A while back Jenny emailed me asking how I imagined the dragons in my Dragonkeeper books would look. I told her that I had been inspired by a Han dynasty painting of a dragon. I thought other readers might be interested to see it. It is quite different to the usual images of Chinese dragons that we see.
This dragon looks a lot friendlier, I think. Almost like it’s smiling. And most importantly, it’s got wings. Normally Chinese dragons don’t have wings. I didn’t imagine that Danzi was as skinny as this dragon.
This image is a section of a painting on silk found in a Han dynasty tomb. It’s more than 2000 years old.
(Image from Zhongguo kao gu da fa xian by Gong Liang, Shandong hua bao chu ban she, 1999)