Having spent a lot of Friday drawing out the last part of the working drawing for the “obscure as it is obvious” picture, I was as sure as I could be that I had got it all right. Admittedly the dragon itself was always going to be theÂ most difficult part, since everyone has their own interpretation for what a dragon SHOULD look like, the Chinese prefer dragons thatÂ are lighter in the body than most Western dragons, some people think they should look more reptitian than anything, some prefer the T-Rex look (no, no, not like Marc Bolan with a mane of black curly hair and high cheekbones). Some prefer dragons to have farmoreÂ muscular rear legs than the front ones, and others like a whip cord tail. Its not like drawing a horse, that everyone knows what it should look like, or a lion or an eagle. It has sooooo many permutations and all correct – or wrong – depending on your own personal opinion.
I tell you this, as the client left it to me to think of a dragon I relate to and use that one in the picture.
So, that is what I did.
And when I emailed him the picture for his opinion (safe in the knowledge that I had drawn the dragon that I liked, cat like (if you can get cat like dragons) with fabulous semi open wing span, showing the ribs of the powerful wings, I was happy with it, quietly confident and just waiting for him to ok it.
But when I spoke to him over the phone, he didn’t give me the answer I was expecting.
He said “Hmmmm……. I like the way you’ve done the dragons wings, butÂ I think they should be bigger, I like the legs and the way the dragons feet are, I agree with your reasons for changing the head so its higher, but I don’t like the end of the tail, and the tail should be three quarters the length that it is, and I think the wings should be a lot bigger”. I looked at the original working drawing infront of me, as we spoke, and inwardly sighed. Then said “Ok, I’ll change the end of the tail, and make it shorter, but I’m not at all happy about changing those wings, they’re great as they are, and if I change the wing on the left, it could just be made a little bigger, but the one on the right is in exactly the right place within the picture, if I make it bigger it will cut into the lovely shape that the far hills and distant river are making, which will ruin that effect and spoil it totally!” . He chuckled and said lightly”Getting stroppy over it, aren’t you!” and I said slightly indignantly “Well, I just want it right for you, I don’g get stroppy often, andI think those wings are fine as they are, but I don’t want to mess up the picture by changing it” and he said a little more carefully “Ok, leave it.” But I wasn’t happy at that either, and said to him that I would make some adjustments and email him again within the hour with the changes and we said “Ok!” as we ended the call.
I made a mug of hot sweet tea andÂ made the changes to the tail as he requested, easily done. I made the wing on the left justÂ a little bigger as he had suggested – although not quite as big as he originally said, and made a couple of small adjustments to the wing on the right, without biting into that lovely far hills negative shape that I liked, and emailed him the new drawing, and awaited his reply…..
And couldn’t quite believe it when it came:
“Perfect!” it said.
I rang him, and he laughed as he picked up the phone and said “You can’t believe it, can you!” and I smiled at his response, and laughingly agreed! Yay! Done it, and without compromising my artistic integrity, whilst keeping the client happy.
Perfect – that’ll do! 🙂