For this week's Illustration Friday word, which is "Fearless," I decided to use a work that I already had in progress. The image I was working on, of a young princess trapped in a tower who realizes that the only way to escape is to be fearless and to make friends with the dragon guarding the tower, seemed to be a good fit for this week's word.
My idea for this image came from an old drawing that I recently came across when cleaning out some boxes in our basement. When I was 6 or 7 years old, I use to love to draw this particular, bug-eyed dragon. Looking at this drawing, which is now over 45 years old, I liked the fact that as a kid, I included so many things happening in it - a princess in a tower (who in my childhood drawing, looks rather bored), a dragon guarding the tower, a mysterious cave, bats in the sky, a knight on his way to the rescue, and looming above it all, a castle.
I thought it would be a fun idea to see what I could do with this same scenario as a more skilled adult. A couple of Fridays back, I created a black and white, digital pencil illustration for the word "ahead." I so enjoyed working in black and white, that I decided to once again use the same technique. In this drawing I wanted to see if I could create a sense of distance with the tones of gray getting lighter as they receded into the background.
Here are a couple of screen shots showing the work in progress. In the first one you can see the very rough sketch and the preliminary rough shading of the tower. In the second screen shot, you can see that I've begun to refine the shading and added some details in the background.
I made a few tweaks to the idea - instead of a princess just sitting by a window, I decided I would have her leaning out the window and offering a friendly hand to the dragon who, somewhat like a dog, has jumped up on his hind legs to get a better view of her. I decided that the knight would be watching the scene, confused now about whether he should precede with his rescue attempt. Does the princess really need rescuing? I don't think so, I think she has it all under control.