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Smaug The Magnificent

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'Smaug The Magnificent' - Inspired by The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. 

Smaug is an iconic dragon, well known within the realm of Fantasy literature, and plays a key role in The Hobbit as the chief terror looming over the story. Ferocious, proud, cunning, greedy and egotistical, he is quite the character, with many a self-proclaimed title, such as Smaug The Magnificent. It became clear that trying to tackle Smaug, armed with either paintbrush or sword, meant needing to go all out. I felt pressure to create something that would suit his reputation, yet not stray too far from some kind of realism and authenticity. Regarding the practical side, as the detail of Smaug's armour grew, I realised I would need to pay equal attention to his surroundings, else risk them feeling sparse and unfinished in comparison. What followed was an attempt at a careful balance of detail, colour, lighting and composition to maintain cohesion and legibility. The result truly is a labour of love and I hope to have done justice to Smaug and Tolkien's world, which so many of us enjoy!

Art Portfolio - www.mike-nash.com

Patreon - www.patreon.com/MikeNashArt

YouTube - www.youtube.com/user/MikeNashArt

© Mike Nash

My sincerest thanks to lovelessdevotions for suggesting this as a DD and to Lyricanna for featuring it. Also, thanks to everyone who has commented. Even though I may not reply to every single one, I do read them and am very flattered! I appreciate the support!

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© 2014 - 2021 mikenashillustration
anonymous's avatar
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Ysydora's avatar
Wow!! Just awesome Chargin Up Heart Love !! 
Quetzal-Queen's avatar
Wow this is incredible! I love that he looks so majestic and powerful and that his wings are sticking out of the picture!
ThePhandomOfTime's avatar
And magnificent he is. Too bad he appeared for so little in the story. 
SirMohawk's avatar
Hey thank you for doing this for everyone. I was sad when Smaug died. But now he is alive in all his Golden Glory. :)
mikenashillustration's avatar
Thank you, so pleased you like my interpretation of the true King under the Mountain!
SerenityPhotography8's avatar
47X's avatar
GJTProductions's avatar

(P.S. Not a big fan of that wyvern design in the movie, FYI. Things like this are much better IMO.)
Graindolium's avatar
y tat ton dragon mec , j'avais pas vus celui là encore  =P (Razz) 
Winterkeep's avatar
outstanding one more time with your art... !

This Smaug looks realistic, I like how you painted his  legs and the tail, like a Komodo dragon.

and of course these colours...
mikenashillustration's avatar
Thank you! Referencing Komodo Dragons and Crocodiles helped me maintain some kind of reptilian realism. I like my Dragon's to slither on their belly rather than run like a Dinosaur!
saskewoo's avatar
This is incredible, he feels huge and imposing in this painting! And the attention to detail is simply stunning.
But I also actually really loved the other one you had on youtube which you unfortunately took down :(
imtherealjenna's avatar
This is gorgeous! =D
Stasy-MacAlister's avatar
Wow! Amazing! Like it :3
Malcamon's avatar
This is unbearable glorious.

-bows head-
mikenashillustration's avatar
I'm so happy you think so! Smaug is supposed to invoke that exact feeling. It was a big challenge, I'm glad you feel I did him justice!
SHERLOCK221BNW1's avatar
That is amazing. I have no words.

How did you pick your colors, because they are gripping and demand attention. Just like Smaug
mikenashillustration's avatar
I'm so pleased you think it's effective, especially as it's quite a limited palette! It's all harmonious colours really, with just a touch of blue in the upper corners for contrast.

Smaug was described as a red/orange glow in the darkness, so I tried to do justice to that!

I was mindful to head toward an orange/gold palette instead of yellow. Yellow can look sickly sometimes, when it gets darker and more toward green, so I wanted to avoid that. I feel the impact is actually coming from the contrast, there is a full range of dark to light tones here, which is giving the colour extra punch!
SHERLOCK221BNW1's avatar
Most people (myself included) paint him more red/orange. But after re-reading the passage it fits it perfectly. The glow in the background and all. 

Good call in the avoiding yellow, its such a hard color to work with. I can hardly ever use it consistently because of the whole green issue.

The amount of detail is insane. How long did it take?  And did you have a digital drawing Tablet?
NinahaKazuko's avatar
Holy hell this is insane...
The colors, the details... it's just so perfect!!
cafe-araignee's avatar
The detail is mind-boggling! :wow: Just... wow. Incredible job!!
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