Hi everyone. I am very happy to announce that this little flurry of, whatever it was, is pretty much over. With supreme effort I have been able to answer every email, every Facebook message, and every Youtube comment. I know I didn’t have to respond to all of those inquiries, particularly the ones that started, “Hey dude….” But I’ve always prided myself in my willingness to answer questions about this medium. So I did. And here I am patting myself on the back. Thank you all for being so patient with me. Finally, finally, I’m back to doing some art. Drogon has been waiting patiently. I have other projects to tell you about, but I need to finish him first.
When you saw him last, he’d just received his horns. Time for some breastplates. I folded strips of cloth lengthwise to give them some thickness. I started at the bottom and layered the plates as I worked up the neck. I added a little crease down the middle by just pinching the cloth.
I worked my way all the way up the neck and under the chin. Next, I decided to augment the cheeks a little. I did this in order to add something a little special with this trophy.
Check this out. I folded the cloth on either side of the tongue. Then I poked holes in the cloth to simulate the place where the flammable liquid squirts from his fire-making glands. I’ve always envisioned dragons using a flame-thrower kind of mechanism. That is, they would squirt some kind of flammable liquid out of glands inside the neck area. This liquid would ignite as it came in contact with the air. I’m pretty sure that this is how it worked with fire-breathing dragons. Next, I added lips. Once again, I folded a long strip of cloth and wrapped it around the upper half of the mouth.
I added little wrinkles as I went. After that I added the cloth mache around the eyes. I folded a square piece of cloth and put it under the eyes.
I did the same on the top. I used my glue crusted knife to push the cloth into place. The nose came next. If you have an eye for detail you might notice that I added a bit more flesh to the nostrils. I wanted more of a flair. I just used crumpled paper and tape for that.
Then, using a glue encrusted pencil, I poked a large square piece of cloth into the nostril. I always like doing this. Poking a piece of cloth into a nostril or ear canal always causes wrinkles to form that look pretty close to the wrinkles you’d expect in a nose or an ear.
I’ll leave you here. I will be back again soon. I promise! I know….you’ve heard that before. But it’s different this time. Truly!
Thank you again for all of your support and patience during these last few weeks!
So amazing. I’m just gathering materials now to begin my first project in decades. Excited! Thanks for all the delightful inspiration.
You are welcome Joan. Good luck!
Absolutely beautiful art!! I have become mesmerized with your art!! I have always been completely fascinated with dragons. And you bring them to life in an unbelievable way! I will try my hand at this! I’m not an artistic person, but I hope I can come at least close to this! Beautiful beautiful beautiful! I know you’ve been ridiculously busy. But if any of these are for sale. I’d sure like to inquire.. Thanks for sharing all this!! – Chris.
Thanks Chris. Yes, give it a try. It is much more satisfying than getting one from me. And I have just too many requests to take any more right now. Trust me, you can do this. Remember, no one is an artist until they make art. Just start. That’s my advice.
I appreciate all your details – they make it all come to life. I can see how the cloth is just amazing for that. When you say “glue encrusted” knife/pencil, are you dipping it in glue to help you out with the task at hand?
So I’ve got your books and I’m ready to play – hope to show you something soon! 😀
Hi there. No, I don’t dip the knife in glue. Don’t do that. I’m just commenting about how covered my tools are in glue. You are in for some fun. Thanks for the nice comment. Good luck
Congratulations on responding to all those enquiries. I am impressed with how thoughtful you are.
Nice see you back to art! This guy is fabulous!
Hey Lori. I am soooo happy that things have settled down! I just want to do art! But I’m also happy that a lot of people are thinking about this art form. Hope you are well. Happy New Year to you!
Hi Dan. Welcome back. When you soak your cloth in the glue, is it just undiluted white glue? Drogon is coming along great. I love your work and your sense of humour.
Hi Cheryl. I don’t dilute the glue. Full strength is best.
Thanks for the information and all you share with paper mache enthusiasts.
Thank you Agnes!
Who else but you would put gland-ducts in the dragon’s mouth? I’ve always enjoyed your attention to detail. Draconologists everywhere salute you!
Hey Lyman. I’ll tell you what kind of person would think of doing that….it’s a person who would notices something like that. Someone like you! Hope you are well Lyman! And making lots of art! Happy new year to you.
But Dude, lol…you are amazing to answer sooo many comments, I can’t believe you made it. And that you ALWAYS answer so personally, nothing generic from you! Glad you are back to art, wasn’t that quite the complement getting that big rush of fans! Squirt glands, hahaa, you are something else Dan, no doubt you have discovered how they REALLY do breathe fire….!
You are too funny Sue! Yes, I have to admit I was incredibly flattered that so many people enjoyed my videos. What it says to me is that there is a hunger out there for vehicles for self-expression. People want to do some kind of art. Happy new year to you and your family!
Dan, Happy New Year to you and your family. Your talent has inspired me to give this type of art a go in the new year. I’ve visited your site on you tube many times, pausing the video to try and remember the steps. Then I found your instruction video and I was off to the races, so to speak. Thank you for all of your posts, and videos to challenge our own inner talents just waiting to find their medium. Best to you in the new year…. Take care and happy blogging to ya… (Laura)
Glad to hear you are ready to go Laura! Have some fun! And thank you for the nice remarks. I do my posts for people like you who want to give this art form a try.
I “re-found” you on facebook when my son shared a video with me (I had your site bookmarked but hadn’t ‘t been here for a while). So naturally I had to get your book! One question: have you ever used a taxidermy head form as an armature? It seems like it would help with stability as well as give a bit of a head start on things (no pun intended).
Hi Kim. I think it would be fine to use an armature from a taxidermy company. I would feel compelled to change much of it, just so that it didn’t look like a deer. If you try it let me know how it goes. Happy new year.
Hey Dan, Happy New Year to you and all at the dragon enclosure. You are possibly the only person in the world who would even attempt to reply to all those likes, posts, emails, but it’s what makes you a standout artist. Drogon is coming on magically, every addition is inspired. I think you’re right about the fire breathing mechanism. Sounds perfectly logical to me. Looking forward to the video when Drogon actually breathes fire. Keep your fire extinguisher close by, just in case!
Thanks Carol! It’s just been very refreshing to get back to my art. We’ll see how this turns out.
Rowrrr!!! Happy New Year, dude!
You are too funny Jean-Claude. Happy new year to you too!
Hello. like your work. I am a role playing dragon loving person. And I have to try to make my own dragon. So I have a question, Do you use flour when it’s time to put the pieces of fabric or is it some kind of glue. I am looking to mix the glue with water so it does not dry up so fast.
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2014 02:30:57 +0000 To: email@example.com
Hello Michael. I use white glue with the cloth (like Elmer’s or wood glue). I use it full strength. Works better with cloth. Good luck!
Greetings and Happy New Year Dan!
I got to say, the one time I remember us messing with paper mache I could not stand the smell. (I think I was like 6 at the time) Meanwhile 40+ years later here you are making incredible art with it and more incredibly making it look like I could walk into the next room and do the same thing. LOL I know it isn’t that easy. But I think your art has half convinced me to just say the heck with it and try it. Thanks so much for your passion and showing us something a lot of use left behind many years ago and just what can be done with it!
Thank you for the nice comment Tim! I’m very flattered. What you are describing is EXACTLY what I’ve been trying to do for many years. I think this is an under-rated, under-utilized art form. It is a great medium for self-expression. So I’m very happy that you see the possibilities!
Hi Dan! My family found your awesome dragon videos a week or two ago and became intrigued so quickly that we went on Amazon and bought your book right away! Your creatures are so lifelike and colorful that we each wanted to start making our own as soon as we could. I just wanted to congratulate you on your explosion of social media popularity, and thank you for being so friendly and transparent with what you do. It’s not common to find amazing artists who are so willing to share their techniques in such detail and reply personally to comments; it’s very inspirational.
Hi Greta. What a nice note! Thank you very much for your very kind remarks. I think you will all enjoy this medium. I still love it after all of these years.
Let me know if you ever have any questions. I’m always happy to help. Have fun!
Meu Deus que trabalho incrível estou imprecionado com tudoo com a ralidade da arte parabens pelo trabalho muito bom mesmo !!!
Olá Jonattan. Obrigado pela nota agradável! Eu realmente aprecio isso.
I saw your video on FB and was truly impressed. I quickly visited your website and your blog to see if I could but a dragon mask for an upcoming fable themed party I am attending. Disappointed to not find one, I decided to keep reading. What I found is you’re a talented entrepreneur but it’s out of time to keep up with his orders. It’s where I found myself in my business until I figured out how I could leverage my time and talents so I could serve not 1 to 1 but 1 to many. I’d love to tell you about my experience when I hired a business coach to help me leverage my biz. I have nothing to gain from this. I simple see a super talented man who is frustrated by his surge of popularity with viral videos and would love to see you monitize your opportunity. Feel free to email me and we can set up a brief phone call. I’m not selling anything so please know this is a gratitude, pay it forward conversation because I’m thankful what I’ve learned. Cheers and congrats on your success. Scott in DC, the OTHER Washington.
Thank you Scott. I appreciate the sentiment. But I’m not really overwhelmed. There are only so many pieces of art I can make and sell. I make the art for me. And I have my book sales under control again. I don’t think I need coaching. Thanks anyway. Take care
Wow! The flame glands are just spectacular! Of course, the whole thing is spectacular and I particularly like what you’ve done with the horns.
I once knew somebody who started their cover letters “Hey dude…” when applying for jobs. It wasn’t a very successful approach.
I seen your video of one of the dragons and I so want to make one like that. but what kinda cloth do u use for something like this.
Hello Merannda. I just use old bed sheets. The older the better. I note that you bought the book. That will answer all of your questions. Have fun!