I guess the whole Ian’s Realm Saga started from my secret desire to paint a dragon.
If I wrote a book about dragons, then I’d be forced to paint one eventually, wouldn’t I?
I threw the idea out to some of my grandchildren. They were immediately inspired!
So I thought I had better get busy before they get too far ahead of me. This is, after all, a story for them…from me.
So I went to the art supplier in Port Townsend. Our local suppliers don’t carry large canvas and I knew the dragon in this story was going to be big. I mean really big! Well, at least as big as my little Honda Fit can carry. Which turned out to be 36 X 48.
I’ve never painted a dragon before. I knew what I wanted him to look like, kind of. I bought a little plastic dragon sculpture thinking I could study how light might shine on a dragon…but it dropped off my table and the wings fell off before I had a chance to study the lights.
So I scrambled together some sketches, some photos of horses, a rhinoceros and any kind of wicked reptile I could find…lizards, gila monsters…and some excerpts from my story that describe the dragon. Slowly he emerged from the stormy skies.
I think the very hardest thing I ever painted in my life was a dragon. I’m used to having models to sit for me. Needless to say, I couldn’t find a dragon to sit still long enough.
So in the process I started posting my WIP on my blog (it’s probably still there somewhere at http://dragontargeseries.blogspot.com/ ) and decided I needed a name for this very personal marble-eyed monster. I held a blog contest and got quite a wonderfulcollection of names. Because there are different ethnic groups in the Realm, we went with a few different names, the most common being Stenjheart, or Stone Heart.
Well, being the wild person that I am, I thought it’d be kind of cool to add a little gold leaf to the mix.
some scales and claws…
Well, I let Stenhjaert sit for awhile, quite pleased that I finally painted a dragon. That is until I finished Deception Peak. I needed a cover. I couldn’t use Stenjhaert. The dragon was for the second book, The Dragon Shield.I needed a mountain. Besides, Stenjhaert was cramped. His wings didn’t spread out. His tail was just about missing…
So I went back to Port Townsend and bought two more 36 X 48 panels.
Since this book was a trilogy, I’d use each panel for a book cover…and they’d all connect.