Lily's Dragon (Painting Tutorial)

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About: Hi my name is Zoe, with two dots over the "o". I like to express myself through cooking and art.

This is a Studio Ghibli/D&D inspired painting I made for my friend Lily's Birthday.

For this instructables you'll need a friend who you haven't bought a birthday present for. You will also need to figure out what their favorite color is and what they like. My friend Lily likes purple, anime, and Dungeons & Dragons. If you have a friend, or you are just making a painting for yourself, because you also like dragons, this might be a nice instructables for you. All colors can be adjusted to your preferences. This dragon looks good in all colors and if you want to change the character to a different gender you can easily shorten or add more length to the hair with different colors as well. This is a pretty easy painting to recreate so have fun. Watch the video to see from start to finish how I painted this painting.

For supplies you'll need

  • Watercolor paper.
  • Watercolor paints, I used Winsor & Newton and Koi Water Colors block paints.
  • Paint brushes. round and a wash brush or large flat brush.
  • Pen and pencil.
  • A glass of water.
  • A pallet to mix and dilute colors.

Step 1:

First sketch out your painting lightly with a pencil, then when its how want it, outline with a waterproof ball point pen, being careful to outline lightly as this is an illustration not a comic. Water your canvas lightly with a wash brush.

Step 2:

We are going to begin this painting off with the background and a light color base, using light blues then building up to a sky blue where the clouds aren't present with a flat brush. Then start adding little bits of pink and orange to create a dreamy sunset base with a round brush. Add late warm shades on the character very watered down as we'll build up in layers. At a light base like this its alright for colors to bleed into each other. Make sure to let everything mostly dry, before going forward with the next step.

Step 3:

Now we are going to start building up the sky with darker layers of blue. Add purples to pinks and adding oranges to the pink for vibrant clouds. Make sure add the orange to light pink to have a nice transition and be careful to keep it from bleeding into the blue, as we don't generally see green in the sky.

Step 4:

Add shadows to the face, hoodie, and background clouds with shades of pink.

Step 5:

Now lets paint Lily's dragon. We are going to paint a purple dragon. Start by painting in light shades of purple and adding darker shades in layers to define the dragons spikes, horns, and wings. Then paint the eye what ever color you would like, I chose orange because it seemed classic for fiery dragon eyes.

Step 6:

Use two shades of black for Lily's hair, using the darkest shade near the roots and and shadowed areas.

Step 7:

With a light opaque blue/white add highlights on spikes and clouds. Shade in the wings with a purple darker than the rest of the dragon. Outline the wings using some light stippling in the curves of the wings to shade. Outline the rest of the dragon and Lily and some areas to add slight definition.

Step 8:

I was going to keep her sweater yellow, but I decided to change it to green, because Lily always wears the same signature green hoodie. If you want to replicate a painting similar to this painting you can adjust colors to your preferences, kinda like how we do in a coloring book. This dragon looks good in all colors of the rainbow and so does Lily.

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