Meet Petros…AKA, My Adventure with Stripes and Armatures

So this is Petros:

This stone dragon is from the book Jason and the Draconauts, by Paul Smith. It’s here on amazon if you want to check it out.

He was produced over many (4 or 5 I think?) days filled with frustration, experimentation, and occasional difficulties, but he came out so awesome.

This was the image I worked off of. (This image is used with the permission of Mr. Smith. Please ask him before you use it!)

This dragon is probably the biggest creature I’ve made out of clay since I started sculpting five years ago. It’s all thanks to a bit of experimentation.

Petros was the first dragon I’ve used a full armature on. This means he’s got a strong frame, built from tin foil and wire, inside of him as support. It goes throughout his entire body. Unfortunately, I lost most of my progress shots due to an unfortunate technical accident, so you can’t see the actual frame. But by sheer luck, a few work-in-progress pictures actually still exist:

The wings were added after I’d completely covered, smoothed, and shaped the main body.

I made that deep grey from scratch (Fun Fact: The weirdest thing that I’ve found out about using clay is that I’ve come to treasure black, grey, dark brown, and white more than most fun colors like neon green.) If I can recall, I believe I made the brown on him too.

Remember this guy from a little while back? I used the same sand-mixed clay technique for Petros too, to give him that nice stony look.

It’s hard to say what was the most difficult thing to do on this dragon. The smoothing certainly was tedious, and the interiors of Petros’ wings were delicate and finicky. But I’d have to say that it’s a tie between the stripes and the spines.I had to do the tail spines twice, but the stripes required a lot of focus. They involved taking a tiny piece of clay, adding it to the body, and then smearing while trying to control the shape and keep it from smudging too much.

Overall though, he was really fun to make. I’ve had mixed success with my standing dragons in the past (some have failed miserably while others have miraculously stayed standing), so it was nice to find a firm and consistent way to make my dragons stand. Imagine the possibilities for the future!

One more pic, because he’s just SO COOL!

I just love those bright green eyes, don’t you?

Let me know what you guys think, and have a great week!


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