Feathered dragon refsheet

Feathered dragon refsheet

First time I did a reference sheet. I plan to use this dragon later (maybe in comic), so I need to get his proportions right and consistent. His anatomy is roughly similar to that of the Tani Akri (the dragon from the Cheetaan universe).

An interesting property is how his arms have just the right length so he can walk around naturally (he doesn't need to crouch like usual quadruped wyvern designs), while his wingspan I think is quite sufficient for flight.

Why feathered?

It looks interesting, and better than a normal wing-webbed dragon I think once you start becoming creative with the construction of the wings. His wings have a proper airfoil, which also implies that the characteristic finger bones and arms of a bat-wing wouldn't be that visible, giving a somewhat bland wing. Birds however at smaller size have good airfoils by their feathers, and they look good as they are. A feathered wing at this size likely wouldn't work, so the combining.

Is this a dragon?

By behavior I would portray him being a dragon, at least as in intelligent mighty beast potentially with fire breath. He can also be sufficiently agile on the ground, making it less apparent that he doesn't have front legs like the traditional six-limbed desing.

With six-limb dragons apart from the nigh-impossible chest construction I felt the design itself awkward on the ground, that is, what they were supposed to do with their wings, which even look a bit odd when they walk around. The four limbed construction feels more economic with less "dead mass" to carry around. For some reason with wyverns (not only this one, I mean most wyvern designs) I mostly have the impression of an airborne creature even on ground while this doesn't happen for me with "traditional" dragons.

How large?

This dragon is likely a bit too large for realistic flight, however at least he is not too damn large. His needs for food are manageable (he is only slightly larger than the Spinosaurus, the largest carnivorous dinosaur at least by length).

By Temeraire he would count as a middleweight, large enough to carry a small crew (most likely about five people), however Temeraire himself and the other heavyweights would dwarf him.

He is neither very large compared to modern technology: his length is about the same as of a railroad locomotive, while his mass is just a fraction of that. The same time his torso is slightly larger than an African Elephant bull's.

Interaction with people

With such a large creature it is a problem whether he would even recognize human beings. With medieval (non-siege) weapons this thing is nigh indestructible (worst thing which may happen is about poking out an eye with an arrow). The good thing is that a human being is just too small to interest them as food (unless they are herding in a village). If such things lived, the only way of actually creating a civilization would be doing it with their consent.

So basically it is quite unlikely people would slay or tame dragons, at least definitely not if those dragons were this large (even if they didn't have any fire breath). Either hope for their ignorance, otherwise it is definitely the other way around.

Modern era is of course different, but not much regarding the actual possibilities for interaction. Unless implanting something in them to enforce control, true they may be killed by human, maybe even blackmailed (if they are intelligent, this is a viable possibility), but unlikely to be "tamed". A human being personally can only rely on the dragon's good will.

Be foul with a dragon, and you wouldn't last for more than thirty minutes! Not like he couldn't tear you apart right away. Just look at those jaws about to seal your fate! He will be careful, sure very careful to not harm you, opening them wide to allow you slide down in whole. He will even gulp down some fresh air after your miserable body to give you more time to think about what you just have done. Then, he would cautiously comfort himself laying on his side, to avoid crushing you too soon, dozing off to the pleasant internal massage of your struggle deep inside on your last bits of air!

Referred artworks

  • Feathered dragon refsheet #2
  • Gold wyvern design


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