KeeperofAges's avatar
Emerald Forest Dragon
By KeeperofAges   |   Watch
1K 86 4K (2 Today)
Published: January 19, 2019
© 2019 KeeperofAges
My first completed painting of the new year! This dragon is a fully painted version of one of a series of dragon concept sketches I made depicting the cardinal stones/colors and elements they can be associated with. I had already completed a red Ruby Dragon who resided within the depths of a cavernous mountain- so for the Emerald Dragon I decided to push for a 'Forest Lord' appearance!

As an entity of a distant wood, this dragon is covered in verdant, swirling bark and crested with branches. I made the 'frills' and wing webbing resemble leaves and petals in contrasting autumnal oranges, pinks, purples and reds- and added additional pops of color with the luminescent mushrooms sprouting from the dragon's perch on an enormous stump. This was an excellent opportunity to try out some leaf brushes with the background foliage, though I used a basic round brush for the tufts of leafy moss growing on the dragon itself!

This piece had been put on hold for a long time, and I am so happy to have finally completed it! I hope to progress onto my sapphire, amethyst, diamond, and obsidian dragon paintings- and may add more colors/gemstones as time goes on. I also want to name them and perhaps make a story surrounding the group, as well as craft chibi versions for small convention crafts like buttons, stickers, and charms.

Regarding this dragon's lore- in my mind it is a protector of the deep woods and all of the creatures that dwell therein. Benevolent and long lived, they often sun themselves to catch rays of light akin to the ancient trees that surround them. It is possible that, at the end of their days, they take root to become the mother-tree to a new forest...

- Michelle Gonzo aka 'Keeper of Ages'
Image size
900x677px 912.39 KB
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Comments (79)
PatFactz's avatar
PatFactz|Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, KeeperofAges! Do you mind if I use this dragon to create a creature card on MTG Cardsmith for my collection made-up/imaginative MTG Cards?
I Love dragons, I like the lore and name for this dragon. All I am asking is your permission to use your artwork. 

My MTG Cardsmith Profile: Ricochet_9000
Reply  ·  
KeeperofAges's avatar
KeeperofAges| Digital Artist
Thank you for asking permission. In my profile I address how I do not condone my artwork being redistributed (especially in an altered state- cropped, recolored, made into icons and banners, repurposed for others' projects like cards, etc.), and I have had to send several DMCAs to MTG Cardsmith when I find my art being used there. I unfortunately have to refuse, as I am not comfortable with my art being reposted as custom cards. :<

Once again, thank you for asking, and I am glad you enjoy my work.
Reply  ·  
PatFactz's avatar
PatFactz|Hobbyist General Artist
I do like your artwork. Thanks for letting me know not to use your artwork but do you have any suggestions or anyone else who'd be willing to let me use their artwork for creating custom MTG cards? I do not intend to use MTGCardsmith for popularity, I only use it because I am trying to make my own personal MTG card set.
Reply  ·  
KeeperofAges's avatar
KeeperofAges| Digital Artist
I don't know of/have seen any artists that allow their work to be used in custom cards, personally. Many pieces of fantasy characters and creatures are official publications or commissions of personal characters, so there is the added likelihood that if an artist made a piece of art for someone else, they would not allow the image/character to be repurposed for a card- even with credit. In the instance of published work or commissions someone paid to have the art made for them, so only they should be able to use it.

You could pay an artist to make images for you, or use a free 'base' provided by base artists and customize it yourself. Otherwise, the safest thing would be to continue asking permission unless someone has it clearly written on their profile/piece that they allow their work to be used in other projects. Some say 'only with credit' and the like, and I know MTG Cardsmith allows you to put the artist's name on them- which could count as credit. It is best to ask the artist when in doubt!

I'm sorry I could not be of more help. Good luck!
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JamieLynWeigt's avatar
Hi Michelle!  I just wanted to let you know that I've featured your work again, this time in a post called May Birthstone Dragons II by Various Artists on my dragon artwork blog (with proper attribution and links back, of course).  I love this piece, it's a wonderful companion to it's Ruby cousin that I featured last year!  You can find me at Writing Dragons, and this feature here.  Keep up the great work!
Reply  ·  
Sunsphynx's avatar
Sunsphynx|Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, it's gorgeous! I really like the colors and the luminous patterns and swirling details of the dragon (and the little glowing mushrooms, too).
Reply  ·  
KeeperofAges's avatar
KeeperofAges| Digital Artist
Thank you! I enjoy seeing swirls in stylized depictions of trees in animated films and video games, so I tend to add them to any bark texture I paint (in this case, the Dragon's hide!) Bioluminescence is beautiful, too- and definitely adds an air of magic. :D
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xHelloBeautifulx's avatar
Holy, exquisitely phenomenal! This Wondrous Emerald Forest Dragon is stunning and The Enchanting Forest looks incredible. The designs, tail, wings, golden eyes, horns, ears, head crest, spikes, claws, leaf markings, emerald crusted ledge, mountains, crevices, glowing fairies, sparkles, emerald trees, leaves, branches, roots, flora, plant life, glowing mushrooms, butterfly wings, interaction, mist, gleam, glow, shadows, pathway, terrain, flow, movement, effects, perspective, realisticness, atmosphere, hues, textures, concept, composition, uniqueness, style, colors, lighting, and other details are also sensational. Amazingly Beautiful work! :iconfantasticplz:
Reply  ·  
KeeperofAges's avatar
KeeperofAges| Digital Artist
Aw, thank you so much! There are definitely a myriad of elements you described incorporated into the illustration. I can get absorbed fine-tuning the details! When crafting this dragon and its domain I definitely wanted to evoke the feeling of calm and mystery I experience when exploring groves shaded by forest canopies.

Once again, thank you for your comment! :D
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LaviniaKnight's avatar
LaviniaKnight|Professional General Artist
So beautiful x
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KovoWolf's avatar
KovoWolf|Professional General Artist
What an epic dragon! :)
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KeeperofAges's avatar
KeeperofAges| Digital Artist
Thank you so much! I love dragons because of how immense, colorful, and morphologically varied they can be. They are definitely my go-to doodle creature when I'm warming up for the day in my sketchbook. :D
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KovoWolf's avatar
KovoWolf|Professional General Artist
Absolutely! :love: I need to draw more of those :)
Reply  ·  
JaneValentine007's avatar
JaneValentine007|Hobbyist General Artist
DAMN!! ♡
Reply  ·  
BlueOceanSprite's avatar
BlueOceanSprite|Hobbyist General Artist
I wish I could colour like that, I’m so hopeless at colouring to make an effect.
Reply  ·  
KeeperofAges's avatar
KeeperofAges| Digital Artist
Thank you! It took me years to learn how to paint in color after spending much of my life solely making black & white sketches- and I still have a lot to learn!

I try to use color hues/saturation rather than only value for my work. That's how you achieve subtle transitions from warm to cool colors in light and shadow! An example would be my lit areas on the dragon are tinged with yellow (lime green), while shadows are tinged with blue (teal green). Green sits between yellow and blue on the color wheel, with yellow being 'warm' and blue being 'cold'.

I hope to make a color theory/coloring tutorial for this method my YouTube channel in the future- as there are definitely a myriad of ways artists employ color in their work! 
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BlueOceanSprite's avatar
BlueOceanSprite|Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the tips😊
Could you please send a link to your YouTube plz?
Reply  ·  
KeeperofAges's avatar
KeeperofAges| Digital Artist
Sure! It's 'KeeperofAges' like my username. My fiance is the Let's Play gaming YouTuber 'Wanderbot', so I also share the playlists of any series I've played along with him or on my own there as well.

Thus far I have a number of timelapses/speedpaintings for my more recent digital pieces and a sketch editing tutorial- but I hope to make more art related content like Artist Alley tips, animatics, etc. :D

www.youtube.com/c/keeperofages
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JinjooHeart's avatar
JinjooHeart| Digital Artist
I love how the intricate lines just adds texture to the dragon. :heart:
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KeeperofAges's avatar
KeeperofAges| Digital Artist
Thank you! I love painting bark because of how varied and textural it is. It is definitely a great alternative to scales for a forest dragon!
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JinjooHeart's avatar
JinjooHeart| Digital Artist
It really does work here, I'm real happy to see it executed like this. :dummy:
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NorthernNightQueen's avatar
NorthernNightQueen|Hobbyist General Artist
Oh heck, I love this, the color and light play is downright delicious.
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KeeperofAges's avatar
KeeperofAges| Digital Artist
Thank you so much! Forests are excellent environments for working with light because the canopy determines where it is shed in the first place! :D I definitely want to try a character/creature hidden in shadow with some speckled rays on it in the future.
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NorthernNightQueen's avatar
NorthernNightQueen|Hobbyist General Artist
Sounds like a plan! I'll be happy to see it when you do.
Reply  ·  
anonymous's avatar
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