Wyvern Hunting Process

oil painting of red yellow orange wyvern hunting a caterpillar among branches
Wyvern Hunting, 11"x14" oil painting

Lunch or dinner?

I finished this piece back in May. Wyvern Hunting is now varnished, framed, and ready for display at Gen Con. Loose prints area available through my online store, and I will have both loose and matted prints with me for sale at Gen Con.

Read on for a peek at some of the process.

 

This piece was initially inspired by a photo I took YEARS ago on a trip in Arizona.

photo of bird in a bush by christine mitzuk
This photo I took while on a trip in Arizona inspired my Wyvern Hunting painting

 

 

 

 

 

 

pencil on vellum drawing of a wyvern type dragon sitting on a branch staring at a caterpillar by christine mitzuk
An initial idea for Wyvern Hunting. Pencil on Vellum.

Here's a VERY early version. At this point I decided the gesture and design of the creature needed something more. I decided the "lying in wait" pose wasn't interesting enough, it needed to be more dynamic so I thought about how some birds sort of waddle down a branch and how their heads and necks move in relation to their bodies.

As part of the process for this piece I went on a "field trip" to a local reptile shop. They kindly gave me permission to take photos, without flash, of their critters. I found this extremely helpful because I could then study a variety of reptiles from different angles.

pencil drawing on vellum of wyvern type dragon hunting a caterpillar by christine mitzuk
Pencil drawing on vellum

I did studies of skulls, scales, and various animal skeletons in an effort to better understand what might be going on with my Wyvern. Then I came up with this version.

Something wasn't quite working. I'm thankful for the input I received at IlluXCon from an artist who specializes in creatures. He suggested a few body mechanic changes and suggested I create a maquette. (A while back I posted about the maquette I created for this project).

pencil drawing on vellum of wyvern type dragon hunting a caterpillar by christine mitzuk
Pencil on vellum.

Here's the final drawing. I created a line drawing on Canson Vidalon Vellum, scanned it in for later use, then completed the drawing with values on the other side of the vellum.

(The drawing is currently available for purchase. Contact me with inquiries).

 

 

 

drawing of wyvern type dragon hunting a caterpillar among branches by christine mitzuk
Wyvern Hunting drawing on vellum (various pencils used: graphite, white Conté, and Creatacolor Nero).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital color added to scanned pencil drawing of a wyvern hunting a caterpilar
Digital color added to scanned pencil drawing

This time around, I made a few digital color studies. They helped me get the color idea in the ballpark and then I just decided to dive in and paint.