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Posts Tagged ‘dragon art’

I’m traveling today, headed for one of the Barnes & Noble B-Teen events. But I couldn’t resist sharing these cute dragon puppets I spotted on a school wall. I’m glad I took this picture when I did, because it’s the end of the year and teachers have started taking their projects down.

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These look like a fairly easy, fun craft for grade-schoolers. You take two craft sticks (these are tongue depressors, but any size stick will do) and glue one to each end of a 10″ or so piece of ribbon. Again, you can use any size or style, although 1″ or wider probably makes a more striking effect. Then make a dragon head and tail, using construction paper, thin foam, or whatever else you have on hand. Glue them on. Add paint and glitter, and there you go.

Like I said, these are puppets. You hold onto a stick with each hand and make your dragon swoop and glide. Happy flying, everyone!

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Yes, I’m back from MisCon with a heart full of fire for writing. The last few chapters of Outcast Order await me.

There were frustrations over the weekend, of course. My trusty Nook connected with the hotel’s wireless on Friday, but after Saturday morning it kept telling me there was a network but no Internet. Thus I wasn’t able to tweet during the weekend as I usually like to. On the other hand, the hotel TV had a 24-hour Harry Potter marathon showing, so that was fun for the quiet times.

Friday was my workshop on “Description to Die For.” I was imagining maybe 6 people would show up, but I got a full room — 18 people! All of them seemed to enjoy the writing part and they asked great questions.

Saturday panels were also excellent. We had a lot of fun with elevating dialogue and building worlds. By Sunday I was feeling fatigued, as expected for a con Sunday, and I don’t think I contributed as much to the panel on anthologies. However, I did manage to pin my publisher down on my own anthology’s schedule. Yay for the Green Room!

Also, I found a neat piece of art by Patricia McCracken. Her dragons have butterfly wings and a distinctively insect-like appearance. Check out her gallery here. The print I bought isn’t shown, but you’ll get the idea what her work is like.

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Another longtime illustrator who’s been a big influence on our collective image of the dragon is Larry Elmore. I’ve been familiar with Elmore’s work since the early 1980s, when he provided art for TSR’s seminal role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons. He went on to paint covers for books in the Dragonlance series, also for TSR, and did many illustrations for Magic the Gathering cards, as well.

You can always tell one of Larry Elmore’s dragons from the crowd. (Or perhaps I should say from the flock. From the flight? Anyhow!) They have distinctive horns, angled back from the skull but with a certain twist. Just take a look and you’ll know. His web site is right here.

These days, Elmore is semi-retired. Yet he’s made the short list for a Hugo in 2016, so perhaps the best is yet to come.

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Last time, I mentioned that Michael Whelan’s illustration for the Pern novels became an icon for me. This leads me to another set of Pern novels, the Harper Hall books, which had covers by Elizabeth Malczynski. Here’s her gallery.

In some ways, Malczynski’s fire lizards were the opposites of Whelan’s dragons. His covers are glossy, airbrushed, with operatic composition. The dragons are solid and almost dinosaur-like. By contrast Malczynski’s are small and dainty, set amid ethereal watercolors. Of course, fire lizards always had the feel of charming pets. Still, her covers were intimate and welcoming, a perfect invitation to young readers.

For many of us, Malczynski’s Harper Hall covers are the Pern we remember most fondly.

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I can’t cover the topic of dragon art without mentioning Michael Whelan. He’s been an amazing talent and influence in SF/Fantasy for decades. Here’s the gallery on his web site. Please do check it out.

Whelan’s greatest and most recognizable contribution has been through his book covers. Beginning in the late 1970s, he created images that defined many of our favorite series. Arthur C. Clark, Robert Heinlein, C. J. Cherryh, Steven King, Robin Hobb, Tanith Lee, Michael Moorcock, Barbara Hambly, H. Beam Piper, and so many others,  all owe part of their success to Whelan’s outstanding work.

For me, the most important covers were for Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern books. I adored these books when I read the first one while in high school, and I spent many happy years writing Pern fan fiction as part of Telgar Weyr (5th Pass).

Every moment I look at Whelan’s gallery, I find myself silently crying, “Oh! I remember that one.” I bet you will, too.

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I often focus on story telling about dragons, but some of the most amazing dragon images are out there, too. So for a while I’ll be showing some great visual art that features dragons, starting with a project that appeared on Bored Panda.

According to his bio, artist Lynton Levengood has always focused on dragons, often showing them in modern situations to see how they fit (or don’t). In this case a friend asked him to do the comic character Deadpool in the form of a dragon. Levengood had so much fun, he was inspired to create several more.

Take a look here! And by the way, I’d love to get your comments and suggestions for great visual artists who depict dragons on a regular basis.

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Okay, enough with the silly riddles! This month we’re lucky enough to have a public art event that includes a dragon or two. It’s the Chinese Lantern Festival, which brings music, dance, and authentic Chinese cuisine to the heart of Spokane, Riverfront Park.

The installation includes hundreds of lighted silk sculptures that were assembled right in the park, beginning in August. Each of these is hand painted with faces and patterns, and they look just beautiful — as far as we can tell. The trees in the park have kept things mysterious. However, there’s no hiding one of the centerpieces, a dragon sculpture that looks about 40 feet long and should be awe-inspiring.

Now the festival is open, with a significant entry fee. (Okay, anything over $10 is significant for my family, since we all want to go.) I’d love to have one of the meals, but they’re even higher, so I don’t think that’s in the cards.

Click the link above if you want to see a video of the affair.

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