Cliff Top Perch


Author Comments

For fans of traditional art, this piece was made with tinted charcoal done on white A5 paper (21 x 14.8 cm // 8. 1/4 x 5. 7/8 inches), done in two parts. The dragon took about 1h 45min, the background took about 40min. So roughly 2 and a half hours to finish. Took my time with it though, can't rush charcoal or it goes everywhere!

It looks a little dotty because of the hair spray I had to coat it with, otherwise I wouldn't dare handle it and my scanner would need a clean down by now!

Mostly this was done as an experiment in using charcoal since I hadn't used it before. I quite like the blending effects I can get with it. The colours are much more subtle then I am used to, with a very limited range, and most of them are very dark. Still, interesting effects.



Again, you never fail to disappoint, Echo.

The detail takes a few seconds to realize, but once you see it, it's amazing. The atmosphere, setting, colors, and the dragon itself fit with each other perfectly.

You've managed to really put the charcoals to very good use, and while the color choice seems limited, you've made them stand out. Of course, it was expected that you'd do a fine job and make it work.

Another great piece of art that is now in my favorites :3.

-Review Request Club-

EchoRun responds:

Thank you!

I'm glad you like it! :D

You''l get the hang of the coals

To be honest, I wasn't holding out too much expectation for this, when you said that you'd be using the charcoals for a picture. A couple of detail issues that presented themselves would be the front legs and the wings, where the knee / elbow join isn't very prominent and there doesn't seem to be any bone structure in the wing itself, which I would have liked to see.

The background looks a little simplistic, with almost childish looking mountains, being just single triangles jutting up out of the page. A few more rogue angles here and there would certainly help it to look more natural.

The sky looks better, with the stars being placed in a random pattern - did you try to recreate any night sky here, or just place them where you see fit?

[Review Request Club]

EchoRun responds:

Yes, the background is a bit plain. Partly because I was terrified of wrecking what I had already done with this. I think a bit of practice will cure that.

As for the wings, I did try to put some structure to them but not too much. As with bats, I tend to show less wing structure when the wing is at rest because a wing in flight or simply extended stretches the wing membrane showing of the frame of the wing. At rest, the lose and folded membrane hides this structure more. However, I don't think the scan did justice to this, as this is even more subtle then the original was.

Not sure what you mean about the joints though.

The stars were random. I'm getting better at doing random stars. ^.^

Thanks for the review. :)

very well done

Excellent job with this piece man, really looked very well done. Though I really liked your use of darker colors, it's so dark because you used charcoal, which was really neat because I havent seen many people in the Art Portal use charcoal as a drawing device.

Another thing that I loved about this picture was how detailed it was, down to the scales on the dragon and stars in the background sky, really spent a lot of effort on this one, good job.

Excellent job here man, 5/5 from me, keep up the great work! :D

.·´¯`·-> Review Request Club <-·´¯`·.

EchoRun responds:

Thank you!

Hopefully I will be doing more with charcoal soon, on a larger sheet next time. I really enjoyed the effects, uber subtle though some of them were.


At first I almost had a complaint about the colors being too similar and it kind of just running together, but as I looked at it longer and longer that wasn't the problem anymore. I actually noticed that you did quite a good job distinction the different parts with different shades. I seriously had to study this for about 10 minutes before I could find the right words to write, but I guess that just goes to show art isn't something you just look at and can write about instantly. I almost takes the person studying it before they can really see it for what it's worth.

I liked the lighter colors used on the darker background. That helped the dragon stick out more and be the main attention of the picture. After looking at the dragon I ventured my way around the background to notice that it was very detailed, especially for using charcoal.

An all around good job again. Keep up the great work.

~ Review Request Club ~

EchoRun responds:

Dude, you make my day!

"I seriously had to study this for about 10 minutes before I could find the right words to write, but I guess that just goes to show art isn't something you just look at and can write about instantly."

THAT is the kind of thing tells an artist that they are getting something right, so I am over the moon that you thought that!

*tackle hugs review*

No major complaints this time :D

Unlike most of my reviews for your art, I actually like the colours here, they work well together. Maybe the dragon could have a been a bit lighter, just to make it more central to the picture. However, if you were the doing it with charcoal, you probably didn't have a wide range of colour.

I really like the texture you've created with the charcoal. It makes it feel much more realistic.

I'm finding it very hard to find an issue with the actual anatomy of the dragon, but if I must say something, maybe move the far leg on the right of the picture a bit forward, and the one in front of it could be a bit thinner...

Over than a few tiny issues, it's excellent.

[Review Request Club]

EchoRun responds:

Woot! An agreement on colour! *happy dance* ;)

The colour range for the tinted charcoal set was thus: Chalk for highlights, that earthy yellowish tone on some of the scales, and 22 additional shades of Dark (the purpleish shade here is one of the 'strong' colours). I knew when I was getting it that this was going to be a test in subtlety, but I think I underestimated it somewhat. lol

I would have liked to tweak those legs when I did it, but I honestly had no idea how to redo or go over my existing work at the time. I may have some ideas now, but I have yet to test them. So, aside from a couple of alterations to the original sketch, this was all done without corrections.

Thanks for the review. :)

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Credits & Info

4.12 / 5.00

Jul 17, 2009
12:22 PM EDT
File Info
850 x 598 px
447.4 KB

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