My Weird Life: High School Dragons, Part 1!


When I was in high school, I drew a LOT of dragons. I have managed to save most of them, but this is one of the few surviving drawings from an actual project. I drew and wrote about a family group of dragons as if I were a naturalist observing them, and had given them names similar to the way the Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey did their charges (they were, and remain to this day, two of my heroes).

The bad-tempered beast pictured above was the patriarch of the family; an old, old, dragon I named Artrex. Artrex died somewhere in the writing, and his leadership passed on to a golden dragon called Caesar.
Artex’s great age is reflected in his horns and the incredible amount of hair he has(my dragons were very hairy). Most of the males in my “study” had a single horn on their noses, and the horns on their heads were not short, but nowhere near as long as these. A dragon progressing to Artrex’s age would eventually grow a second nasal horn and the head horns would grow longer and more dagger-like.
My color palette was a bit limited; I was just a kid in high school and had to depend on rides to the art supply store to pick up new Design Markers, plus use allowance or the kindness of grandparents to obtain what I needed. Still,I was able to give Artrex violet-colored eyes even though I didn’t have a proper lighter gray color for his belly scales. I DID have a gray that I used to shade EVERYTHING; you can see it in use all over here as I learned how to make living things a little more dimensional.
I had also recently learned how to draw a snarl, and I was quite proud of that. I might have overdone it a bit here but I was really having fun with it. Artrex was nasty, and you didn’t trifle with him.

It’s hard to remember now, but Artrex had a daughter, a white dragon named Cleo, who, I am certain, was inspired by Ruth, the White Dragon of the Dragonriders of Pern series. Her mate was the golden dragon Caesar (why I didn’t make up my own names as I did for Artrex, I have no idea) and Caesar’s rival was a red dragon with three horns on his head, but I can’t remember his name.



This is an uncolored drawing of Caesar. He was pretty much my “base” design for dragons I was drawing at this time. I spent a lot of time laboring over scales and shiny claws and horns.


This is the closest I can find to a drawing of Cleo. Cleo had no horns on her head, being female, but she had at least one horn on her nose and may have grown another once she reached old age. This drawing clearly shows I was really into getting those veins in the skin of the wings. Again, notice the snarl…:D
Her leg structure is also different from the previous drawing, so I have a feeling I was advancing in anatomy.


This guy is a throwback, the anatomy being more crude, but I distinctly remember him being part of the family group. All sorts of colors were possible in this bunch. I also see that this young, dopey male has a mane reaching all the way to his rump, while Caesar up there has spikes there instead.
I don’t know what the big black smudge in the corner is.


I actually kind of remember drawing this one; I was insanely bored in class. I was definitely thinking hard about textures and values here.
Can you see the little mini dragon?

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