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Ruby Dragon
By KeeperofAges   |   Watch
58 6 616 (1 Today)
Published: January 5, 2017
© 2017 - 2019 KeeperofAges
My first finished piece of the new year! It took me about 2-3 full days of painting to finally finish the first in my series of 'Gemstone' dragons- the Ruby Dragon. From my original mock ups I have extended the canvas to allow for a greater variety of printed sizes I will later bring to conventions and put up on my shop!

In my mind Ruby/Red dragons embody the elements of fire and stone- most at home in caverns (some active with magma flows). Like their favored elements they have scales as hard as the rubies for which they are named and are able to spit gouts of flame upon their foes. Ruby Dragons most of all covet the riches of the earth- metals and gems- and view the mining operations of humanoid races as thievery that can only be corrected by returning pilfered treasures back to the earth from whence it came. This often requires bloodshed; making the fiery red dragons the most feared of them all. Now that I think about it- that could be an interesting logic for treasure-hoarding dragons that liken to Smaug!

The most challenging aspect or this piece was the myriad of scales I had to render. Unlike other dragons I create this one had a phoenix-like aesthetic about it with the red coloring and feathery, elongated scales. Capturing a cave-like environment was also an interesting project as well. Needless to say, I will be looking into different rendering methods for the scales of my future dragons!

Another interesting note is that there was a stark color difference between the file on my Windows vs Mac. As I will be retiring my Mac soon I hope to color-correct the PC, as I want my work to continue to be vibrant/saturated. 

On to the next dragon! 

- Michelle Gonzo aka Keeper of Ages
Image size
900x600px 858 KB
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Comments (6)
JamieLynWeigt's avatar
Hi Michelle!  I just wanted to let you know that I've featured your work in a post called July Birthstone Dragons by Various Artists on my dragon artwork blog (with proper attribution and links back, of course).  I love this piece and your detailed description, and I agree with your idea about Smaug and treasure-hoarding -- it makes sense!  You can find me at Writing Dragons, and this feature here.  Keep up the good work!
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KeeperofAges's avatar
KeeperofAges| Digital Artist
I read the article/blog and recognize a lot of the other artists you featured- it's a cute collection of dragon art!

Thank you for quoting me and giving proper links and accreditation (as well as commenting here to give me a heads-up), but in the future I would prefer to be asked permission before my artwork is published elsewhere. I like to keep track of where my pieces travel and how they are potentially being used, so I have little sections of my blog/DA bios stating that asking for my consent before reposting my artwork on other sites is best.

Once again, thank you for featuring my Ruby Dragon! I would just suggest asking artists permission before you incorporate their work into your posts!
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TheBluefireDragon's avatar
I actually really like the idea of gemstone dragons. I'm using them in my campaign as the true neutral balancing force between metallic dragons and chromatic dragons. I really like what you've done with the scales being kind of feathery. Can you draw their god too? Like Bahamut and Tiamat but for gemstone dragons.
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KeeperofAges's avatar
KeeperofAges| Digital Artist
I still have five other dragons to complete- maybe even more! They are kind of dragon-lords in their own right over the specific type of color or magic they are associated with. Oddly enough, I never liked the Tiamat design for a dragon because the idea of having a creature with multiple heads is creepy :<

The Diamond Dragon will probably be closest to a gemstone dragon 'god' because she will be a prismatic white with many other colors like actual transparent gemstones!
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Bumbledoodle's avatar
Bumbledoodle|Professional Digital Artist
I absolutely love this painting! It has a wonderful texture to it all the while without loosing detail.
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KeeperofAges's avatar
KeeperofAges| Digital Artist
Thank you! I tend to use only a handful of brushes so I have to make my own textures with varying strokes. I find though that I paint too many 'segmented' characters/armor/creatures, so every small section is rendered separately and with a lot of lines. Someday I should try a smooth subject without scales, crags, and wrinkles so I can practice volume!
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