Pop goes the dragon

Like most Welsh people, I am very proud of being Welsh and love our culture. I thought it was high time that I had a go at the Welsh dragon on our national flag and the painting above is the result.

As you can probably tell from the accuracy of the dragon, I traced it. Now before you all raise your hands in horror and think that I have somehow ‘cheated’ in doing this – I can explain!

I wanted the paining to be a recognisable depiction of the dragon of flag – I don’t see the point of reinventing the wheel, and didn’t intend this painting to be my interpretation of the flag, just a fun piece. As artists, we have so many tools at our disposal – grids, photographs, projectors etc. that it seems a shame not to use them when the right project could benefit from it.

While many could say that this painting is less of a ‘painting’ and more like  ‘colouring in’ with paint, it did give me the chance to practice blending, colour mixing and use of other materials.

I often use many different photographs as source images to help me decide on the pose/angle/composition of my original works, or as research to get to know a subject matter better. Is this cheating? I very rarely ‘grid’ a photograph onto a canvas, as I prefer the practice of sketching it myself. Occasionally, I will do a few preliminary sketches or a digital mock up of a complex painting to see how the composition works before putting brush to canvas. Is this cheating? Or part of the creative process? What do you think? Leave me a comment!

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