The ArtOrder group run by WoTC art director,
Today, I’m going to listen to the call of the community. A dragon
challenge has been the number one requested challenge for years. I’ve
always begged off, because I haven’t been able to come up with a
challenge that befitted them. I mean, I could have just done a challenge
where I said, “draw a really cool dragon”, but that is kinda lame, and
judging that type of challenge can be difficult. One person’s cool
dragon is another persons cliche. So today's challenge is going to have a
If you look around our mundane earth, you will
see dragons worked into everyday culture all over the place. They can be
found in tattoos, clothing, architecture, art, and so many other
places…and yet, dragons do not actually exist in our world. When I look
at so many of the worlds in the fantasy genre, I can see dragons flying
around, but I don’t often see them reflected in the cultures. Why is
This months challenge takes an iconic figure in the fantasy genre, and adds a layer of complexity.
The Dragon – Create a cool dragon and show me that you know
dragons. Show me the emotional resonance that comes with a dragon.
Capture the “essence” of a dragon, and breath some life into it.
The World – Now, you’ve got to integrate it into the world. And
by “integrate”, I’m talking about more than just dropping a dragon into a
scene. That isn’t integration, that’s just an illustration.
“Integration” is showing how the world lives with, reacts to, is
affected by, and influenced by the dragon. Maybe dragons are common
place in your world and they blend into everyday life. Maybe there is
only one in the world, and the myth of it is reflected throughout the
world. Maybe your dragon is simply symbolic and you have to show it’s
influence and integration in novel ways.
The more innovative and interesting you make your execution will affect
the judging...Also, do not feel you are limited
to a fantasy setting. Feel free to go off the reservation and find your
dragon in any genre, time, world, or setting. This could make for some
interesting editorial or book cover ideas – where you step out of the
known and normal."
While I wish I could have had time to work up a few pages for the Dragon World comic idea I initially came up with...I just don't...client projects took priority. But, I have two other ideas I've chosen out of my initial rough sketches that I'm developing further. One fits squarely in the "Book Cover Adult" or BCA category. And the other should fit in the "Book Cover Children's" or BCC category...something that might one day be the cover for a story under consideration in "The Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy"....gotta dream big and work hard! :)
In any case, this sketch was the final rough version that I have since been developing further for the BCA category...and I'll post progress images for that in a later post:
Read more about the Dragon World ArtOrder Challenge, categories, rules and submission requirements as well as other art in progress by going to the AO site, here: