So I had some vacation time and no commissions for the first time in a year so I decided I wanted to do something really cool and hopefully epic looking. I have to admit that painting this was a bit like being a kid again and playing with my toys. Apart from the bit of drudgery of detailing out the foreground tower this was a pure joy to create.
I like to build a nice composition in my art from the early sketch but before I even started the sketch I played around with the design of the two towers. I wanted the scale of them to be massive beyond what I'm sure could possibly be built from a stone block construction. So my first step was to make some quick sketches of tower designs in Photoshop. From this I saw the basic design elements enough in my mind to build the tower using SketchUp a free 3D Google program. I didn't stick to my original sketches for the 3D build, I let the main design elements I explored in the sketches helped me to flesh out the more epic scale of the towers.
Once I had the final 3D build of the tower finished I was able to easily duplicate it so that I would have a perfect copy in the distance. From this I found the position I wanted in the 3D program and grabbed a freeze of it. This became the base for which the rest of the composition would be built around. I knew I wanted a dragon attacking the main foreground tower so I quickly painted it next to the tower in grey scale which is generally how I work up an image. Once I had some crudely painted soldiers defending the tower I could see that I need something in the foreground. I had mountains and the hint of a large city in the background, the second tower in the middle ground and the dragon attacking the main tower in the foreground but the composition felt a little empty at the bottom. This gave me the opportunity to add a closeup of a warrior riding a dragon to the foreground. The composition felt better but the tail of the dragon attacking the main tower pointed my eyes to an empty canyon. So because of this I created a third dragon to draw my view back into the painting. Having the third dragon spitting fire onto the soldiers standing on the wall made the entire image sing. That completed the composition. This was a full scale attack that came to life with each new element of detail I added to it.
This is the kind of painting I love to create and hope to do more of in the future. Fun, fun, fun.