On the Teeth-like Rocks, in the Guise of a Western. At the Crest of a Tide, in the Cries of a War-host. That's just where you'll find him - Viking Dragon, and his Viking Longboat:
For when the Vikings go to War, is it not just their Longboats, and their Viking Warriors, that they take to Conflict! For there's also their Dragons, their Sentinels of the Skies ... In Mighty Red and Conquering Green, they match their Longboats - Sails and All. With twist of Silver, Armoured Clad, they match their Longboats - Shields and All. With cries of Roar, Piercing Shrill, they match their Longboats - Drums and All! For this Sentinel of the Skies, and his Viking Warriors, has just made - Landfall ... To Newfoundland have they come, this Western Dragon, and his Raiding Party - the first of their Kind, a Herald of their Viking War Fleet, from across the Atlantic. A Treacherous Expanse, of Open Ocean, that honed these Warriors, in thoughts of Odin: To War, to War! To Conquer, to Conquer! To Pillage, to Pillage! This Newfoundland :) From Scandinavia they spread, in Ages of Dark, with Rays of Light, that Shined the Way - yet always following, the Paths of the Warrior ... For this Viking People, tamed their Dragons, in Ages Past, to Fight for them ... These Viking Dragons, know of Norse - both how to Speak, and Riddle with Script. These Viking Dragons, know of Odin - both being Cruel, Kind and Wise. These Viking Dragons, know Valkyrie - both Wingless Angel, and Souls to Valhalla! For to them, to Die in Battle, at the front of a Viking War-host, donned Valkyrie's Hero: a Dragon's Glory, in which you'd find, the Bodies of the Slain, piled all around them :) For these Viking Dragons, are a Western Kin ... With Dragon Wings, they Soar the Skies, and Dance through Clouds. With Dragon Fire, they Burn the Woods, and Heat the Anvil. With Dragon Teeth, they Drink the Foes, and Grin of Wrath. With Dragon Armour, they Turn the Arrow, and Bend the Sword. With Dragon Claws, they Slash the Ways, and Slice the Enemy. With Dragon Tails, they Wrap the Rocks, and Anchor Themselves. For these Viking Dragons, know of - the Art of War ... A Dragon lands on a Precipice, to survey the Land. A Dragon elongates his Neck, to view Around. A Dragon sniffs the Air, to smell of Foe. A Dragon licks his Tongue, to answer This, of Riddle God: What is this - Newfoundland? Just the Jagged Outcrop, of a Mountainous Rock? Just the Patterned Layers, of an Eroded Sea Scape? Just the Alcove Shape, of a Secluded Lagoon? But with a Sniff and a Lick, does this Dragon know, the answer to this Conquest's Riddle: for he's a Viking Dragon, that's been Bred and Raised, in the Castles of War :) He smells the Tide of Conflict, ten thousand Foes to march on him. He tastes the Air of Battle Lines, ten thousand Foes to come to him. He feels the Power of Enemy Commander, ten thousand Foes to aim at him. But this Dragon does not Cower, for he's a Western Might! He Plants his Feet, and Wraps his Tail, around his Teeth-like Rock. He Focuses his Eyes (through Armoured Helm), knowing well - Horizon Glare. He Roars a Dragon's Defiance, amongst the Cliffs of Armoured Sea - calling in he's Dragons Kin. For this Viking Dragon's, just the Herald, of a thousand Viking Longboats, and their Dragon Sentinels! And if he Falls, before they get here? Then to Valhalla will he go, on the Wings of a Valkyrie, off from Newfoundland - to Odin's Dragon Land :)
There be those places in this Dragon Land, that still-guard, the Treasures of the Ammonite. Be Runic Glyph. Be Lavas Heat. This Dragon's Rock, with twists of Ancient. This Dragon's Spire, with curves of Tale. This Dragon's Perch, with scribes so Wise. Donned Ward of Power. Known Vault of Lore. This Dragon's Place, with watch so Sentry :) This Dragon's Tower - of Dragon Sentinel:
It's where the Perch's Architects drew their Lore - of Dragons Guard, and Dragons Form. It's where the Sleeping Sentinels spied their Lore - of Dragons Hoard, and Dragons Stealth. It's where the Primeval Watchers scribed their Lore - of Dragons Time, and Dragons Stone. It's where the Foundry's Blacksmiths smelt their Lore - of Dragons Arm, and Dragons War. It's where the Wisest Warlocks chant their Lore - of Dragons Power, and Dragons Myth. It's where the Element's Warriors learned their Lore - of Dragons Dream, and Dragons Muse. Where's that then? Why ... In Dragon Sentinel, of Dragon Land - but of course :) For within this Dragons Land, be thy Dragons Wards - in Midnight's Realm, a Dragons Sentinel! For only in Two Moonlit Sky, can you find the Runes - of Ancestral Dragons Past ... Thy shape of Ammonite, with Twist of Ancestor. Thy way of Tone, with Sound of Sea. Thy rise of Glyph, with Arc of Cuttle. Thy coil of Spiral, with Wind of Sea. Thy curve of Nautilus, with Thought of Lineage. Thy hint of Meaning, with Rune of Fossil ... What's that you say? A Hidden Riddle! These Passer-bys, know not for sure. These Passer-bys, know not look up. These Passer-bys, know not of Power. These Passer-bys, know not of Fire. These Passer-bys, know not of Perch. These Passer-bys, know not of He! As it is with these Dragons, and their Hidden Ways. As it is with these Dragons, and their Magic Wards. As it is with these Dragons, and their Treasured Secrets. As it is with these Dragons, and their Emerald Griffins :) But - what's that you say? He's not a Griffin! Well ... Clad in Armour, clad in Gold - Anointed Guardian, knows of you. Clad in Whisper, clad in Hush - Silent Sentry, watches you. Clad in Timeless, clad in Bound - Runic Keeper, knows of thee. Clad in Talon, clad in Barbed - Tireless Warrior, watches thee. As it is with these Western Dragons, and their Griffin's Role ... Set in Stone, Guard through Time. Cast in Iron, Watch through Age. Bed in Marble, Hard as Rock. Cast in Metal, Hot as Fire. Rest in Bedrock, Wise through Eon. Stirred in Guard, Woke through you! This Dragon Sentinel, of Midnight's Realm - revealed in Moonlight, came for you!
In Kingdom's Ethereal, White be Haze. In Tangled Ribbon, Wind be Touch. Born of Water and of Air - this Dragon's Spirit, Ninjas of thy Monk to be:
Dancing through this Water's Verse, Temples of the Spire so High. Skating through this Ocean's Realm, Churches of the Light so Bright. Weaving through this Sea's Domain, Chapels of the Stance so Right. Darting through this Element's Empire, Ninjas of the Rain so Proud. Guiding through this Cyclone's Wind, Shoguns of the Rule so Wise. Fighting through this Heaven's Day, Abbots of the Monk so Scribe ... Temple here, Temple there - one Church here, one Church there! Ninja here, Ninja there - Abbot say, Abbot do! For in Heaven's Lore, there was a Place - donned in Shroud, donned in Guard. This Heaven's Realm, called Monastery. This Heaven's Arms, called Swiftspear. The Shimmer of a Blanket Sea. The Sparkle of a Tungsten Blade. The Tonal of a Falling Wall. The Twinkle of a Pointed Gaze. The Shading of a Rising Spray. The Glimmer of a Shearing Edge ... For in Shogun's Lore, there was a Place - born of Dragon, born of Ninja. This Dragon's Realm, called Monastery. This Ninjas Arms, called Swiftspear. The Obelisks of a Element Wise. The Patters of a Silent Feet. The Monoliths of a Dragon King. The Assassins of a Samurai Way. The Pillars of a Eastern Dragon. The Warriors of a Human Monk ... Shogun here, Shogun there - one Spear here, one Spear there! Ninja here, Ninja there - one Foot here, one Foot there! Running through this Temples Maze, Knowing of thy Paths to Take. Skipping through this Churches Fog, Certain of thy Turns to Make. Sprinting through this Water's Edge, Splashes of thy Toes to Beat. Jumping through this Airy Cloud, Vapours of thy Swift to Dodge. Skimming through this Temples Lore, Pleasing of thy Craft to Rule. Honing through this Churches Art, Dreaming of thy War to Make ... War-cry here, War-cry there - Dancing here, Dancing there! Fighting here, Fighting there - Sculpting here, Sculpting there! For in Monastery Swiftspear, there was an Army - born of Human, and of Monk. This Humans Realm, called Eastern Way. This Monks Penance, called Scribe of Art. The Writings of the Empire Verb. The Teachings of the Kingdom Pure. The Drawings of the Realm in Shape. The Learnings of the Wise to Power. The Letters of the Artist's Form. The Knowings of the Spear to Battle ... Ninja here, Ninja there - one Strike here, one Strike there! Shogun here, Shogun there - one Wound here, one Wound there! Victory here, Victory there! As in Monastery Swiftspear, there came a Monk: donned in Ninja, donned in Shogun, donned in Samurai ... The Guardian of this Fortress Monastery: swathed in Mist, swathed in Robe, swathed in Rune, schooled in Lore, schooled in Arms, schooled in Question ... Who be you that comes to Sea, this Temple Realm - of Monastery Swiftspear?
Fantasy art does not have to be just about fantasy characters, it can also be about fantasy landscapes, perhaps with no characters at all! This is the approach that's (mostly) taken by:
I like the fact that this book starts by considering the range of mediums that are available to the fantasy artist: pencils and ink, watercolour, acrylic paint, oil paint and digital. Of these, my two favourites are oil painting and digital. This book then considers the techniques that can be used to bring your fantasy landscapes to life. I especially like the tips on Value, Light and Shadow, Colour Theory, Perspective and Weather and Time of Day. Your artwork can then gain even more realism, when the book draws your attention to the elements of fantasy landscapes, such as: skies, clouds, mountains, caves, forests, trees, foliage, sand, snow, water and reflections. My favourite part of the book has to be the tutorials. Before reading these, Id never really appreciated the fact that its possible to use a rough sketch as the basis for your digital artwork! Some of my favourite tutorials are: Ancient City, Forest City and Forest Setting. Overall: I think that this is an amazing book that can help you enhance the overall quality of your fantasy artwork. At the very least, it can help 'take you to places' when you view its gallery!