VSW: San Antonio Zoo’s Dragon

w16-10-8-vsw-dragon-carousel-05This is part of an older virtual sketchwalk (see below) and I kept meaning to get to it.
I love this gorgeous dragon/  I saw it painted in Daniel Smith Serpentine Primatek!

*how perfect is that name?*

w16-10-8-vsw-dragon-carousel-01One of my middle-of-the-night sketches a few days ago, I started.

w16-10-8-vsw-dragon-carousel-02I learned all about how important a great brush is in this painting.  Mind you,
my “great brush” was an inexpensive old watercolor brush with synthetic bristles that
long ago lost its name.  And it finally gave up the ghost, after 10 years, and so I moved to similar brushes, thinking nothing of it — I mean, how special could a cheap brush be?


The body was critical.  I started with an under-painting of brilliant clear
DS Quinophthalone Yellow.  I added Fineline Masking Fluid to a few areas.
An orange mix was applied, and I deliberately pushed it into the areas I planned
to paint with DS Serpentine Primatek.    This is when I noticed how unruly
my ability to lay down paint within the lines was becoming.

*was i tired? what the hell?*

w16-10-8-vsw-dragon-carousel-0paintThe messy palette of the dragon’s body, above.
The Serpentine mix is largely in the top center, but I dipped into all of the colors in
these squares before I finished, especially Diopside, Phthalo Green, and Quin Gold.
The Serpentine had to be painted quickly, because while wet I wanted to drop the other greens, oranges, yellows in an effort to mimick the shimmery body of the dragon without adding actual metallic colors (not fond of them.)  Primateks accept and play well with other watercolors, letting you move them and create wonderful colorful textures.

*i will be releasing a video on playing with primateks soon*

THIS was when I realized it was the brush!!!  Brushes so make a difference!!!
My new brushes didn’t allow the point to let loose of the watercolor without bouncing
paint around as if I was dancing at the edges of the lines.  AAAACK!
I tried everything before realizing it was the brush, not my state of mind.
Messy messy painting became the rule of the day…

*sigh… go with the flow, keep painting*

I removed the masking fluid and added the details.
Messily, as the brushes I have are all relatively new and by the same company.  Done!

*that’s my story and i’m sticking to it!*

w16-10-8-vsw-dragon-carousel-03Moleskin 8×11 watercolor journal, with a Pentalic 2B woodless pencil,
Pilot Parallel pen and Platinum Carbon pen with Platinum Carbon ink;
Fineline Masking Fluid; Sennelier, Holbein, QoR and Daniel Smith watercolors.

Photographic image by Fran.


I started a Facebook group page; come join us On Facebook if you are inclined!
If you want to know more about what a virtual sketchwalk is review my first post.
There are a few more notes/pointers on our first walk through Laguna Beach, California.

I also created an accompanying Flickr group!


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visit my web page for a more user-friendly summary on my terms.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to dkatiepowellart.

W14 4 27 WC PALMS PAT SQAs my Patreon supporter, you will have
access to some content not on this website,
sneak previews, goodies, discounts on classes.

I will teach architectural sketching,
art journaling (art+writing), creativity, watercolors.
That annoying loud-mouth editor/critic in your head?  GONE!  How great would that be?

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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6 Responses to VSW: San Antonio Zoo’s Dragon

  1. Well I never would have known you had faced any degree of challenge with this piece as it looks absolutely fantastic. I love that it is a twist on the usual carousel horse, adore its mythological quality, and the way you have layered the paints is wonderful.


  2. Just wrapped up watching Game of Thrones all seasons. This one reminds me of Daenerys Stormborn’s Dragons. Good one.


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