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arvalis's avatar

Zmey Gorynych

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.

I had no idea that Zmey Gorynych was so popular, definitely the most requested dragon. One thing I was exploring on this project was bringing the serpent back to dragon designs. So many historical accounts of dragons describe them with snake-like features but I feel like that's been mostly lost in modern dragon designs. I wanted this one to be less extravagant than most of the others to give it a more classic vibe. That being said, I was't going to pass up an opportunity to paint sweet glowing through holes. I bet this thing is a real nuisance for those castle-goers.

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

Photoshop CC: 6 hours
Illustration©Becker&Mayer Books


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SkylandTheSheepwing's avatar

I absolutely know about this because I'm Russian and this dragon is used in many Russian stories. In some he's green, in some he's red.

Edit: Fabulous picture ^-^

BrutalityInc's avatar

And to think, modern depictions have this dude being portrayed as a HARMLESS villain.

Xlavok's avatar

Dracula's "True Form"?

JamieLynWeigt's avatar
Hi RJ! I just wanted to let you know that I've featured this dragon on my dragon artwork blog (with proper attribution and links back, of course). I love this piece and all the dragons in that book look amazing!  You can find me at Writing Dragons, and your feature in my April AtoZ Challenge here. Keep up the great work!
DinoDragoZilla17's avatar
Did you base his design on King Ghidorah?
ByTheGalaxies's avatar
He probably referenced a hydra
SkylandTheSheepwing's avatar

Zmey Ghorynych is a Russian dragon excuse me-

Scappers123's avatar

It looks just like Ghidorah doesn't it?

SkylandTheSheepwing's avatar

Zmey Ghorynych is a Russian dragon excuse me-

DinoDragoZilla17's avatar
Well, it looks rather close, but I’ve been told by the guy that Ghidorah wasn’t an inspiration (plus he isn’t actually gold but rather green).
SkylandTheSheepwing's avatar

Correct it is not any Ghidorah but it is a Hydra but it's a dragon of Russian religion

Banjira's avatar
This question is kind of ironic considering that Toho's representation of Zmey Gorynych was one of the main inspirations for creating the design of Ghidorah.
DinoDragoZilla17's avatar
Huh. That is ironic.
SacredSpirit123's avatar
You must not have studied Russian dragon folklore.
DinoDragoZilla17's avatar
Admittedly I should have probably done that (it was just the fact that this guy is a three-headed golden dragon and my brain connected the dots!)
SkylandTheSheepwing's avatar

It is green. No yellow. Although in some stories he's red.

SacredSpirit123's avatar
Gorynych is more of an olive, though. This is an illustration of the moment when he was slain. Also, he was the son of a sorcerer, I believe. It's complicated.
SkylandTheSheepwing's avatar

I don't know much about this dragon, all I know is that he's a Russian dragon (:

DinoDragoZilla17's avatar
Looking back on it, he is a bit green. Darn it, I must have somehow misseen the colours.
SacredSpirit123's avatar
It's an easy mistake to make in that lighting.
markzilla6895's avatar
wait, was this the same creature seen in the film The Sword and the Dragon featured on MST3K?
Kurotitan7125's avatar
You sure that's not King Ghidorah? XD
SacredSpirit123's avatar
You must not have studied Russian dragon  folklore.
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