Klagenfurt, Austria is home to a nine tonne statue of a Lindwurm, erected in 1590. Folklore tells of the beast plaguing the surrounding swamp, until it was eventually slain by a band of brave knights. Its skull was found in 1335, and is still on display today. #FolkloreThursdayJohn Reppion via Twitter
Well, this one came down to the wire. And, as a result, it’s the first one that’s been drawn digitally. Let’s talk you through it.
When I first read the tweet, I thought it would be fun to build up to the big dragon picture, have lots of Knights huffing and puffing and running towards it, lots of panels – a twenty panel page.
Then, I forgot about it and realised I needed to draw this just a few hours before midnight and so that all went out the window.
Luckily other options presented themselves. I took the text, chopped it up and popped it on a digital page – lettering before art. That gave me the structure and some notion of how I’d draw it. So I blarped out this super fast sketch that is, I suspect, utterly meaningless to anyone else…
Hit the drawing board to pencil it traditionally (still a more enjoyable experience than digital pencils) and … I think you can see the shape of those god awful scribbles above coalesced into what I had in mind (on panel 2 I dropped the idea of seeing lots of nights, because, frankly, I didn’t have time)
Notably Panel 1 the map I knew I’d basically find the location on google maps and redraw it, so that was blank, and the last panel, since it’s a real thing, I wanted to get the skull right – though I couldn’t find a decent picture of it, so figured it’d be alright on the night (which er… was the same night, I just mean it’d come together in the inking)
I wanted the inking to be be… richer? More line-y than previous pages. Wasn’t even sure I knew what I meant, but I wanted a different texture for the inks of the dragon. Woodcut.
Of course, I failed.
I’ll show the whole inks here, but notably, I inked panel 1 then coloured it, before moving on to the rest of the inks – I decided to keep panel 2 and 3 as a flashback / b&w but it didn’t want it to just look like I was being lazy – so – AHAH! a red spot colour would work really well.
Googled up some “medievil knights austria” to get some notion of the weaponry that would be suitable (though I wanted pikes) and here we are:
And, finally, the coloured art without lettering (for completeness sake)
Oh, John has written a fair amount of follow up on the origins of the Lindwurm in twitter (and if you’re curious, the skull they found was of a Wooly rhino). So go here to read all about the monster…