Facial Development - Doryd

Some of you may notice that I have a picture of the desert filling in for the character named Doryd over on my Ivren Chronicles page. The same is true for the character named Varyn, but we'll cover Varyn's development in a different post.

As it stands, I haven't settled on a full design for Doryd. He's the character that's probably nearest and dearest to my heart, and trying to find the right face shape for him and his species is proving to be a tremendous challenge.

Not only do I have to consider the environment his species comes from, the environment where they currently live, their habits and diet, but I also have to consider Doryd's personality and that my readers' whole experience with this type of dragon comes through Doryd.

Doryd's facial design, version 1.0

His first design was too similar to FlightRising's Ridgeback dragon breed (completely understandable, as that is where the character originated).

Obviously, I can't go around casually stealing Undel's dragon design. The problem I'm having is that Doryd was never exactly a Ridgeback. The first iteration of this story had Doryd as this very shark-like dragon, but sharks don't exactly live in the desert, nor do they burrow in the sand as Doryd's breed is supposed to do.

I decided to try something I've never thought of doing before: adding more limbs!

Scene portraying the 6 legged, 4 winged Doryd.

I decided to ask Terryl Whitlatch for advice on creature anatomy. Her books on the subject are fantastic but nowhere do they really cover the issues I was having ("Should he have eight shoulder joints? Or maybe six shoulders and two pelvises? What does two pelvises even look like???"). Her advice and supporting illustrations were all very helpful, and I'm glad to report my tenacity in emailing one of my art heros paid off!

Unfortunately, Terryl cannot draw my dragon for me; the only way I'd figure out bone structure was just by beginning to experiment with illustrations. The piece above is the end result of that experimentation.

I love the 10-limbed creature so much . . . but I still don't know what to do with his face!

Needless to say, more experimentation is required before I can settle on a face that fits Doryd's personality and the functionality for his species.


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