Work in Progress Artwork – Phoenix Bird Drawing

Phoenix Bird Sketch

Phoenix Bird Drawing Sketching & Drawing a Phoenix Hello friends, I know it’s been awhile again since I’ve posted here, I really need to get my artwork posted more frequently! Anyways, I’ve been busy still working on a few different projects, a couple of book projects with Dr. Carl Welliver, Ph.D.. These couple of projects … Read more

Pencil Drawings – Cars

drawing a car adding color with Prismacolor markers

Pencil Drawing of a Sports Car – part 1 Hey there! Just thought I’d share what I’ve been up to lately…no, I didn’t die, lol. And, actually this sports car is a drawing I’ve meant to share here for quite awhile and kind of forgot about it…just been way too busy with another project recently. … Read more

Fantasy Dragon Art – Making of the “Storm Dragon”

Original version of the Storm Dragon

Drawing & Painting Fantasy Dragon Art

Hey there!

Just thought I’d finally do something with one of my earlier sketches that I shared here in digital format as sort of a simple sketch showing what the app Fresh Paint can do.

Well, I actually was aiming to enter it in a contest, but unfortunately it just didn’t get done in time…but, oh well….at least it’s done now.

Well, maybe…then again I might still add a few things, but we’ll see.

The Drawing or Digital Sketch

Okay, in case you haven’t seen the original sketch that started the whole thing here it is below

sketch of the storm dragon
Basic rough sketch for my version of a storm dragon ~ Click image to enlarge


Adding Details – Scales & Rocks

After looking at the sketch for awhile, I realized I had to start making out some details!

Dragons usually have some type of scales…so I began adding those, which took awhile in getting the placement the way I wanted, since yes, I’m still working on this digitally…using a mouse and no special tools at all…it’s just the Fresh Paint app and whatever brushes, pencils, and tools it offers for free.

Using just a mouse can be quite a challenge…but, if you’re determined you’ll get the hang of it. I know there are better ways such as using a drawing tablet, but since I don’t own one yet, I’ll work with what I got.

dragon sketch adding scales
Here I’ve added scales to the dragon and basic rock formation ~ Click image to enlarge


Adding an Under Layer of Color to the Dragon Wings

Next, I moved onto the wings of the dragon and added an undertone like you would if you’re actually painting with real paint…

Thought I’d see how it turns out and if it’s actually like painting.

So I mixed raw umber, burnt umber, and Prussian blue in varying amounts to make different shades for the under layer of it. The darkest color in the wings is the burnt umber mixed with the Prussian blue and the lightest is the raw umber.

I also used pale yellow on the lightest areas of the wings, which needed to stand out.

But, one thing to note is that these colors all mixed over the original background of the wings, which is a gray or silvery color. If you don’t want it to do this, you can use the little fan found in the bottom toolbar of Fresh Paint to dry the paint first.

Anyways, here’s the results of adding color to the wings…

adding color to the wings of the dragon
Adding an undertone layer of color to the dragons wings ~ Click image to enlarge

Turning a Gray Blob into Rocks

Well, looking at the previous image, it’s kind of hard to tell what the dragon is leaning upon isn’t it?

It could be a bunch of rocks or boulders, but who knows…could be a flat Good Year blimp too.

So, realizing that I needed some areas of light and shadows, I started messing about with some burnt umber, Prussian blue, indigo, and sky blue…maybe a dab of dark red and medium gray, and brown ochre…

I remember adding all these colors to my palette…but, whether I used all of these, of that I’m not too positive now, lol.

adding detail to dragon painting
Here I’ve added some details to the rocks the dragon is resting on ~ Click image to enlarge

Adding Color to the Dragon’s Body

And, a bit more details to the rocks…

Using yellow and yellow ochre with a tiny dab of raw umber I added an under layer to the storm dragon’s body…well, what you see of it anyways.

What the heck am I doing eh?

dragon resting on rocks adding more shadows
dragon resting on rocks – adding more shadows to the rocks and color to dragons body

Adding the First “Real” Layer of Color to the Wings

Well, you didn’t think I was going to  leave it like that did you?

Nah, of course not! There is much to do yet!

So, I added some blue, dark red and indigo to get this….

adding 1st real color to the dragon wings
Here I’m adding 1st real color to the dragon wings ~ Click image to enlarge

Adding Some “Real” Color to The Dragon’s Body

Next, I added some of the same colors I used in it’s wings to add a layer of paint to the body.

And, as you can see I had a moment of experimentation on its wing here….

hmmm, should I keep that streak of light color blue?


adding 1st real color layer to dragon body
Here I’m adding 1st real color layer to dragon body ~ Click image to enlarge

You’re probably wondering what on earth is that crazy lady thinking…

Why is she adding such a different color on its wing, just why?

Truth is, I wasn’t quite sure yet…but, I kinda liked it there, lol! So, I didn’t want to get rid of it just yet.

Coloring the Dragon’s Head

So, we’re almost there! Adding that “real” color layer to its neck and head along with some little details in the head area…

adding real color to dragon head
Here I’m adding the layer of real color to dragon head and neck ~ Click image to enlarge

Now, yes I know….

I left that little blue streak on its wing still.

What on earth is that supposed to be?

Am I going to leave it there or what?

Did I….uh, forget about that?

Well, there’s a reason I ended up calling this one “The Storm Dragon.”

If you noticed the yellow, almost electric-like lines or fissures between its scales?

These little yellow lines, along with that little blue streak got me thinking of what it could become…

And finally,

The Storm Dragon has Arrived!

So, I got a bit crazy with all kinds of lighter colors and added these little mini lightning bolts…

and it was finally done! Whew!

fantasy dragon art making of the storm dragon
Fantasy Dragon Art – The Storm Dragon ~Click image to enlarge

Well, maybe it’s done…for now it is again anyways. But, I just might do a little bit to that background yet.

Thank you for checking out my version of the Storm Dragon! Hope you enjoyed it…

And, if you did, please share it! I’d greatly appreciate it.

What do you think…any questions or comments? Have you ever used the Fresh Paint app before?

I’d love to hear from you…

UPDATE!!! (March 15, 2017)

Like I mentioned before I might do something more…

And, after thinking awhile on what I wanted it to look like I came up with quite a different look.

Changing it to …

The Twilight Storm Dragon


fantasy dragon art twilight storm dragon

(Click image to enlarge. )

Yes, I must admit it…

I went bit crazy on this…

And, somehow I actually ended up with not just this version, but another much lighter one as well…

It’s yet another story on how that happened…maybe I’ll have to write another post on it…**

What do you think? Much better looking, or did I go too far?

Again, I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments about anything…

And do please share it if you liked it! I’d truly appreciate it 🙂

**Update** – I finally got some more done and did get one of my dragons entered into a contest recently…actually the one above, The Twilight Storm Dragon is the one I entered into a contest last week at Fine Art America…just for fun and to get more eyeballs on my artwork, be it as it may.

Plus, I went ahead and made a few different versions of it just to show what can be done using a couple of free apps. These can be found here on Drawings of Dragons – Using Fresh Paint & PicsArt

**BTW sorry about the watermarks…they’re annoying I know. There are NO watermarks on the prints, posters, or any other item you might order through my page at Fine Art America/Pixels of course!** FYI, I’ll be adding these there soon! *Twilight Storm Dragon is available there now, along with the lighter original version of the Storm Dragon (not the one shown above, without a background) featuring the dragon with lighter orange-colored clouds.

I haven’t added these prints yet to my pages here, but you can find them at Fine Art America by going to my other art for sale on my Prints & More page.

Need something similar done for you? Feel free to contact me with an idea of what you’d need done. Just hit the contact us button at the bottom right and fill out the boxes there, and I’ll get back to you asap to work out the details. I usually reply back within 48 hours.


Black Cat Art – Oil Painting of the Black Cat


Black Cat Art & Oil Painting Hey again! I know…it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything! But, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy… Awhile ago, I’d joined a group of artists that love painting as much as I do called Painting the Old Way. This means no digital effects on the artwork and no … Read more

Buffalo Head Drawings -Part 2

buffalo head part 2 update

Hey there, fellow Art Lovers! Okay, it’s been a long time since I worked on this one…the Buffalo Head Drawing! So, I thought I’d better get to it and did some more work on this one using the Fresh Paint app to add some more details to the feathers and another layer around it’s neck. … Read more

Pencil Sketches – Drawings

pencil sketches drawings of a caribou

Pencil Sketches & Drawings – Just for Fun …and, more importantly, Practice! Yes, practice…it does make a difference in your drawings. The more you draw, the better you get at it. So, if you want to become a better artist then… practice! and even if you’re not too bad at something…it never hurts to draw … Read more

Pencil Drawings – Horses

pencil drawings horses adding background 2

Realistic Pencil Drawings of Horse Hey there, Just adding in a few images of the latest work in progress. I started out drawing it in pencil, which is the image shown below: Although for this sketch to show up here, I had to darken the outline a lot. Otherwise, you wouldn’t see it since the … Read more

Buffalo Head Drawings

Buffalo Head Drawings

Buffalo Head Drawings – A Work in Progress Recently, I started out drawing one of my hubby’s favorite animals…the buffalo. Well, at least it’s huge, furry head. Eventually, I’ll get around to drawing the whole animal. So, here it is…my first buffalo head drawing progress. Buffalo Head Drawings I’m currently working on… Starting with this….. … Read more

Oil Painting Flowers – Part 2

Twilight Rose the Dead Layer

Oil Painting Flowers – The Twilight Rose part 2 Adding Color to Your Oil Painting This is the second part of my original post on oil painting flowers, in which the color will be added in another translucent layer of oil paint… yes, paint right over everything again…but, this time instead of black, white, and … Read more

Oil Painting Flowers – Part 1

Oil painting flowers

Oil Painting Flowers Using The Flemish Technique

Well, I never thought I’d take so much time painting a flower of all things…

but, since I’m trying to get as realistic a look as possible I didn’t want to rush either…oil painting in this way requires a lot of drying time you know…

at least that’s my excuse…

This is the latest oil painting I’ve been working on using the techniques of the old masters…


oil painting flowers basic steps of painting with oil paint
Finished oil painting of a dark red rose


This rose was painted on a 12 x 16 inch canvas board and unframed at the moment….there are prints of this and more available, but I’ll get to that later!

As for the original, I’ve added the works in progress photos I actually remembered to take during the steps of oil painting…probably because I had to stop at certain points to let the paint dry, lol.

Otherwise, once I’m busy working on something…well, I get carried away and the world around me ceases to exist.

Painting in Oil Using the Flemish Technique

There are many different ways to paint with oil paints and even the same techniques I’ve found such as the Flemish Technique can be adapted to the artist’s preference on things such as drying times…at least to a point. I’ll get to that in a minute though…

The Flemish technique is basically meaning painting in several layers and can be quite daunting to try when you see all the steps that have to be done in order to complete a finished painting…it takes some time, but it’s not as hard as you might think.

The thing that takes the most time is actually…

waiting for the paint to dry!

Steps of Oil Painting

The Drawing or Outline

This is the first thing you’ve got to do if you really want it to look like whatever you’re trying to paint. You need a basic outline on the canvas first…even many of the great masters did this!

How to draw on canvas and with what?

There’s a few options you can choose to do:

  • Draw on paper first – then use carbon paper underneath your drawing as you trace over the whole outline usually with a pen….or,
  • Use a pencil on the back of the drawing and scribble away…cover the whole back of your drawing with pencil and it’ll work just like using carbon paper. Then do just as you would in the first method…trace over the whole outline on the drawing with a pen (or a blunt-pointed object) and there you’ll have it!
  • Draw it free hand – a little risky, but it depends on your drawing skills…just draw very lightly, so you can barely see it at first, then darken it a bit…oh, so important to darken the lines as I’ve learned from stupid mistakes…
  • Use an image projector – well, first you still need the image of what you’re painting…so, either use a photo or use the drawing you made.

Which one did I use for the Twilight Rose painting?

Well, I  figured it’s just a basic outline is all that is needed… So, why not just draw it freehand? And, with that thought in mind, I drew it free hand, very lightly on the canvas mind you.

But, here’s my stupid mistake…which I’m mentioning in hopes that you avoid doing it too!

I forgot to make it darker or maybe I used the wrong type of pencil…Oops! A regular pencil works, such as an HB or a good old #2.

Or, you can even use ink or a thin paint if you wish to go over the outline…just make sure it is dry before moving to the next step. I still have to try using ink or paint to do an outline though, so I’m not sure of the results, but it’s something some artists prefer doing.

Anyways, a long story short…after doing the next step here, the imprimatura layer, my drawing completely disappeared!

So, what I ended up with was a beautiful sort of light olive canvas…and, not a trace of the drawing! Imagine the horror…all that time spent drawing oh, so carefully, so as not to mess up…gone, all gone…

So, of course, what I ended up doing was drawing it all over again, but this time on the painted canvas…

Well, somehow I got it pretty close to what it should look like…good enough to go with anyways and on to the next step…yes, I was impatient to get started with actually painting!

 The First Step of Oil Painting – The Imprimatura Layer

When beginning the Flemish technique it requires you to start with a first layer of paint called the imprimatura layer, which is basically an olive-hued layer of paint added to the whole canvas.

twilight rose imprimatura layer
imprimatura layer of an oil painting

This one basic layer will take about a week or so to dry…

but, then again it doesn’t HAVE to be this way.

It doesn’t have to take a week or more…

You can get the same result by using Acrylic paint (gasp!) for this first layer and cut down drying time to about 30 minutes to an hour or so…it depends if you add any kind of other medium to it, but I just added a tiny bit of water to make the paint really thin.

One thing I should mention about this layer…and I want to make it transparent here…

Make sure you can see your outline under the paint…test a small area of the canvas where your outline is first! Don’t do what I did…and lose your whole drawing!

Add enough water to make the Acrylic paint transparent or see through. You should be able to see through it to your palette underneath after you’re done mixing it. **(If you’re using the traditional Flemish method and using oil… add linseed oil not water!)**

Let it dry! Painted surface should feel dry to the touch before continuing…

Next,  you need to put a thin layer of linseed oil on your whole canvas and wipe off any excess oil with a clean, dry rag. And, then…guess what?

You can break out the oil paint! Woohoo!

Well, one tube anyways….but, hey you’re off to a great start!

The Second Step of Oil Painting – The Umber Layer 

The umber layer, which is also known as the underpainting, is the foundation of the oil layers that will be added later.

Which color do I use for the umber layer?

Sure, maybe it’s obvious to some…but, maybe not to the beginner who is just starting out…

Burnt Umber Oil Paint is what most artists use on the Umber layer…or, at least those I’ve been researching so far.

This layer is actually one of the most important parts of the painting…it sets the whole tone for the evening…ahhh, rest of the layers.

And, it’ll turn out something like this…

Twilight Rose Umber Layer
The Umber Layer of an oil painting


This layer is basically setting out the tones from dark to light in a thinned out, transparent burnt umber oil paint. For this step, I just used a tiny bit of the burnt umber oil paint mixed with a bit of linseed oil to make it more transparent.

Remember, there is already the wet oil on the canvas, which will make it go quite smoothly. I’d suggest trying out your paint mix in the darkest toned corner of the background of the painting first. That way you can see how transparent your mix of the umber paint is without ruining your drawing…

Remember: Once you start with oil paints the pencil marks will get lost!

Starting in the darkest area of the background you can always add more paint if it’s not dark enough, but if you start in the lightest area and it’s too thick yet, then you’ll lose that lighter area…unless you wipe it all off with a rag and start again.

Anyways, looking at this in hindsight, I probably could’ve made the bottom right corner a bit darker…and some of the areas in the rose too…oh, well. It still got done!

Once you get to the actual subject, such as the rose here, then look at your reference photo or drawing and see where the shadows lie within it. These areas will need the darker tone than the rest…where it looks black on your reference photo. These areas won’t matter too much if you can see through the paint as much, depending on how you want it to look.

Now, the light areas…keep the paint thin in these areas. Adding just a tiny bit of the paint mixture on your brush will do. Don’t worry…it’s not as hard as it sounds and like I mentioned using a clean rag will wipe it off. Or, if it’s a tiny spot that has too much paint, use a corner of that clean, dry rag to dab at it and it should take some of the paint out.

So, there it is…block in the tones like this with the umber layer and you’ll be off to the next step!

But, do let this dry first, before going on to the next step…it might take a week or so depending how much linseed oil you added.

The painting should feel dry to the touch before moving on to the next layer of paint!

The Third Step of Oil Painting – The Dead Layer

Sounds rather sinister doesn’t it? No, there’s nothing dead that you add to your paint!

The dead layer or grisaille is yet another layer over the previous two layer of oil paint, but in shades of grey with black on one end of the spectrum and white on the other.

Yes, you need to paint over everything you just painted again…but using two colors this time, mars black and titanium white, and blending them together to make the different shades of grey.

This is what it should  look like once you get the subject of your painting done in these dead layers…

Twilight Rose the Dead Layer
The Dead Layer or Grisaille of oil painting a rose

Start with the actual subject of your painting with the dead layer, not the background. But, you do need to also do the background afterwards in this fashion before adding color to it.

Remember to keep the dark tones more transparent and the white or lighter ones a bit more opaque.  In other words, use thicker paint for the white areas. Notice, you can still see the color showing through this dead layer if you look closely…

Ahem…I seem to have forgotten to take another picture of this when I finished the dead layer of the background. I knew it! I knew I’d forget something…

Anyways, before going on to the next step, remember to do the dead layer of the background too! The whole painting should be in tones of black, white, and gray….And, oh yes, LET IT DRY!

Well, we’ve covered the first three steps of oil painting using the Flemish Technique here so far…and the steps I took to paint my own oil painting using this method…

Try it out for yourself…and, I’ll be adding a second part of this post going over adding color and the finishing steps of the oil painting sometime soon!

If you made it all the way to the end here…Thank you for reading!

I hope this helps you out and gets you started on your own painting! If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment box below…


Want to learn the remaining steps of oil painting using the Flemish technique?

I recently finished the second part of this post, sooo…

⇓⇓Click the link below to finish reading⇓⇓

⇒>>Oil Painting Flowers Part 2!<< ⇐


Oh,  and about those prints...

Choose what size you like, frame, and on a variety of surfaces including gallery wrapped canvas, metal, gift cards, tote bags, & more ….

Interested in buying a print to hang on your wall or learning what other items you can have this artwork printed on? Then please,

 ⇒ >>Click here to find out more<< ⇐

Best wishes 🙂 -Sherry

digital dragon sketch

Using the fresh paint app to create from scratch this is the first sketch or rough digital drawing below.

digital dragon first sketch

I then used the picsart app to add text (your site name) to your photo. In the featured image I also added a texture to the image using picsart textures. Here it is once I was done with it…

digital dragon with site name2 textured with picsart

Well, not quite done….I’ll be doing more to this in the future…adding shading and color at some point.

***UPDATE – March 15, 2017***

If you’d like to check out what this digital dragon sketch has become, you can check it out on my post Fantasy Dragon Art – making of the Storm Dragon.