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February 14
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Smaug The Magnificent by mike-nash Smaug The Magnificent by mike-nash

'Smaug The Magnificent' - Inspired by The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. 

Smaug is an iconic dragon, well known within the realm of Fantasy literature, and plays a key role in The Hobbit as the chief terror looming over the story. Ferocious, proud, cunning, greedy and egotistical, he is quite the character, with many a self-proclaimed title, such as Smaug The Magnificent. It became clear that trying to tackle Smaug, armed with either paintbrush or sword, meant needing to go all out. I felt pressure to create something that would suit his reputation, yet not stray too far from some kind of realism and authenticity. Regarding the practical side, as the detail of Smaug's armour grew, I realised I would need to pay equal attention to his surroundings, else risk them feeling sparse and unfinished in comparison. What followed was an attempt at a careful balance of detail, colour, lighting and composition to maintain cohesion and legibility. The result truly is a labour of love and I hope to have done justice to Smaug and Tolkien's world, which so many of us enjoy!

Video Process

Part One -

Part Two -

Part Three - Coming Soon

Art Portfolio -

YouTube -

© 2014 Mike Nash

My sincerest thanks to lovelessdevotions for suggesting this as a DD and to Lyricanna for featuring it. Also, thanks to everyone who has commented. Even though I may not reply to every single one, I do read them and am very flattered! I appreciate the support!

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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-06-20
Smaug The Magnificent by mike-nash.

The suggester said: "The artist carefully endeavoured to capture the magnificence of this legendary dragon and the resulting piece is a stunning molten marvel." ( Suggested by lovelessdevotions and Featured by Lyricanna )
saskewoo Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Student General Artist
This is incredible, he feels huge and imposing in this painting! And the attention to detail is simply stunning.
But I also actually really loved the other one you had on youtube which you unfortunately took down :(
spankingfemfatale Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014
This is gorgeous! =D
Stasy-MacAlister Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014
Wow! Amazing! Like it :3
Malcamon Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
This is unbearable glorious.

-bows head-
mike-nash Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I'm so happy you think so! Smaug is supposed to invoke that exact feeling. It was a big challenge, I'm glad you feel I did him justice!
SHERLOCK221BNW1 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014   Digital Artist
That is amazing. I have no words.

How did you pick your colors, because they are gripping and demand attention. Just like Smaug
mike-nash Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I'm so pleased you think it's effective, especially as it's quite a limited palette! It's all harmonious colours really, with just a touch of blue in the upper corners for contrast.

Smaug was described as a red/orange glow in the darkness, so I tried to do justice to that!

I was mindful to head toward an orange/gold palette instead of yellow. Yellow can look sickly sometimes, when it gets darker and more toward green, so I wanted to avoid that. I feel the impact is actually coming from the contrast, there is a full range of dark to light tones here, which is giving the colour extra punch!
SHERLOCK221BNW1 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014   Digital Artist
Most people (myself included) paint him more red/orange. But after re-reading the passage it fits it perfectly. The glow in the background and all. 

Good call in the avoiding yellow, its such a hard color to work with. I can hardly ever use it consistently because of the whole green issue.

The amount of detail is insane. How long did it take?  And did you have a digital drawing Tablet?
mew2010 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Holy hell this is insane...
The colors, the details... it's just so perfect!!
lava-java Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014
The detail is mind-boggling! :wow: Just... wow. Incredible job!!
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