Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Year of the Dragon continues...

2012 may be the Year of the Dragon, but I did not exactly set out to draw dragons exclusively.
But that seems to be what is happening...

Meet Pippit:

Pippit is a dragon faery (Draco faerus). A small colourful dragon that lives in the Amazon rainforest. Little larger than a common thrush, dragon faeries mainly dine on insects and eggs, and a deft at capturing butterflies on the wing. They communicate using high pitched whistles that sound not unlike bird call. They are also highly curious and intelligent and love shiny stuff. This they collect and hoard, often stringing it in tree branches or storing it in tree crevices. The male finds a tree that he thinks would make a nice den, and decorates it with all the hoard he can gather. Then he roosts in its highest branches and whistles his most musical tune. The females, upon hearing this, will flock towards him and judge his worth as a mate based on his eye for tree decorating as much as his melodies.

Alas, this dimunitive dragon is highly threatened. Not only because its habitat is disappearing, but also because it is in high demand for the pet trade. Colourful and playful, they make engaging pets and will willingly bond with human companions. Like parrots, however, they are not domesticated and are also very demanding. If ignored, their curiosity will lead them into mischief. Many a dragon owner has come home to find his trinkets rearranged, electronics disassembled and house laid waste to. Dragon faeries are also terrific mimics, and if locked into a cage will emit the most distressing noises they can think of - fire alarms, sirens, dogs barking... Much to the anguish of any neighbours. They are also quite adept at getting out of cages, and need to be padlocked in, as a simple sliding bolt will not hold them for long and their hands are very nimble.

Like many of my characters, Pippit has been around for some time. The idea was that I would write a series of short novels featuring his exploits - from the time when he was captured in the rainforest as a fledgling and taken to live in Victorian England. It was going to be a "history of the world through the eyes of a dragon". But I do not know if I shall ever write it. Meanwhile, here are some older images of him:

In the year 2000, I created the Dragon Faery species.
In 2003, I doodled up my first random sletch of a dragon faery that I called "Pippit".

In 2004, I came up with his current design. More or less.
In 2005, I turned him into an archaetryx type creature.
In 2009, I stuck with the dinosaur design, but went a bit more that way.

In 2012, I decided to give him back his butterfly wings and restore his front legs.

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