WHEEZEY THE C.O.P.D. DRAGON
In 2017 I was blessed with the announcement that I was to become a Grandfather. News that literally brought me to tears. I was immediately drawn to producing images based around a Children's book concept and exploring a new style of digital illustration. The work I do is produced with freely available software that remains in the public domain. This idea of "Freeware" for creative output is something I feel very strongly about and I will continue to promote and champion the use of such software. The idea of children and adults having free access to professional grade software is a great comfort to me and I hope to spread and share my knowledge and techniques hopefully in the future to anyone who has an interest to learn and explore the creative opportunity of these programs.
"Wheezey" is a concept I came up with whilst watching the epic "Game of Thrones" and as with most things, Wheezey is a character that is tied to to the "One's I Love."
Noah (my Grandson) was the spark for the idea but my Mum (specifically my Mum's C.O.P.D. medical condition) is the inspiration for the "Character" traits of the Dragon. The idea of a dragon that was no longer feared because he couldn't fill his lungs with enough oxygen to produce fire anymore appealed to my twisted reality! I eventually produced the image as a nursey print with the quote "What's Life without a few Dragons - Ron Weasley" - an apt Tag Line for someone embarking on a new life journey and the trials ahead. My original Tag Line of..."I may LOOK CUTE but don't make Me go DRAKARYS on Yo'Ass" was flatly refused by my Daughter-in-Law and Gran-Marie. (Me and My Son LIKED it though!)
I have added a few of the development stages to illustrate my workflow .The initial pencil sketches are scanned and then the linework is vectorized in "Inkscape".
A flat, greyscale image is then produced to see if the composition works on a tonal basis.
I then choose a limited palette and import the vector linework into "GIMP" where I begin the colourization process. Once the flat colours have been checked and matched to the greyscale image I begin to shade and add texture to the illustration.
Finally small details are added and slight adjustments to opacity and hue of the various layers are played with until I am happy with the results. As you can see, Wheezey's glasses were removed for clarity.
If the thought of getting creative with FREE software is something that appeals then I urge you to search out GIMP and INKSCAPE on the internet as great starting point for a windows based Raster and Vector solution. You can get some really professional quality results to compete with the Adobe based, expensive likes of Photoshop and Illustrator IMHO. Use my contact page if you need any advise and I will do what I can to help.