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arvalis's avatar

Chinese Dragon

Last year I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to work on a dragon book for Scholastic by way of Becker&Mayer Books. I got to take a crack at designing 16 different mythical dragons from all over the world for a book called Sink Your Teeth Into Dragons.

This Chinese dragon, or lung, was one of the designs I was most looking forward to working on for this project. I thought it would be cool to base it on reptiles native to China and other Asian territories. My chief inspirations were Chinese alligators and earless monitors as if it wasn't super obvious. I had never been super into the traditional Chinese dragon look so I wanted to design one that felt more naturalistic and more up my alley. This was another one of my favorite pieces from this series, I learned a whole ton from this process.

Others from this Project
Cockatrice by arvalis  Svara by arvalis  European Dragon by arvalis  Wyvern by arvalis  Zilant by arvalis 

Photoshop CC: 18 hours
Illustration©Becker&Mayer Books


Image details
Image size
5100x2700px 4.66 MB
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What is the size of this dragon? and how much does it weigh?

arvalis's avatar

200 feet long and weighs 15 pounds

15 pounds? that seems very light for such a creature over 60 meters long. Then again, maybe it is full of helium inside it. that is how it is able to fly without wings. By floating and swimming in the air?

GraciousGoodSevens's avatar

When I was younger, I was at least a little afraid of dragons. This was strange, because I remember playing with a Chinese dragon puppet at my great-grandparents' home every Sunday (I'm not Chinese, if you're wondering) and also with a more Western plastic dragon among my many animal figurines and action figures. Many of them - and yours in particular above! - are frightening because they combine the attributes of two very nasty reptiles: crocodiles and snakes.

I'm interested to know if there really were once "dragons" in China. The only "real dragon" I can think of, of course, is the Komodo dragon of Indonesia. Perhaps there were Komodos throughout all of Asia at one time?

SaurusRock625's avatar

Did you use an Alligator as the base for this dragon? Either way, it looks totally badass!

This is incredible!

bill1236107531op's avatar
DiscordantPrincess's avatar

Damn, Mushu got badass.

william023's avatar

One book I read tried to scientifically explain how the heck they fly without wings, and had a lengthy chapter on how they eat limestone and mix it with their stomach acid to fill chambers across their body and inflate, using a swimming motion to basically swim through the air like a fat fish.

Awesomeness01901's avatar
EvanKlein1's avatar
i got to admit i really love this alligator dragon that you made here :)
De-Voice's avatar
Your artwork is just amazing.  Interesting... I have always spelled it "Loong" ... I can only imagine it's difficult to draw a Chinese dragon in accordance to the mythology - since we tend to mix 'n' match things of entirely different genus' (take the Eastern Phoenix, or Foong... body of a snake, head of a rooster, tail of a peacock... what the hey.  How do you make that look not ridiculous?).  Ha. 5 toes... so it's an Imperial Dragon, then?  Thank you very much for not erroneously drawing wings. 
Azarius-Flashfang's avatar
I love the crocodilian look of this dragon and honestly think it fits very well for the Chinese dragon given they're associated with water so much in the legends.
EPICSanchez010630's avatar
This is very relaxing to look at.
Isaacphotos88's avatar
Love dragons. amazing work!
Rex-Shadao's avatar
Personally, I would like to see a more mammalian look to the creature if only to highlight just how different a Chinese dragon (龍) is. Especially with a mane. It's make them look like the lions of the dragon family.
AlfaArtz's avatar
This Thing Looks So Real ;W;
CyborGswba's avatar
I never see a dragon with that detail.
Thank you so much.
flower411's avatar
Eastern dragons rule.
Ender-Skywalker's avatar
Definitely more dragon than lung.
arvalis's avatar
Lungs are dragons. 
Ender-Skywalker's avatar
Only in the West. Eastern languages draw a clear distinction between the two, and I think we should too. They have virtually nothing in common.
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