I have spent many enjoyable hours perusing deviantART and have been known to purchase books of dragon art for my coffee tables. So, when I heard about DragonWorld, a fantasy art book that showcases 120 dragons from 49 international deviantART artists, I wanted one! I had a chance to look at a complete digital copy and am quite impressed with the quality of the art — it’s gorgeous. My husband and kids loved it, too. There are many styles represented — some frightening, some funny, some quirky — and I’m certain that we’ll be seeing some of these upcoming artists’ work on future fantasy book covers.
I wanted to know why these artists love to create dragons, so I asked a few of them. Here are their responses, along with a sample of their dragon creations. Click on the thumbnail images to see a larger version and click on the artist’s name to see more of that artist’s work at deviantART. To see more images from DragonWorld, visit the Amazon page by clicking on the book cover. We’ve got one copy of DragonWorld to give away. If you’d like one, just leave a nice comment below and we’ll enter you in the drawing.
William O’Connor: I think that the reason artists are so attracted to creating dragons is the universal nature of dragons. Every culture for thousands of years has been depicting dragons of one kind or another. Like a force of nature they are powerful, unpredictable, ancient and enigmatic. Possessing all the things that humans fear (serpents, predators, flying, smoke and fire), their very existence has come to symbolize the violence and randomness of life. Slaying a dragon, or harnessing this elemental power in art, has long been viewed as the ability to cope with death and fear itself. It boils down to the fact that since prehistoric times, people have always loved monster stories. On top of this is the aesthetic qualities of graceful lines, acrobatic movement, bright scales, and blazing flames that are fun to make as an artist!
Natalia Ponce Gutierrez: Dragons are epic and can be depicted in many ways. Their nature allows you a large degree of artistic freedom: dragons can be big, small, fierce, peaceful, red, black, they can breathe fire, fly, or live under the sea: the only limit is your imagination! As an artist, I think they can bring that epic feel to any picture. Their power and mysterious nature makes them very special inside the fantasy world and bestiary. It is also a creature that appears in many myths and legends around the world. As a mythology lover, I really enjoy depicting mythological scenes containing dragons and draconic creatures from ancient cultures.
Tiago da Silva: Well, since I was little I liked to draw fantasy themes, it’s a subject I like a lot, and also I used to read a lot of books about mythologies. It was a natural subject to draw dragons from time to time. While some people prefer to draw dragons as a destructive force, I like to see them, as the mythological creature they are, more in a positive way, the aspect that humans would have to tame them, speaking more on the western dragon. But in the dragon world I’m even more fascinated by the characteristics of the eastern dragon, the aspect of the wisdom and benevolence that people attribute to the creature. So with that said I like to explore and represent some of those aspects in my paintings.
All images used with permission.
We’ve got one copy of DragonWorld to give away. If you’d like one, just leave a nice comment below and we’ll enter you in the drawing.