8.28/10 rating (118 votes)

Pickle Jar Variations what's this?

8.07/10 rating (14 votes)

9.17/10 rating (6 votes)

Member Comments

Mark B
"Love the night version"
It's excellent

Thu August 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm

"Night Version"
I LOVE the night version... I would love to see it in all the available resolutions... especially the 720x1280 for Samsung Galaxy :)

Thu August 15, 2013 at 11:17 am

I *love* dragons! Is there a chance we can get a multi-screen version of the night render?

Thu August 15, 2013 at 8:34 am

I *love* dragons! Is there a chance we can get a multi-screen version of the night render?

Thu August 15, 2013 at 8:33 am

Ryan, the night version is just awesome. Love it. I give it a 12. Thanks.

Tue August 13, 2013 at 6:06 am

Love the night version!! As something of a night dweller myself, I love when you do night versions of your daytime works, and this one does not disappoint!

Tue August 13, 2013 at 3:20 am

"Fan of your work"
I feel like you could really build on this dragon art. It was a delightful sight to see indeed.I love mystical creatures more than the next person and I feel that you should run with the idea. I recommend this site to everyone I talk to just about and to see what you do is amazing.

sincerely, Kitch

(Cher Peters)

Mon August 12, 2013 at 9:53 am

You said you had lighting issues, yet there's no dragon fire...

Mon August 12, 2013 at 9:14 am

Ryan, I know you've moved on from this piece, but the dragon in the triple - lower left. My question is ... does it have 2 tongues? One flat round tip (above), and one (under) that is forked. Wicked!

Mon August 5, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Anyone thought of making the mushrooms the neon kind?

Thu August 1, 2013 at 11:26 am

even better than the last!

Wed July 31, 2013 at 9:23 pm

And then I actually submitted it twice. I guess that shows how much I like it LOL

Tue July 30, 2013 at 11:57 am

I don't comment often on these, I just quietly admire and download the ones I like. That being said, I have always loved dragonlore and so with the addition of dragons on this, you sir have maintained and solidified your position as my favorite digital artist. I love Anne McCaffery books, and can totally picture this in one of those books.

Tue July 30, 2013 at 11:56 am

I don't comment often on these, I just quietly admire and download the ones I like. That being said, I have always loved dragonlore and so with the addition of dragons on this, you sir have maintained and solidified your position as my favorite digital artist. I love Anne McCaffery books, and can totally picture this in one of those books.

Tue July 30, 2013 at 11:56 am

It's perfect...except that I want a night version. :-D Brilliant as ever. xx

Tue July 30, 2013 at 9:01 am

I'm loving the piece as it progresses. It's wonderful to see how you put things together, change and tweak to just how you want it, as well as take into account the ideas (or corrections in render) from others.

A point of biology - I find it interesting that you gave the right-hand dragon in the triplescreen more of a snake's lower jaw & mouth, rather than a t-rex concept or something else - so the tongue can poke through below the top teeth. Was that what you were trying to portray? Or were you thinking of that at all? :)

Wonderful work, as always!

Mon July 29, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I have been a member for a long time now and I have to say, this one took my breath away. By far, your best work!

Mon July 29, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Interesting indeed. I really enjoyed "The Fountainhead" as a youth and love this sequence...

“Do you mean to tell me that you're thinking seriously of building that way, when and if you are an architect?"


"My dear fellow, who will let you?"

"That's not the point. The point is, who will stop me?”

I reset all of my comments to the slightly large font size so they would stand out better. I've had them posted in my own CSS style for quite a while now so I decided it was time to define that style. They may change again sometime...

Mon July 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm

"RE: The Process..."
Ryan "Your" process is just fine as is. It's yours. Anyone who does not like it is free to go elsewhere. I for one, now and always, say create whatever moves you. You have talent other only dream about (or look at). I'm truly enjoying the journey, and feel honored to share it with you.

Peace my Friend (if I may ...)

PS. LOVE DRAGONS!!! This is my new all time favorite wallpaper. Love the crystal blue eyes.

Mon July 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm

"@ Hoverwolf1"
Interesting post, and terrific Ayn Rand quote. I have several of Rand's quotes that I use as wallpaper; I'll have to add that one. My current favorite applies (sort of) to the topic at hand. "Everyone has the right to make his own decisions, but none has the right to force his decision on others."

Mon July 29, 2013 at 11:07 am

"mobile renders"
missing the iPhone 5 render ...

Mon July 29, 2013 at 9:41 am

Rich A
"Missing mobile render?"
Glad to see the multiscreen renders, but will there be a 720 x 1280 render for HTC 8X / Samsung Galaxy?

Mon July 29, 2013 at 7:41 am

Love it. The dragons on either side of the multiscreens are truely terrifying!

Mon July 29, 2013 at 4:59 am

"re: process"
I love the dragons; in fact, I say the more, the merrier. But, I'm not the artist, so it's not my call...or anyone else's for that matter. Art, by committee, would not be art, because there is no such thing as a collective vision of reality, not in the fundamental sense. (I believe the Communists of the early Russian revolution tried to do art in that manner. It worked out about as well as their economy. ) I love the fact that you allow your subscribers to voice their opinion on your work, even influence it some. However, I believe that it is, fundamentally, your work, and yours alone. If I ever get mad at you about one of your creations, I can always not download it, or quit my membership... although, I find it hard to envision that ever happening. A protracted, online hissy fit simply is not an option. My favorite author is Ayn Rand (Russian, ironically enough) and she once wrote that "Art is an artist's selective recreation of reality". Which means the artwork belongs to its creator, not the perceiver (or subscriber). We merely say "Yes" or "No" to what you've recreated. (Sorry if this seems long, but you posted five paragraphs about the subject in larger than normal font. I assumed you felt strongly about it.)

Mon July 29, 2013 at 3:38 am

Love it, but too many dragons. Limit it to two or three.

Sun July 28, 2013 at 8:35 pm


Sun July 28, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Love it. I wish that instead of making the sunlight more sunset-like and the water blue, to maintain the deep forest color scheme like the original render it would have been cool to leave the lighting as it was and create a green luminescence from the water. However, you're the artist. Not me. I still absolutely friggin love this wallpaper - even before the dragons were put in... and dragons are, as some would say "my thing".

Sun July 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I only gave this one a 9.5/10 because a 10/10 would be my sole wallpaper. I can't claim that as I have over three dozen of your works of art as my wallpapers =)

That aside, I love seeing scenes with dragons. One of my favorites is the gold dragon in a cave, laying on a pile of treasure, guarding its eggs. I've had many people comment on how beautiful that picture is and ask where I got it from. I happily pass on an email with your site's info so they can get it themselves.

Sun July 28, 2013 at 6:56 am

"Re: Process..."
Thank you for the insight into your creative process. No, I don't think anyone would want art by committee; what an unholy mess that would be. I should think your fans are adult enough not to take it personally when you chart your own course. At least, I hope we are. :)

(I wonder if George R.R. Martin was really the first to use that now popular quote? He apparently originally used it in an interview in April 2003. If he was the first, that quote sure has been borrowed from him a lot, by assorted folks such as Ricky Gervais, M. Lamar, and M. David Mullen, just to name a few.)

Sat July 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm

"The Process..."
With this piece I have basically laid bare my artistic process. You've seen it go from a concept to a more complex and "finished" piece. With most artists you will only see the final product and remain unaware of all the choices involved in and possible "alternate universes".

It is completely natural to disapprove of a course-change that I've made in a project. Feel free to express yourself here too, that privilege is included in your Membership. Indeed I hope people never stop posting their opinions on my work!

That said, please don't be mad if I don't heed your advice, or even if I ignore the prevailing advice from time to time. Most times if I've made a mistake (oh yes it does happen!) I will be more than happy to correct it, but it wouldn't be productive if I were to start second-guessing my creativity at every turn.

George R.R. Martin once said that "Art is not a Democracy". I offer my "in-progress" work and Pickle Jar renders to my Members so they can have an insight into my creative process and have something fun to download on a more frequent basis. Is anyone really interested in crowdsourced artwork?

I do welcome all constructive opinions and have no problem with implementing cool ideas. Just don't be mad when I decide to chart my own course. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as the destination!

Sat July 27, 2013 at 10:59 am

stephan ze
Stunning colors the attention to detail is amazing.

Sat July 27, 2013 at 10:58 am

I was thrilled to see the new version with the dragons. I liked Cave of Arches, but I always felt like there was something missing, particularly in the center. The dragons fill that void perfectly. They just tie the whole piece together.

I understand why some people might prefer the other one because you can imagine it as a real place--sometimes I have a similar feeling when there's a giant planet in the sky--but this version just feels like a more complete work and is more aesthetically appealing overall, in my opinion.

Sat July 27, 2013 at 9:23 am

I'm glad you separated the appropriately named Festival of Dragons from Cave of Arches. Now that we can enjoy both renders without having to choose one over the other, I find that I like Festival of Dragons much more than I did before. Unlike some, I like the added dragons. I also like their glowing eyes, and I like the deeper color of the sun rays. So I'm happy to say this has gone from a 4 to a 9. Thank you, Ryan!

Sat July 27, 2013 at 9:07 am

With the sole exception of "Unchained," I'm not a big fan of Western-styled dragons, hence the rating.

However, I love just how blue the water is in this wallpaper. Will there be a pickle jar version with the blue water sans dragons?

Fri July 26, 2013 at 10:13 pm

"10 of 10"
Good for you Ryan! Too many Dragons? You can never have too many Dragons...

Fri July 26, 2013 at 9:51 pm

as usual you've outdone yourself--but I was asleep at the switch.....is there a zip file for dragonfest#1???

Fri July 26, 2013 at 7:17 pm

I was working from the theme "A Festival of Dragons" so that is why I added so many. I'm usually pretty conservative with adding wildlife to my scenes.

Fri July 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

Too many dragons in my opinion, I'd like to see perhaps the one on the ground, and maybe two in the air, an Invader and a protector as such - with the protector chasing the invader through the cavern system - to keep his mate safe :P

Thu July 25, 2013 at 11:32 pm

I had to look closely to see the issues that Harald brought up but I found the problem with the wing and the jagged trunk. A very unnatural angle on it. Cannot see the issues with the leaves. Also the trunk terminates oddly as opposed to going into the ground.

The only thing worth fixing on it would be the tree through the dragon wing, that does look painful, but that being said, still love it and looking forward to a multi screen treatment.

Thu July 25, 2013 at 3:26 pm

sorry trees not walls

Thu July 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm

So is there a way to do like a night version with the dragons and some glowy things on the walls.

Thu July 25, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Awesome! The addition of dragons is great. When is multi-screen coming?

Thu July 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I concur with the comments preferring the dragons. I do like the Pickle Jar variations, but the dragons make it more real. FWIW, listening to Steve Vai in the background ("For the Love of God," studio version, for the overly-precise) while looking at all the detail within the visual worked out nicely, for some reason.

Thu July 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm

I kind-of liked Cave of Arches before, but the addition of the dragons takes it from static and a little boring to active and interesting.

Now it's not just a place, but a place with inhabitants.

Why 9/10 and not 10? Well, I think five dragons is a couple too many, especially when they all look to be roughly the same size and with little or no differences between them. Otherwise though, I prefer the with dragons version.

Thu July 25, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Love it! Love the dragons and it gives the whole piece a different, almost mythical feel. Especially with the sunlight breaking through the trees; something about the whole piece came together just right when you added the dragons. Absolutely your best one ever!

Thu July 25, 2013 at 11:15 am

I love how this piece has come along. I liked the first version, but with each new one it just gets better. The dragons cap it off perfectly. Well done.

Thu July 25, 2013 at 10:42 am

"8... I think"
I really like this piece but I'm not completely sure how to feel about the dragons. They really are kind of out of left field, and even though I like their addition a lot, it sort of detracts from being able to imagine this as a real place.

My real suggestion though is that I think you could get some really really cool effects by doing a night version of this and throwing in some of the bio-luminescence that you do so well... Since it's a cave it should feel pretty standard

Wed July 24, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Jonathan A
Fantastic piece, love the addition of the dragons definitely.

Wed July 24, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Oh neat, dragons! I like when you put actors into the image. Only a 7 so far because the leaves are so repetitive and blocky, AND because the muted colors make the dragons lose detail. Once you have this image as you like it, I'd like some multiscreen versions as always.

Wed July 24, 2013 at 8:48 pm

I love the original and I really enjoy this too. I find that maybe there are too many dragons, 2 or 3 may have been better. Also that tree is protruding through that dragon wing. Poor Dragon xD

Wed July 24, 2013 at 5:10 pm

I love the original and I really enjoy this too. I find that maybe there are too many dragons, 2 or 3 may have been better. Also that tree is protruding through that dragon wing. Poor Dragon xD

Wed July 24, 2013 at 5:10 pm

I love dragons and they just look so natural in this scene, you can imagine that this is the place they would want to live in. I would love a dual screen version it would also be nice if the center one was looking back towards us with is two crystal eyes gazing at us. A really nice bit of work Ryan.

Wed July 24, 2013 at 4:50 pm

But I do hope you'll do multiscreen renders on both versions.

Wed July 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Congratulations, Ryan, for being chosen as the Artist Guest of Honor at Rustycon! That con is a prominent West Coast event in the science fiction and fantasy world, or at least it was when I was attending cons. Now I understand the addition of the dragons. I don't like them any better in this particular render, but I understand it. :) It would be awesome if Rustycon used this on their flyer -- please let us know if they do. It's perfect for their "Festival of Dragons" theme.

Wed July 24, 2013 at 2:37 pm

This last one with the dragons is the best for me. A solid 10.

Wed July 24, 2013 at 10:51 am

"Cool Dragons"
Ryan, I really like the addition of the dragons. They certainly give the piece more energy and life. I've personally downloaded cave of arches with and without the dragons. As just a scenery, it's very deep and immersive, giving the viewer a sense of exotic mystery and adventure. And then the Dragons themselves build on that to add excitement and action. On the whole though, I'd say the piece would benefit from fewer dragons. 2 or 3 would probably be about right.

Wed July 24, 2013 at 10:45 am

I was in love with this piece in its first iteration. The extra foliage Ryan added really brought the piece to life. Then the dragons! Oh the DRAGONS! They finished the piece off and gave the peaceful atmosphere LIFE! I could sit on the bank forever and watch the dragons go about their daily lives, sometimes resting peacefully, sometimes flying around with exuberant energy. Ryan, you have successfully made my day. Thank you.

Wed July 24, 2013 at 8:21 am

I love dragons. However I personally think two would have been just right. The one on the shore and another just having taken off from that point. Maybe a different colour for the dragons. Not sure which. It just feels a little busy but that hasn't stopped me from making it my desktop.

Wed July 24, 2013 at 5:22 am

I thought it was too plain before. I think the dragons add a much needed dynamic. Just made this one my current wall paper. Pretty good one Ryan.

Wed July 24, 2013 at 3:15 am

I somewhat liked the versions without the dragons, but still feel that they add a bit more dynamic to the image. It don't have to be dragons, but the added action make the image, in my opinion, better suited as a desktop/phone background.

It is still not among my top favorites, as I feel too much detail is lost in the light, but it definitely will go into the wallpaper cycle.

Wed July 24, 2013 at 2:20 am

I see a few folks are puzzled by the addition of the dragons. I did add them for a reason however.

A few weeks ago the nice folks at Rustycon (who will be flying me out to Seattle as their Artist Guest of Honor in January) asked me about a piece with dragons to be used on the cover of their flyer. The theme this year is "A Festival of Dragons" so I thought it might be fun to add some dragons to my "Cave of Arches".

Not sure if the Rustycon folks will use this piece or not, but it was fun to make even if it only ends up in the Pickle Jar.

Let me know which version you prefer!

Tue July 23, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Would've been a 10, except for three things:

- the almost paper-thin batch of leaves on the left side of the image looks too unnatural (also in version 4)

- there is a part of the tree trunk on the left side (toward the bottom) also that seems to be chipped off (flip quickly between version 4 and 5 and you'll see a little gap that looks like a little rectangle has been removed)

- a tree seems to go right through the wing of the dragon on the ground

-1 point for each issue I have = 7/10

Tue July 23, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Sweet dragons. I liked this one prior to the addition but let's be honest dragons are awesome.

Tue July 23, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Outstanding work, the detail is amazing! But, where is the pickle jar access for the other versions?

Tue July 23, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Love, love, love the Dragons. Based on other feedback you might need to do to sets of renders because if you don't have a dual screen of this I am gonna be bummed.

Tue July 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Dragon flies, maybe, but not dragons.

Tue July 23, 2013 at 5:08 pm

"10 - Until the Dragons Appeared..."
In my eyes, you had a fine work here -- that is, until the dragons appeared. I have to count myself as firmly in "don't care for dragons" camp. They just don't fly for me (bad pun, I know...). I am not, I suppose, an equal opportunity critter fan. Please keep a dragon-free edition!

Now, straight out of left field, does anyone else see the Titanic sailing in this image? It's there in my (strange) mind's eye!

Tue July 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm

"Dragons not so much"
I was happier when I could imagine this place was real, though I can see why some folks like the dragons. I do hope you'll do multi-screens on more than one of these variations...

Tue July 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm

It's good, but there's just something missing. Adding the dragons took an otherwise average piece and bumped it up, but it just needs something more, and I can't quite figure out what.

Tue July 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Sorry, Ryan, but IMHO you should have quit while you were ahead. The dragons are too much and take the focus away from the primal beauty of the caves.

Tue July 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Blue Thund
Love the Dragons!!!

Tue July 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

This is amazing!! I am not too in to dragons but the one sleeping on the hill puts this over the top!

Tue July 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm

"Cave of Arches"
I like the version which you posted earlier (on Facebook) that did not have dragons but I didn't get to download it yet. Will you be putting it in the pickle jar?

Tue July 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm


Tue July 23, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Okay, okay, I said "Cave of Arches" was a 10, but this is a 12! Love Dragons!!! WAY COOL!

PS. Is that tree going "through" the dragons wing, that's on the ground? Still LOVE IT!!!

Tue July 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm

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