Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dragonriders of Pern

Here's another artwork I did from the Dragons of Pern books of the late Anne McCaffrey. This was done after I had met Anne and seen what she considered the "correct" illustration of a Pernese dragon. Note the powerful horse-like body and pony-like head, with the tubular ears of a giraffe. The wings are relatively small and if the "levitation" bit is true, act more like propulsion and steering than lifting wings. According to McCaffrey and the books, the dragons are not clad in scales and spikes like so many other reptilian models. Their surface is more like hide, with the texture of suede. But it also has an iridescent quality which I tried to capture in the bronze dragon behind the main figures.

The picture was done for a fan on behalf of his sister who was a devoted Pern fan. The girl riding the golden "queen" dragon is Lessa, one of McCaffrey's main characters. She is leading her weyr, or company of dragons and people, into battle against the environment-destroying alien "Thread." I tried to evoke the land, sea, and atmosphere of Ireland, as you see the earth tilting under the swooping flight of the dragons.

"Dragonflight" is ink and watercolor on illustration board, 15" x 10", March 1981.

There will be no By-Products from Thursday to Sunday as I will be at DarkoverCon. Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers.

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