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Gunner [mc87m] - Shrape Stage

A Bishen Realm / BishenRealm adoption

Want to adopt your own?  Watch the BishenRealm group.

Dragon: Gunner
ID#: mc87m
Description: Machesri Red Terran-Marine Male Shrape
Bondmates: Renn & Lilah
Adopter: EndaraMae ( Platinum Star Parent by indyana)
Mutations: Knife-like back spines, Terran-Marine hybrid type (four stunted legs), eel-like tail fin, claws
Special Characteristics: Dagger necklace (gift from parents)
Clutch: Machesri Clutch 12: Kipfel [mc41m] & Ira [mc51m]


Past Stages
Gunner [mc87m] - Wyrm Stage by indyana Machesri Male Egg (Version 2) by indyana

This image is only available for use by the Bishen Realm / BishenRealm adopter to whom this dragon belongs.  No one else is granted any rights to use this image.
Use of this image by the adopter is dictated by the Image Usage Terms on the Bishen Realm website:…
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© 2015 - 2022 indyana
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karimuffin's avatar
I don't think I have ever mentioned that my favorite sea creature is the eel, but it is, and I absolutely *adore* how you did his tail. I also love how his itty-bitty baby spines translated into adulthood. It's really well done, and your thought and intent shows through with the execution. His matching stature is also a really well-thought and executed idea. He kind of reminds me of a tank, and I wouldn't want to meet him in the deep ocean... or the shallow end of a pool.

I like the reflective nature of his eyes, though like Endara mentioned the expression is a little perplexing. For me it feels like it's almost as if his eyes are glass marbles that don't quite fit into his skull properly. They pop a bit too much for me to be comfortable. (While as a wyrm he had a much heavier brow, which helped set the eyes back a bit more) Though they do remind me of polished onyx, like his talons and back scales. Of course my screen is crazy HD and then some, so I could be seeing way more lights than most people.

His talons? Their shape is probably one of my favorite things about his whole form. Just the way you did the light and reflections, it looks like they were carved out of pure stone.
indyana's avatar
Thank you so much for the critique, Kari!

I still struggle sometimes with the eye reflections, and I think you're right.  The curvature is a bit off here, and the highlighting is a bit much, given that his face is turned away from the main light source.
karimuffin's avatar
I would like to add that you've made leaps and bounds since you started the Bishen Realm. Eyes are hard, regardless of the creature, because of their reflective nature. You do a really great job actually making them reflective, and you get the biggest kudos from me for being able to do that.

You're awesome, and I forgot to say that in my initial post. :heart:
indyana's avatar
Thank  you!  ;_;  I really try to keep striving for improvement.
Endara-Mae's avatar
I am very much in love with him, and his stocky build, and his eel tail. When I first noticed how you did the spines in his tail, and how you can see the bottoms of them underneath the skin, I geeked out--a lot. I really like that detail.

His expression puzzles me a tad. One minute I think it's alert and adorable, and the next I think he looks a little perturbed. Just a little. I think it's in the slight details around his eye-ridges. xD;; It keeps shifting, but I like it in that I can't quite figure it out. I do still want to hug him though. Very much. Even with the claws and spines, I think he'd give great hugs. :D

I had absolutely no idea what to expect with this guy, and it was great fun to not have any clue what type he'd be. I sat in nervous anticipation the whole time I pondered it. Really amazed and happy with what you came up with in your plotting, and I look forward to writing him more. :typerhappy:
indyana's avatar
Still working on conveying expressions... What I meant to have it look like was a slightly furrowed brow on an intense stare, as though something has captured his attention, and perhaps he isn't quite certain what it is or whether it is a threat.  Not aggressive... but certainly on alert.

I'm really glad you like him.  It took a while to piece him together.  The Terran type was pretty much a given, living in a dusty, desert landscape with the need to travel distances each day.  All the time he spent soaking his tail immediately made me laugh and think about how that might turn his tail into something aquatic.  His love of rabbit hunting made it clear that he should have claws to help.  I tossed all those traits around in my head until I was satisfied with a trundling, tank-like form, equally suited to the desert or the water.  I imagine him swishing through the water like a spiny crocodile. ^_^
ixris's avatar

I love his stocky build!  And his expression is so delightfully alert, AND THAT TAIL.  Oh man, as soon as I saw it I was like "EEE HE HAS A SALAMANDER TAIL!" lol.  Eel, I guess - I really fail at animal recognition games, but I can see eel in it, too.  :heart: (Uny said tadpole when she saw it - I guess they all have similar tails?)

I really like the angle you drew him at, and his posing.  It's not a position you put dragons in before, so I think you're probably feeling more bold/confident in your skills?  It doesn't LOOK like you've been taking years off from drawing dragons.  (lol, I'm now imagining sketchbooks full of bishen from the last several years of minimum dragon-making time)

As always, you knocked it out of the park on the reflective surfaces / accessories.  I love your attention to details, and since you've figured out how to do them well, the reflections in your dragons' eyes have always been really captivating.  Like it somehow looks like they're focusing on you every time.  It's so cool.  I do want to draw a question around the reflected light on his chest?  I'm not good with light sources, so I could be wrong, but his belly scales picking up the gold reflection from the dagger seems ... off?  

I am so freaking excited for like every dragon at this rate.  I'm just going to sit here and anxiously await my turns.  X3  Such a freaking good job, Captain.  High freaking five.  :highfive:
indyana's avatar
When I was first imagining it, it was a salamander tail, but I ended up flattening it out a lot more in the end.  So, I called it an eel tail.  Also looks like a tadpole tail. XD  Whatever... flat, swimmy tail.

And yes, looking at it after the fact, the reflection of gold on the surrounding scales/hide should have been a lot more subtle. >_<  Thanks for the review!  I like getting feedback from other artists.  I can analyze things to death in my own head, but fresh eyes are always welcome.

I always see about ten different things I wish I'd done differently on a dragon after the fact...  At some point, you need to just let them go out into the world though.

Sidebar about honing art skills:

A lot of the evolution of my art has been in my mind since I started Bishen Realm.  Once you've gotten to the point where you understand how your tools work and can control the output, it's all about understanding anatomy and materials and how they interact with light.  So no, I really haven't been drawing much at all in the past years.  But I have continued reading about art, looking at the work of other artists, and expanding my knowledge.

If anyone's looking for some inspirational overviews, I highly recommend James Gurney's two books, Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist and, my absolute favorite, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter.

Looking back on Bishen Realm, you will see the same pattern a couple different times: I come off a hiatus and churn out dragons with a slightly different (and hopefully better) style.  Sometimes, I need to get off autopilot, take a step back, and then return to the work with an eye toward improvement.
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