June 3, 2007

A Garden Dragon for Fathers’ Day

Filed under: Art and Drawings,Fathers Day,General — sarah @ 10:53 pm


My fathers’ day present to my dad was a garden dragon ornament, depicting a dragon emerging from an egg, and it’s made out of a cement/concrete type material, created to look like stone. My dad appeared to be chuffed with this dragon and proceeded to paint it in fantastic detail, bringing it to life!

He loves painting toy solders and little scale models and when my brother and I were young, made us a whole fantastic range of toys! I asked him if he would write up what he did to the dragon – here is his account. 🙂

MY FATHERS’ DAY PRESENT It was a dragon, as mentioned above, given to me by my daughter. As the finish was a rather dull grey I decided to paint it to resemble a real dragon. Of course as I have never seen a real one I was forced to guess at the colouring. I was very happy to find that the eyes are made of glass and look really authentic.

THE METHOD I used an artist’s brush, with bristles that come to a point, for the fine details. I believe it is called a rigger, and I used a larger one of the same type for the bigger areas. However, I think that an artist’s flat brush might have been better for covering these parts. The paint was Humbrol enamel, which I purchased in a model shop. It is also available in hobby shops. As it is a garden ornament, I finished the whole thing in yacht varnish to protect the paint from the elements.

The egg is the largest part of the ornament that I wanted as a single colour, so I painted it first – grey. Well, yes it is only a shade lighter than the cement but it is somehow better if the whole thing is covered in paint. As there are some pieces of shell that are inside out, I highlighted them with grey paint mixed with yellow.

The next part is, of course, the dragon. I chose a dark green with which I painted the whole dragon, then I mixed a little yellow and/or white into the green to create a lighter green for highlighting the creature’s throat and chest. I also highlighted around the eyes.

The dragon’s claws were painted yellow and the ridge behind the claws a dark grey. I added some black to the light grey.

The nostrils are black and the cracks in the shell are a very dark grey; I added a lot of black this time.

The base the egg stands on is either a representation of earth or rock, so I used light, medium and dark brown paint. I used actual dark brown paint for the dark brown areas and simply added yellow in medium and large amounts for the other two shades.

Finally, the dragon’s mouth. This is pink and the tongue is red. I just added white to the red to obtain the pink.

I should have already mentioned that it is a really good idea to make sure that the paint is dry before adding another colour. With model enamel I usually leave two hours drying time between coats. If it is going to stand in the garden I would leave it overnight to dry completely, before adding a coat of yacht varnish to protect the paint from weather damage.

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