In Dragon Steed, came Fairy Glamour - with Twist of Tale, and Runic Glyph. Donned in Yellow, donned in Tribal - came Princess Royal, and Dragon Emperor:
I like the fact that this Dragon, is full of Mystery - yet still speaks Imperial. The Mystery comes from the Glamour that exists - between this Dragon, and his Rider. The Imperial comes from the Majesty of this Dragon - which at first appears to contradict, the Tribal of the Princess. And it is here, that Steve fuels the engagement of his artwork, as I find myself wondering at the connection - between this Dragon, and his Tribal Princess. For me, it is a connection, that I find is swathed in Fairy Glamour - and is best explained, through the consideration of three points. First: there's no doubt, that this is a Chinese Dragon ... For this Dragon's head, bears two whiskers and a beard - as you would expect, of a Wizened Chinaman. This Chinese stance, is also reflected by the position of the Dragon's head (dominating the centre of the artwork), and the predominant yellow of the Dragon - as both are associated with Chinese Yin and Yang (meaning the centre of everything). Added to this, is the weight of the Dragon's highlights and tones, which both tend towards Gold - as in Ancient China, was it only the Emperor that was allowed to wear such Golden Attire (as in Dragon Symbols made of Golden thread). Second: there's no doubt, that this is a Tribal Princess ... She is adorned with Runes (especially upon her face), that suggest to me, that she is a part of a Ruling Dynasty. Added to this, is the fact that her left-arm/shoulder is covered in Tattoos - and we start to feel, that she's some kind of Warrior. This believe is in-turn, refined by the Robes of the Regal (her Purple Gowns), which makes me feel that she's some kind of Warrior Princess - who perhaps has Magical Powers, owing to the stance of her arms. But here do I find a contradiction with/to the Dragon. For this Princess does not in-fact, speak to me at all, of a Traditional Chinese Lady - especially in terms of her appearance! Third: when the Dragon and the Princess are taken together - there's no doubt, that were in the Realms of Fairy Glamour ... For if we follow the Curves of the Princess's hair (the highlight browns), then we see that the top-right of the Dragon, also has similar Braids of hair (albeit on a larger scale) - which I feel, are akin to the Grounding Roots of this Dragon and his Kin. If we then follow the Runes of the Princess's Tattoos, then we see that the Dragon, is also adorned in Runic Glyphs - which I feel, are akin to the Binding Bounds of this Dragon and his Kin (the Dragon's Runes goes far beyond, the simple edges of his Metallic Armour). If we then follow the Curves of this Dragon's yellow, then we find the Divine of this Princess's form - which with the Braids of this Dragon's hair (middle right), and the Patchwork of her Regal Dress (especially on her legs), spoke to me of the Spirit of this Dragon: a Golden Yellow Chinese Dragon, that knows his place, within the Roots of this Earth! For this Dragon and his Dragon's Spirit (the Princess) - spoke to me of a Chinese Element called Wu Xing (Earth), and the Wards of his Emperor :) If that were so, then I feel that Steve has used a powerful Artist's Technique - to convey the Mystery of the Imperial ... The stronger foreground tones, of the Dragon's head and Princess - both capture the Authority, and the Clarity of an Emperor. Where as the lighter background tones (towards the left of the artwork), help capture the Mysteries of an Elemental Dragon - whose Winding Tail, fades in Clarity, towards the Centre of the Earth, just as a Root would do :) Overall: an amazing Chinese Dragon, that still owes his Lineage - to the Ancestral Eastern Dragon. This Chinese Dragon, has an Eastern Dragon's body (long and serpentine), an Eastern Dragon's intelligence (knowing eyes, beard and whiskers) and an Eastern Dragon's association with one of the Five Elements (Wu Xing - Earth). In Slender Vines, with Paths of Rune - came Chinese Dragon, Emperor's Wrath!