From the Dragon's HoardOctober 14, 2012
From the Dragon's Hoard by Shaylynn Rackers. 18x18 inches, charcoal and graphite.
This drawing was inspired by The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. In the book, Bilbo Baggins discovers that the dragon Smaug is mysteriously missing from his cavern hall and fetches Thorin and Company. The dwarves were at first hesitant, then delved eagerly into the piles of gold and jewels. They find beautiful weapons and gird themselves with armor. I imagine this taking place just before Thorin gives Bilbo the mithril coat.
A few weeks ago, Mom sent me a link to the Hobbit Design Contest. I love art and I love The Lord of the Rings and I'm completely hyped for the Hobbit movies, so several friends encouraged me to enter. Technically I wasn't even old enough to enter when the contest began, but I turned 18 before the deadline so it's all good. :) This is a worldwide contest and there are some SPECTACULAR entries, especially in the Characters and Creatures categories. Go check it out. I hope to be able to paint like those artists someday! Anyway, that is what inspired this crazy venture.
At first I wasn't sure what to draw-- and even now I'm surprised I didn't do a drawing of one of the characters! But I love intricate detail and I love designing jewelry, so I had decided to try my hand drawing a sword and putting in as much crazy detail as I could.
The drawing took a week of my free time (and then some! I wasn't very productive that week...). I listened to the entire unabridged Fellowship of the Ring, so I guess it took around twenty hours.
And now, some behind-the-scenes stuff...
When I first told my teacher that I was going to draw a sword and started getting very animated about weapons, she disappeared upstairs and came back with this beauty! She let me bring it home to use as reference for a week.
(A friend just told me that this dagger is a replica of the one that Harry tries to kill Peter Parker with in Spiderman II!)
A katana, sparring staffs, and a couple of awesome swords made their way downstairs, too, and we giggled over them for awhile. She was a black belt in Taekwando and did weapons training, although she doesn't remember any of the weapons' forms. (It was pretty epic watching her do a couple of basics, though). Then we talked for a long time, comparing my taekwando lessons with hers, and I wasn't super productive that class. :D
I did a concept drawing of my sword, which wound up looking nothing like the Spiderman dagger. I did use the filigree design on the scabbard, but turned it into proper knotwork by adjusting the over-under pattern.
My brother Will was my "studio" guinea pig and stood like a statue in the back room while I played with camera settings. Dad's awesome-strong hands became the dwarf's hands, and Mom posed for me so I could get the tunic's wrinkles right. My football-player brother was supposed to help, too, but he went and got his hands stuck in casts after a game and couldn't pose as a dwarf.
I still wonder if I should have tried harder to get that drastic lighting you see in the photographs.
By the way, yes, it IS very possible for veins to be this big in real life, and for fingers to be so muscular. People keep asking if it's all super exaggerated-- it's not, just look at the pictures of my dad's hands above!
Dad surprised me by buying me a thick pad of my favorite paper ever-- Bristol board. And a nice giant size, too! Thanks for saving me a long drive to the art store. :)
(Note the Dwarven runes on the ring! It says "treasure.")
Everything was going fine, until:
I'd put the drawing in the securest corner of my bedroom (a two-foot square space by my desk). My littlest brother decided to play with some of my sister's toys. Which would have been okay, except that he got bored and apparently started spinning around on my desk chair. Which somehow fit into the two-foot space. And somehow, he fell over with the chair and the chair went SQEEEEEEK across my drawing. (I felt so bad for him, he was so sorry).
I wasn't too worried until I saw that the permanent gray color and the deep dent wasn't just on the blank space. It was on the already drawn sword guard.
The funny thing is that the dent was easy to disguise on the guard. It took less than an hour! However, the dent across the blank space was very difficult to deal with because my charcoal would not fill it in! I was able to darken up most of the streak (and make the tunic less detailed) but in certain lighting you can still see the shimmer from the compressed paper. It turned out OK, though.
Taking the photo of the finished piece.
A friend asked me to film myself the next time I did a drawing, so I did. If you feel like spending ten minutes of your life watching clips of me drawing, you are welcome to.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! HOLY COW!
Check out the blog post about it here!