Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×




Details

Submitted on
December 29, 2010
Image Size
991 KB
Resolution
1050×1212
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
2,989
Favourites
202 (who?)
Comments
93
×
ah long, ni hao by shelzie ah long, ni hao by shelzie
I'd wanted for some time to attempt drawing a Chinese dragon, or long, by referring to the 'nine likenesses', and so when East Asian Monsters was chosen as our theme for Tonight We Draw, I jumped at the chance. :D this picture got waaaay out of hand pretty early on, but I'm glad it did. I haven't finished a big illustration like this in a long time, much less one done for myself, and I couldn't be prouder.

the nine likenesses are: "horns of a stag, head of a camel, eyes of a demon, neck of a snake, belly of a clam, scales of a fish, talons of an eagle, paws of a tiger, and ears of an ox."
-[link]

some long fun facts I picked up - some I knew already, and others I found while I was bouncing around the net looking at stuff (you can tl;dr of course if you're not interested):

- long are carp that have managed to leap the Dragon's Gate, a waterfall along the Yellow River in China. the fish that make the jump are rewarded by being transformed into dragons (someday I want to make a proper picture of this). "the carp leaping over the dragon's gate" is a Chinese metaphor for someone that has worked hard and succeeded at his endeavors -- specifically in ancient times for someone who has passed the imperial examinations. this is also why we have magikarp and gyarados, hah.

- long are generally benevolent and wise (though not without some degree of vanity as a result). they are also water creatures and were believed by farmers to bring the rains, so sacrifices and offerings were made to the Dragon Kings to ward off drought. STOP MAKING THEM BREATHE FIRE, WESTERNERS.

- generally speaking, Chinese dragons have five toes on each foot, Korean dragons have four toes and Japanese dragons have three toes. supposedly, according to the Chinese, dragons originated in China and as they moved further away from home they lost toes until they had not enough toes to walk properly; according to the Japanese, dragons originated in Japan, and as they moved further away from home they gained toes until they had too many to walk properly. I'm not sure how true this is, but it amuses me. some sources claim that only the Imperial dragons of China had five toes while all lesser kinds had four.

- linking to this story/idiom because the site tells it better than me:
"In the Southern and Northern Dynasties Period (420-589), there was a painter called Zhang Zengyou. Once he visited a temple and painted on the wall four dragons, but gave none of them eyes. The onlookers felt that this was odd, and asked why he hadn't painted the eyes. He answered, "Eyes are crucial for dragons. With the eyes painted on, the dragons would fly away." Nobody believed this, so Zhang Zengyou took up his brush and added eyes to two of the dragons. No sooner had he finished than the two dragons flew into the sky amid a thunderstorm. The two without eyes stayed painted on the wall.
This idiom is used to describe how, when writing or speaking, one or two sentences will enhance the contents."
-画 龙 点 睛
(I'd like to make a proper picture of this someday too.)

I also want to draw some qilin/kirin and rui-shi ("fu dogs"), so yay!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconaranphin:
Aranphin Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014
画的挺好
这标题起得···看到标题我就点进来了
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Professional Filmographer
哈哈, 多谢!
Reply
:iconohioeriecanalgirl:
OhioErieCanalGirl Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
漂亮龙画!
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Filmographer
谢谢! :)
Reply
:iconmurdocnisgod666:
MurdocNisGod666 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2012  Student General Artist
that is EPIC!
Reply
:iconwilsontr427:
wilsontr427 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2011
excellent dragon
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thanks!
Reply
:iconnullvolf:
NullVolf Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is epic!!!
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2011  Professional Filmographer
why thanks!
Reply
:iconnullvolf:
NullVolf Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:) No problem
Reply
:iconterceleto:
terceleto Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I love your super thorough description... it's awesome to get the backstory of the long. I remember reading many of these things ages ago. So cool! The style it's drawn in is so clean and very authentic-looking. Swift, you never cease to amaze me. <3

...and I need to pick up my Mandarin text when I get back home and work on learning more. I have all but lost everything I learned in class D: it's so sad.
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Aww, thanks hun. ♥ Means a lot to hear you say that, really. I was going for authenticity here but I'll probably keep drawing these guys and trying to find my own style for them. Will definitely have influences from classical art of them though.

I'd be happy to practice with you :[ There are some things I'm never going to forget since I learned it almost alongside English, but my vocabulary at least could definitely use some work.
Reply
:iconterceleto:
terceleto Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome :) I would love to see the progression with these characters and your style development!

That would be so awesome! I only ever took one class, and I wish so much that I started as a Freshman so I could have had more years of it :/ maybe if I end up back in the area I went to college, I'll take it again.
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I'd recommend watching Chinese movies, or movies in English with Chinese subtitles on. Definitely helps to hear and see it, and I'm trying to put it more and more into my daily life. My bf says that's a big part of how he learned English as a child.
Reply
:iconterceleto:
terceleto Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I will have to try that. I have tried to an extent with Hungarian, but not nearly as much as I should, especially since [like Mandarin] I really want to learn the language. Hungarian does have it a bit easier, though, in that it doesn't have a different alphabet to learn. I think part of what made Mandarin so much fun, though, was learning the characters for things.

Are there any particular films that you recommend?
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011  Professional Filmographer
There are plenty of Chinese films I enjoy but I'll have to get back to you about ones that are good to learn the language from (since those might not necessarily be the best films xD). A tv series might not be a bad idea either. I'm starting to watch Chinese movies again, so hopefully I'll be able to help compile you a list :)
Reply
:iconterceleto:
terceleto Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Awesome :) Thanks so much Swift. I'll have to look into some series and things once I'm back home and have a bit more reliable internet.
Reply
:iconchassygirl:
ChassyGirl Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Qilin are awesome can't wait to see your rendition!
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconsophietookaphoto:
SophieTookaPhoto Featured By Owner May 7, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow.
Reply
:iconaranthulas:
Aranthulas Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2011
YEEESS THIS IS AWESOOOOME
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2011  Professional Filmographer
:dance:
Reply
:iconoriginalshaggy:
OriginalShaggy Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Hah! I LOVE THE PICCU <3
but i can't to read full your post because english is not my first language and i'm afraid that i will not understand XD
anyway I love everything in the picture - colors and composition and this awesome style! <333
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Eee thanks love ♥ you can always ask if you have any questions and I'll try to explain! I'm glad you like this, I was trying to do something different for me!
Reply
:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I appreciate the research you put into it. I suppose the reason some people draw them breathing fire out of ignorance, though I personally only do it because I think of dragons in scientific and evolutionary terms. It's entirely possible to make a creature breath fire as a biological defense mechanism. Shooting water has been observed in Archer Fish but they just gulp the water they're swimming in and jut their lower jaw forward to do it. It makes more sense tome to depict easterns breathing fire along with all the other different cultures' dragons. And there have been plentiful depictions of easterns wreathed in flames or playing with fire, which doesn't do anything to dissuade the folkloric misconception. (Though of course this could just be symbolic of the sun, or clouds or the magic orb they are often drawn with).
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Not debating the possibility of fire breathing animals in the least. But eastern 'dragons' to me are as like to western dragons as 'qilin/kirin' are to european unicorns: they are termed 'dragons' and 'unicorns' in english because they resemble them superficially but are completely different beasts in nature. No disrespect to you meant, but I'm not sure how that makes more sense to you to have them breathing fire when they aren't even technically the same thing. To me, it's like how groundhogs and hedgehogs have 'hog' in their name but only because of superficial resemblances, and are in no way related to actual pigs.

If you do a lot of research on the differences between the myths, it can be really interesting what you find - this text [link] in particular was fascinating, and I need to read through the entirety of it properly at some point. What little I did was admittedly just extensive googling - I'd like to actually get books on the subject at some point so I can do more heavy duty reading and learn more things. :)
Reply
:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I find them too similar to dismiss the idea of them being evolutionarily related all together. But I certainly will read this, it looks interesting
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Anteaters and pangolins developed the same kind of tongue and general appearance because they have the same diet (ants), but aren't related species - convergent evolution_ [link] By the same token, the elephant and the hyrax are closely related and look nothing alike. I don't think long and western dragons have much in common besides being large mythical reptilians. *shrug*

Hope you like the article, I found it extremely interesting!
Reply
:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
They wouldn't be reptilian actually, but that gets into a whole nother discussion. I suppose it's all how you work with the creature, as their evolution makes complete sense if they emerged from the water, six-limbed and serpentine, and some lost that sixth limb while others moved into the trees and developed it for flight.
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I'd be interested to hear your take, as obviously you've put a lot of thought into it and I respect that very much. I just don't think that dragons traditionally being firebreathers negates the evolutionary possibility of oriental dragons being water-based creatures, even if they sprung from the same line.
Reply
:iconkatepfeilschiefter:
KatePfeilschiefter Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Oh no, I wasn't suggesting that they couldn't be water based creatures, merely that the idea that variations of them that used fire wouldn't be entirely impossible. Either way, it's entirely theoretical. And thank you, though I apologize if I've become annoying.
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Not at all, I'm interested to hear what you have to say, and I hope I did not come across as dismissive. Eastern dragons breathing fire has been mentioned, but it seems to be lightning and storm related - which makes sense given the context. By the same token, are there aquatic species of Western dragon also?
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconverybluebird:
verybluebird Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm really impressed with this; it's just wonderfully made. The shading, detail, lines, background... everything is amazing!
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011  Professional Filmographer
♥ thank you!! it's my first time doing a digital illustration of this scale, and also a subject matter I had never really tackled before, so I'm pleased that other people like the results as much as me! very encouraging :)
Reply
:iconmaria-mar:
maria-mar Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011
Aaaand this is so good it's just nonsense. Must be my favorite from all of your work :aww:
Keep them coming!...
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011  Professional Filmographer
<3 thank youu! You keep drawing too!
and I definitely will, coming home and drawing proper drawings for myself for the first time in a looong time just feels great :D
Reply
:iconmaria-mar:
maria-mar Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011
Well i'm happy to hear it :aww:
Reply
:iconpred-adopts:
Pred-Adopts Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I like how you added little tidbits of information in the comments :> Never knew that that was why a fish like Magicarp would turn into a dragon-esque creature like Gyarados.

Now to the art. I notice that you gave it an East Asian style, from the mountains in the background to the style of even the dragon. The features you mentioned are present and add to the image's heritage.
Well-done, Swift <:
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Professional Filmographer
<33 thank you m'love, it's always a pleasure to hear from you. thanks for reading my longwindedness haha! I love little pieces of information like that and the sharing of them, so if I can help someone else discover something new then my work is done!

Thanks!! this was my first real attempt at trying a Chinese-style Photoshop painting and I'm glad you think I succeeded :D
Reply
:iconpred-adopts:
Pred-Adopts Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Student Digital Artist
<3
No problem at all!
And it's always great to learn something new every day <:
Reply
:iconhoekkadoogen:
HoekKadoogen Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011
Shelly, this takes my breath away
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Professional Filmographer
wow, thank you!
Reply
:iconanniepopokios:
Anniepopokios Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011
Ohh this is so neat!
I love how you did the picture, kind of reminds me of a story book illustration C: and I love love love the style of the bg. I love the simplicity of it. Like the fact that you didn't overly spiff it up makes it even more beautiful!

and those fishies! They look sooo good and cute <3
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thank you Annie <3 Yep, I tried something a little different from my usual with this, and I'm glad you like!
Reply
:iconhiaja:
Hiaja Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010
I love when images have such a description and history to them, thanks!
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011  Professional Filmographer
thank you!! I like to ramble so I'm happy you don't mind! xD
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010  Professional Filmographer
nice job. X3 glad to see it finished.
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010  Professional Filmographer
thanks! :) thank you for stopping in to say hi.
Reply
:iconfigaro-8:
Figaro-8 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010
This is really, really nice! Great attention to details such as the people's expressions. The dragon looks very awe-inspiring. Beautiful work!

By thy side,

Figaro
Reply
:iconshelzie:
shelzie Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010  Professional Filmographer
hey, thanks! it's great to see you around here again, hope you've been well. :)
Reply
Add a Comment: