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December 19, 2013
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Flamma Vitae by rachaelm5 Flamma Vitae by rachaelm5

This is a commission/trade piece for my sister.  She likes my Stone Dragons and wanted me to do a quetzlcoatl-themed pair using ruby and peridot as the stone bases (her husband's and her birthstones, respectively).  The trick was to keep the picture from coming across as too "Christmassy", since I'd planned from the beginning to work in a lot of gold with the red and green.  The addition of a good deal of blue addressed this issue nicely.  :D

The color work was done entirely with Prismacolor pencils, and there are Swarovski crystals on the dragons' foreheads.

Image size: 12x18 inches. 


Original art:  sold.

Matted prints, edition of 150 (shipping included in US):

16x20 inches for $50
11x14 inches for $30
8x10 inches for $15
5x7 inches for $10


Progress bar:

Flamma Vitae pencil by rachaelm5  Flamma Vitae color teaser by rachaelm5  Flamma Vitae color WIP 02 by rachaelm5  Flamma Vitae color WIP 03 by rachaelm5


Add a Comment:
 
:icona-beck:
A-Beck Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow.... How long did that take you? It is so detailed!
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think this one took fifty or sixty hours, all told.  I spread it out over several weekends, though, to give my brain and drawing hand some time to rest.
Reply
:icondarachian:
Darachian Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2015  New member
I find my thoughts completly lacking words.... A gorgeous divine piece of inspiration and tremendous detail!!! my jaw simply drops...
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much.  This was a very challenging piece to color; I'm glad you like it!
Reply
:iconlizzystorms:
LizzyStorms Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014
It looks a little like a quetzal actually
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
These two are definitely quetzlcoatls.  :D
Reply
:iconr-eventide:
R-Eventide Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ebbeh.  :O_o:

Your art never fails to impress!  Daaaaang...!  The detail, the eye-popping colors....  Gorgeous!
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks very much!
Reply
:iconzaellrin:
Zaellrin Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Professional General Artist
Wow! The detail in your pieces are quite amazing as well! Beautiful colors and design! :heart:
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!  Details are what really drives a lot of my work.  I enjoy playing with them right up to the point of incomprehensibility.  ;-)
Reply
:iconzaellrin:
Zaellrin Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014  Professional General Artist
I can relate to you with details! Sometimes I overdue it too. I tried to do some of those simple 'painted feel' works... I just can't keep it toned down lol.
Reply
:icongalactic-sky-99:
Galactic-sky-99 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is amazing! Lots of color and detail! Just, wow! :omg:  This is a very nice piece you made.
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks very much!  

It's the details that drive a lot of my artwork.  I love to play with them, to see just how far I can push myself before I start to lose track of whose body part belongs to whom.
Reply
:iconfoxycrafts-and-arts:
Foxycrafts-and-Arts Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014
Wow , wow , wow lost for words, the amount of work you must have put into this one! it is truly beautiful.
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks very much!

Yes, this one was quite a bit of work.  It can be tricky to keep track of all those details when the picture is still in-progress.  :-)
Reply
:iconpdevinney:
pdevinney Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
Amazing detail. Your choice of color placement makes the details pop, my eyes are all over it, very, very nice.
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks very much!  
Reply
:iconthedutchabsol:
TheDutchAbsol Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This looks so awesome
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you.
Reply
:iconthedutchabsol:
TheDutchAbsol Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem atall
Reply
:icondragondays:
Dragondays Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
How long did this one take? (also i love how you help other artist by explaining your method.  I got some Dick Blick pencils per your suggestion though i have not had a chance to use them yet.  Soon as i can get a sketch made up.)
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This one took quite a while - somewhere between eighty and a hundred hours, I think.  I spent quite a bit of time fiddling with the gold trim.  :-)

I did a small project with the Dick Blick pencils (I haven't posted it yet) and I found that the Dick Blicks feel like something between the hard Faber Castells and the softer Prismacolors.  They're not too bad at all.
Reply
:icondragondays:
Dragondays Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sounds like a perfect starting point for me. :)  Thanks for being a good artist and helpful.
Reply
:iconbrian-oconnell:
Brian-OConnell Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Really looks like Quetzalcoatl! This is how awesome it is: I think I've fainted. 

Here! :points:

BRIAN
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm a big fan of Quetzalcoatl(s) anyway, and I enjoy opportunities to draw them.  I'm glad you like these guys!

...Oboy, pictures of POINTS!
Reply
:iconbrian-oconnell:
Brian-OConnell Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:D

BRIAN
Reply
:iconmetashinryu:
MetaShinryu Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2014
:omg:
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:D
Reply
:icontwistedwits:
TwistedWits Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014
Good depth sense along with perception of flow.
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you.
Reply
:iconrhoftonwriting:
rhoftonwriting Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Student General Artist
Breathtaking 
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you.  :-)
Reply
:iconbrittam:
BrittaM Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014
It's really neat to see the progress pictures--I wouldn't have guessed you bring each little section to completion before moving on to the next. Somehow I figured you would lightly lay out all the colours first over the whole picture before getting in all the lights and darks and shiny bits.

Do you use a lightbox to transfer a new, clean pencil sketch from the original lines, or do you just do it all on one paper?

I'm suddenly struck with the urge to go draw something obscenely colourful XD
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

The progress shots were less to show technique and more to reassure my sister that even though she hadn't heard from me in weeks, I was still alive and working on her project.  ;-)

I do use a shading progression on individual sections, usually starting with a small area so as to test out the particular color range that I plan to use.  I want to see if what I can do with the pencils will match or trump the color scheme I see in my head, and if it works, I then progress with the dark-to-light value range throughout the whole area that will have that particular color.  Whatever color range will dominate the picture, I usually color that - in full - first.  Then I plan everything - shading, highlighting, and contrast - around that color.  In this case, it was actually the green dragon's body that drove the color scheme, even though I did her wings first.  I just kept that bright yellow-green in my mind's eye while working on the other areas and testing out the other color combinations I wanted to try to use.

No lightbox for me - The original pencil drawing is on the illustration board designated for the project.  I erase the pencil lines as I go, and clean up, change, or eliminate lines as I go as well.  The extra time spent drawing clean linework has never struck me as necessary for this kind of project since I'll just end up changing things anyway. 

Yes!  Go draw Day-Glo!

Reply
:iconbrittam:
BrittaM Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
I guess that's a pretty similar process to what I do when I'm painting sculpture. I lay down a base coat first, then I start working up the areas where I'm certain of the colours I want to use, and slowly get into the "I haven't quite decided about these bits yet."

For a drawing like what you do, I imagine a lightbox would be superfluous anyway. Transfering drawings is kind of not fun...especially when they're this complex! I've used them occasionally for my ink work, back before I switched soley to illustration board (and by "light box", I mean "stuck a piece of picture frame glass on the backs of two chairs with a lamp under it" ;D Same principle, costs nothing)It sort of slips past me that you don't ink in your lines on your drawings as you colour them in, but it certainly makes for a nicer look without big black lines between everything.

And if I come up with a DayGlo, eye-searing bright design I'll be sure to share it!
Reply
:icongiadrosich:
giadrosich Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Beautifully rendered! :D
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:icongiadrosich:
giadrosich Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
YW! Always love what you do with color! :D
Reply
:iconangelic-yunie:
Angelic-yunie Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's so colorful! *.*
I love it :heart:
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks very much!  I love working with the colors.  :D
Reply
:iconthekidwithaknife:
THEKIDWITHAKNIFE Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014  Student General Artist
Man. That's just fun to look at.
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks!  It was fun to color, too. 
Reply
:iconshadowtoxin:
ShadowToxin Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2013  Student General Artist
Beautiful colors!
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconks-videos:
KS-Videos Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is EPIC
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks muchly!
Reply
:iconequaltoyou:
EqualToYou Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013  Student Digital Artist
FU/King Insan3!
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You betcha.  But it keeps me out of trouble and off the streets.  ;p
Reply
:icondanieldenta169:
danieldenta169 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
this is stunning. This caught my eye per chance, Im awestruck
Reply
:iconrachaelm5:
rachaelm5 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks very much!
Reply
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