my AP exploration of my favorite mythical beast
about gigi roldan
a 17 year old based in Oregon
as a child, i have always felt enamored by the creatures the minds of the world creates. the idea of people creating these myths and legends surrounding beings that I would never see amazed me.this amazement has given me the inspiration i hold today in art. dragons have always enamored me, and being able to dedicate hours of my drawings to them brings me endless joy.this is why i have chosen to make my AP art sustained about these mythical beasts; a way for me to pay homage to legends i will never see in my life.
my sustained investigation
my artistic exploration of biology and creature design
when I was first told i needed to choose a topic to explore in the AP art classroom, my mind instantly shot to this idea.dragons.my investigation focuses on developing different species of dragons, and exploring how they fit in their unique environments. i was particularly inspired by animals like "big cats", and how different each feline is based on where they live in their everyday life.eventually, i tacked on another part: I would dedicate two pieces per species of dragon, to further explore ways they can fit.
these are my 5 pieces that I am most proud of!
this is where you can view each of the sustained pieces, but paired together based on the dragon they show
lurking in the clouds
this was my first piece, along with my first attempt at a scene with a background.this is a sky dragon, with scales that can reflect its enviorment. it has large horns that also have the ability to spear birds out of the sky as it flies.i tried my best to make an interesting perspective, showing the dragon in the middle of a cloudy storm, along with surrounded by flapping birds.2120 x 3120 px
A Windswept Sky
this is the second piece of a sky dragon, this time showing a calm, peaceful scene. i focused a lot on the background, wanting to make it look good with the dragon.for my first ever large, in-depth background, it turned out okay! i tried to use the dragon's wings to give a framing effect to the whole piece.3680x2040 px
these two are each based on different water biomes, one being a swamp and the other being the deep ocean
this is the deep ocean dragon, modeled after a long sea serpant that attacks creatures of the deep. I wanted to focus on how stories and myths can over dramatize creatures, causing it to become unrealistic and scary.4646 x 2784
The Light in the dreary swamp
this is a piece based on a pond/river dragon, which is a long serpent just like the deep ocean dragon. this dragon is based off a koi fish though, sporting it's beautiful colors and long fins.2856 x 3104px
these are both dragons that thrive in the forest, although they have two very different environments.
flowers on the hill
this piece has some history. when i originally made it, i got extremely far to the point of shading and adding finishing touches. i stopped drawing, went to sleep, and when i woke up the file was gone.i had to completely remake my artwork, which was extremely frustrating as everything i did felt worse than what i had already worked so hard on.anyway, this piece was meant to show a dragon that had antlers like a deer, a flower on it's tail, petal like wings, and fur.1904 x 2172px
A flashy standoff
this piece is based off of a glowing mushroom forest, with creatures that glow with it. i wanted to try out a piece with two dragons having a battle of dominance in their own biological way.the dragon with it's wings open is displaying a dominance tactic, using glowing patterns on its body to scare off a less large dragon.4516 x 3512px
these two are based off of bugs, one a beetle and one a bee. i also wanted to show the relationship between these creatures by showing that the bee dragon has conflict with the beetle dragon.
a bug on a log
this was a piece that i wanted to be soft and dreamy, with the dragon fitting into its environment. i decided to base this dragon off a beetle and a bear, with a strong, pretty exoskeleton.2360 x 1640px
Attack on hive
this piece particuarly focused on line art, and trying to focus on a more round and detailed style. i also decided to leave this uncolored, as i felt the lineart was strong enough to hold up on its own.2844 x 4060px
these dragons are based off of two different things found underground; bats and crystals. one of them i focused on a more realistic take on dragons, while the other one is more cartoony.
this piece was based around the idea of crystals + a crystal dragon! i wanted to focus on color in a darker enviorment. this one was a bit of a dragon for me, and i ended up being very messy with the finished project.2238 x 1878px
he's right behind me, isnt he
this piece is based on a bat, with large ears for hearing and thick, plated scales that cover it's body. it has white, shining eyes that reflect from the only light source in the cavern.1208 x 849px
this is when i decided to begin only focusing on piece per dragon, so i can explore more ideas that i have. this is the fire dragon.
from the flames
this is a dragon based off the very fire and lava in volcanos. i focused on giving them a tough, strong body, big horns, and patterns of lava in their scales.2271 x 2046px
this is a dragon based off gentle flowers!
this piece was meant to be a refreshing and fun, as i wanted to focus on my background and shading skills. i used a dragon desgin that i felt was fun and cartoony, and then tried to fit it in a cartoony, semi-realistic forest! this piece is my favorite ive made so far.2450 x 1256px
a dragon that dances in the sky, meant to capture the feeling of a deity
the eye of the sky
this piece utilized an old sketch from around december, and was meant to show how much i grew from when i first began this project. it also was meant to play with shapes, using round shapes to show clouds and trees.1672 x 1738px
a dragon meant to represent a desert reptile + succulents!
my last piece! this was meant to take me out of my comfort zone by drawing a desert, focusing on figuring out how to draw sand, rocks, and cactI! i felt like i could have done better, but this was my first attempt, so i am proud of it :)1183 x 795px