There are two things that was in my mind from start. I wanted to bring a tension and conflict between dragon and the evil rider as essence to push the emotional feeling in piece and second thing was the eastern look to give him more unique and special look that differentiate him from others.
I started the rough sketches with these two things in my mind. I usually stared my sketch`s with markers and pencils. Markers for blocking the large shapes and making a good silhouette and pencils for adding a details and designs meanwhile I add a thumbnail so that show a composition beside almost every good concept that I have.
I like this stage of creation process the most. In this stage where you start exploring
the potentials of the different ideas that populate your mind. There are no boundaries and limitations in this process just feel free to lay down everything on the paper that you have in your mind and wait for the happy accidents.
From one good accident, I took advantage of it and developed by adding the snakes as an evil essence to dragon rider (see how the scurf of the rider in right of Fig 1 has been developed to the snakes in the rider on left)
After the fun part end I returned to the theme (dragon rider) and started the real phase. As you can see the main thing here is the rider itself that’s why I have to focus on the rider as my first priority as you see in (fig1) dealing with the designs of the rider and dragon were my big challenge. Also I wanted the viewer to see the rider in center focus than the dragon and the other things.
I developed the good things that I had in first stage though i`m not afraid of testing something new. That`s why you see some new designs.
The whip was a good idea something that pushes the essence of brutality and slavery
I have to explain that, those snakes are the part of rider`s body or not just for supporting the idea of conflict between the rider and the dragon. I have this explanation in my mind that those snakes are baby dragon that the evil rider had taken them and dragon eggs as a hostage in his back pack . That’s why the dragon can`t hurt him if she want to do that she will kill own children and eggs.
A rider with a single whip will not stand a chance against the enormous dragon that`s more reasonable to have something in hostage that guarantee the dragons obedience.