing the male body type tomorrow.

Last edited by Nako; Jul 11 2012 at 12:29 AM.
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Old Dec 7 2013, 01:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: My (almost) annual dragon chart rework.((Art))

Yeah, yeah, thread necromancing, I'm cold and bored...I would think that the big difference between greens and golds (and blues and the other males, really) is that the blues and greens are "byproducts". This stems from the "sentient" thread and thinking about how dragons are engineered, not a natural species--Kitti "built" the dragons, but when she created the root stock, she only made the three big colors--the golds and the two larger males. The males were "programmed" to be able to sire all five colors so they could naturally reproduce, but that means all green and blue dragons are "natural" bred while the foundation sires and dams of the entire species were lab-created golds, bronzes, and browns. (We know from "The Second Weyr" that among the first generations at least browns were breeding successfully as well, including siring queens as Sorka includes them in her concerns about inbreeding.) Even when the dragons reach and because of the long-interval bottleneck exceed the apex of Kitti's programming (Ramoth, Mnementh, and Canth) there's nothing to indicate that the Benden greens and blues are that much larger than expected. Possibly their being "natural" bred byproducts rather than part of the originally created stock and also genetic dead-ends themselves (the golds, bronzes, and browns are the only ones who pass on genetics) contributes to their seeming to change less and seem less "mature" than the larger colors. Also, speaking of Kitti, there's the possibility when she was tweaking the males to make sure they could sire everything and tweaking the golds to keep them from flaming, she deliberately kept the blues and greens a bit...stunted, so to speak. She was creating an "air force", after all.
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Old Dec 7 2013, 01:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: My (almost) annual dragon chart rework.((Art))

I'm not sure you can make such a clear cut divide between engineered and naturally bred. It's all the same basic root genetics, just differently expressed between the different colours. Certainly the blues and greens can't influence later generations of their colour, but the selected golds and heavier males that DO breed would tend to pass on their own specific conformational traits to the full range of colours. If the heavier colours evolve, there's no reason the lighter colours wouldn't also do so. And, if the green and blue dragonets bred from a given male show undesirable traits, it's very easy to ground the bronze that sired them, pushing the evolution of the breed in whatever direction most benefits the Weyr.

(This is actually a minor plot point in my fic...)
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Old Dec 7 2013, 02:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: My (almost) annual dragon chart rework.((Art))

Except we can't entirely be sure Kitti didn't tweak more (I'm inclined to think less.)

Of course the real question is whatever happened to the OP....
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Old Dec 7 2013, 03:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: My (almost) annual dragon chart rework.((Art))

Indeed! It's always nice to see more artwork.
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Old Dec 8 2013, 01:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: My (almost) annual dragon chart rework.((Art))

I appreciate people who can draw because I sure as heck can't...And their last semi-annual update was 2011...
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Old Dec 11 2013, 09:34 AM   #8
D. M. Domini
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Default Re: My (almost) annual dragon chart rework.((Art))

You know...I just realized that Benden could have been hit with a far bigger problem (har har) than over-large dragons due to inbreeding.

What if there was a recessive that ends up in the gold/bronze population, but it only expresses in the browns/blues/greens, and only then if they have two or more copies of the bad gene?

With Benden's horrific bottleneck of a single breeding queen, and offspring being bred back to parents, you could have a gene like this, which is silent in bronzes and queens, spread to all of the breeding stock before the greens/blues start exhibiting it by inheriting double (or more) copies. And by then it's too late. All your breeding stock is tainted and "healthy" browns/blues/greens have no way of making more of themselves and suddenly your "renewable" airforce is renewed by dragons with severe flaws, crippling your ability to fight thread.

Ramoth and Mnementh are at least half siblings, after all, and probably share something close to 3/4th of their genes or more.

Damn...I just realized how completely irresponsible it is to have Ramoth and Mnementh be exclusive throughout the entire 9th Pass, particularly if Ramoth is always the principal egg-layer, or if they never get a queen that is completely unrelated to Ramoth as a junior queen there. (I honestly don't remember if any queen completely unrelated to Ramoth ended up clutching at Benden.) I wonder if Ramoth/Mnementh clutches have more abnormalities like Ruth, when compared to Ramoth's offspring that later fly or are flown by Oldtimer stock?

I guess I'm getting off-topic from the original thread. (The art is lovely!)
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Old Dec 11 2013, 02:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: My (almost) annual dragon chart rework.((Art))

Quote:
Originally Posted by D. M. Domini View Post
Damn...I just realized how completely irresponsible it is to have Ramoth and Mnementh be exclusive throughout the entire 9th Pass, particularly if Ramoth is always the principal egg-layer, or if they never get a queen that is completely unrelated to Ramoth as a junior queen there. (I honestly don't remember if any queen completely unrelated to Ramoth ended up clutching at Benden.) I wonder if Ramoth/Mnementh clutches have more abnormalities like Ruth, when compared to Ramoth's offspring that later fly or are flown by Oldtimer stock?
One of my fic protagonists gives exactly this rant in about a dozen chapters' time. A single, lifetime-monogamous queen in an interval isn't anywhere near as damaging to the gene pool as even a handful of queens in a Pass who only change partners once a decade. The Ramoth/Mnementh line is clearly producing good dragons right now, but another couple of generations down the line...they'll REALLY want to start getting some of those oldtime-descended bronzes to win some flights.

(Fort dragons would probably do well there - they may have the Ramoth genes via Lioth, but at least they're not being back-bred onto a Benden gold.)
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