More than you ever wanted to know about a fuzzy silver thing

There has been some confusion in the past concerning Sidian and the various forms and images she has appeared in. And so, though I have considered it in the past, I finally decided to sit down and write up a page about her, in hopes of alleviating some of this confusion. Also, people seem to be extremely interested in Sidian, and that, coupled with my desire to clear up some misconceptions and perhaps explain some of the reasons Sidian is the way she is, and why I'm so picky about her, led to my decision to get my butt in gear and write this page. Please forgive its disjointed nature.

It's been a long time since Sidian was "born", so you'll have to please excuse me if I cannot remember some of the exact details concerning her earliest incarnations. And I apologize to those who have no desire to know anything about the artist behind said incarnations, because delving into the past of that which is Sidian also delves into the past of she who sits behind the keyboard and holds the pencil. So if all you were hoping for was a page full of Sidian art, move along, as this page is much more than that.

To start, I have to delve rather deep...
I have always been an animal enthusiast...Surrounded by pets growing up, encouraged in my love for animals and nature. I enjoyed, and still do, watching nature documentaries of all sorts and spending time outdoors in the company of nature and wildlife. I love to birdwatch, fish, hike, and just be outdoors. I love to read, and so was constantly reading about animals. I am fascinated by life, and knew at a very young age that I wanted to work with animals "when I grew up." Likewise, I've always had a love for fantasy...Unicorns, pegasi, griffons, dragons...all things fantasy. I've drawn animals, and created my own strange creatures, since I could hold a pencil. Perhaps someday I'll dig out and redraw some of those scary old creatures.
When I was around 10, my brother introduced me to two things: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, and Dragonlance novels. I became hooked on both, and began reading all the Dragonlance books I could get a hold of. The first one I read was "The Legend of Huma", by Richard Knaack. This remains my favorite book to this day. When I read about the silver dragon in that book, something just clicked.
When I was 11 or 12, a good friend of mine began telling me she was a witch (which has since been explained away as ritalin-induced hallucination). She went into all sorts of detail, including the fact that everyone has an animal that represents them. A spirit animal, if you will. After many long conversations and picking apart of odd dreams, she determined that I was a sorceress, silly as it was. Along with an animal half, we were supposed to also have three different names: our given name, our nickname, and our spirit name. It all sort of bewildered me at the time. I knew instantly that my "animal" was a dragon. A silver dragon. As for the two other names, I had no idea. I thought on it long and hard, until it just came to me one day, out of the blue. I wish I could say that it was told to me in a dream or something equally deep and meaningful, but it didn't happen that way. I was just sitting there, thinking, and it popped into my head. I knew upon saying it out loud that it was my name, spirit or nickname, I didn't know, and frankly didn't care. I frequently "played" at phantom-shifting into Sidian. Ten years later, looking back, the whole thing is very silly, even absurd, but the name and "animal" stuck.
When I was 12, I made an AD&D character. I named her Sidian, and she was an elf with silver hair, like the shapeshifted silver dragons in the Dragonlance books. The whole weredragon concept came up shortly afterward, at which point the role play Sidian became one. I played her in AD&D campaigns with my local role play group (I usually DMed) for a couple of years before I found internet chats. When I did, my nickname was always Sidian. I didn't even have to think about was just a given. I started out on Prodigy in cheesy teen chat rooms, until I found some free form role play rooms there, and started to frequent them. Again, I played Sidian, as a weredragon, usually just a dragon in elven form. I lost my Prodigy account, and was internet-less for almost a year, after which I found mIRC. I was 15. Clueless as I was, I just picked the server with the word "chat" in it, and ended up on chatnet. Again, I spent most of my time in teen chat channels, until I found a couple of role play channels and began frequenting them instead. All this time, I had still been playing Sidian the AD&D character, and by that time, the weredragon concept had become a bit more developed. I played Sidian on Chatnet, and came up with other characters to play as well, but they're not important to this story.
Two years later, due to some internet searches and the word of a friend, I found furries, and then Yiffnet. I loved the art and was intrigued by the first, anyway. I decided, after some looking around, that me and my art could fit in there. It required giving the role play Sidian a bit of an overhaul, however...I made her "furry"; that is, I gave her "normal" clothing and a "normal" attitude, abandoning her RP history.  After quite some time in the fandom, I began to notice things about it that really didn't appeal to me at all. I met a lot of really fun and interesting people and fantastic artists. A fellow artist and fan pointed me to, a graphical chat. The art there was done by Goldenwolf, an artist I had seen before and been very impressed by. I found out she lived an hour from me, and upon meeting her online, quickly arranged a real life meeting that weekend. We spent the entire night drawing and talking. She told me about therianthropy and her views, and again, something just clicked. Many long conversations, and one moonlit run in the mountains later, Sidian had taken on a whole new meaning to me. She was my other half, and I'd finally figured it out. My love for dragons was followed closely by my love for wolves, and for a while, I was fairly certain I was wolf as well as dragon. I figured out, with Goldie's help, that I'm fully dragon, with simply a great love for wolves. Perhaps the wolf is my spirit animal or totem...or perhaps I'm just a wolf fan.
These days things are much more clear to me, having finally come to terms with who and what I am, and who and what Sidian is, and what she means to me.

Drawing Sidian has always been an interesting undertaking, as her image has shifted and changed in my mind's eye. It's not always entirely easy to "see" her...It's like looking through a dirty, cracked glass window at her while she moves around. Bits and pieces come into view little by little, allowing me to only gradually piece together her whole. Thusly, she's changed a few times as my image of her has become more clear. A few things that have always remained constant, however...She's always been metallic silver; her horns have always been loose "S" curves; she's always had two silver earrings in each ear and a silver ring halfway down her left horn; her hair/mane has always been white; her eyes have always been ice blue. I've run into a few speedbumps along the way, but I'm fairly certain I've finally stumbled upon her true image..Or at least as near to it as I can get at this point. This is her evolution of image...

I first drew Sidian when I found the chatnet role play channels. In fact, all of my first drawings of Sidian related to role play. The drawing was of her in hybrid (anthro) form, and it was oooh so scary, and (fortunately) I lost it some time ago, and don't have it online to show. It was a pencil drawing, and showed my complete lack of any sense of proportion or anatomy. At the same time, I drew a picture of her dragon form, which I didn't lose...
This shows the true horror that was my drawing ability when I was 15. Fear it, my friends...fear it..

Second time I drew her was also fairly scary, and unfortunately, I have it to show...Her hybrid form.

And third, again in hybrid form.

Not sure exactly when I drew this, chronologically speaking, but it's my first shot of her in elven form. This probably came after the second drawing of her in hybrid form.

Around the same time, I did a version of her in full dragon form, which was ruined by a drink spill shortly afterward. No real loss there. God only knows why I was using this shitty ass paper.

The date on this one is also unclear, though it obviously came after the others. Her hybrid form again. Check out that brow.

Life went on, I found the furry fandom. I changed Sidian accordingly to "fit in", as I saw it. This was  the start of my road to discovering her true image, the point at which she evolved from just a "character" to something more. She represented me. There was still a lot of RP in my blood, however, so she had a couple of "forms" in which I played, though in the end it was just dragon...It's always been dragon.

This is the first time I drew her "furry". Does it frighten you? Do you want to cry?
This is her wolf form. It hurts to look at.
And this is her "inbetween" form. The dragonwolf. It's so bad. So very bad.

She stayed this way for a while, and there were more than a few pictures done of her in this furry stage, mostly just her dragon form. I'll list them here:
Sidian charging. I was unhappy about my shoddy net connection and expressed it artistically.
This picture is the same pissy mood.
A sappy sketch of Sidian realizing that yes, she too is affected by bouts of "yiffiness".
I was happy. I was in love. Need I say more?
Some frightening naked pics of Sidian. Crap and crap revisited.
A pic of Sid's full dragon form. She occasionally shifted to this rather than anthro for no apparent reason. Just 'cause.
She's landing. Look at that waist. Dear god...
At one point, I wondered what Sidian would look like if I drew her more like the real me.
This was a "how to" guide for Sidian at this juncture.
A sad Sidian.
Another, sadder Sidian.

It was around this point that I met Goldenwolf and my life and my image of Sidian changed entirely. I hung out with her for a weekend, and she did some fanart of me, how I described myself to her. You can see it here.
I nearly shat myself upon receiving this pic. It kicks ass, but illustrates well how deeply sucked into the "furry" image I was.
Shortly afterward, I went on a full moon "run" with Goldie. I "shifted", as it were. The dragon side, which I refer to as Sidian in general, eclipsed the human, and I was set free. It sounds silly or crazy, but it's not that way. It's referred to "officially" as a "phantom shift". This can be confused with a mythical "physical shift", as they are both often referred to as "p-shifting". Anyway...In a phantom shift, you feel the missing limbs of your animal side...the spirit takes over...I felt wings, horns, longer ears, a tail, claws, etc. I ran barefoot through a mountain canyon, leapt up rocks without hesitation that I normally would have climbed carefully and worriedly. I did things I never would have done normally, and it felt great.
When we got home, I set to drawing what I felt was my "were side". As I mentioned before, I was convinced I was both dragon and wolf, so this is what came forth. Scary thing, ain't it?
It didn't last long. Goldie swore to me that I had to be just dragon, from what she'd witnessed when we went running. I believed her, and the wolf was gone.
I think I just WANTED to be wolf, rather than really feeling it.

After this experience, the same old "furry" Sidian just wasn't right. I couldn't stand the teeny-bopper shorts and halter top look. So I merged it with the old RP look, and got this.
It's hard to gauge just exactly how long this one lasted, as I didn't draw her much this way, though for shits and giggles, I DID draw a wolf version of her at this time.
This version decorated my FurCon badge my second year out there.
I got onto some mucks around this time, and whipped up another full dragon form for size comparison use on the mucks.

From here, I had a bit of an epiphany. I realized that clothing was not necessary. However, in removing clothing, I was faced with a conundrum. Sidian was still anthro at this point, and I didn't want to have to deal with people mistaking her for male by removing her breasts altogether, so I removed all obvious vestiges of genitalia and nipples. I was happy for a while with the freedom that this gave me, as I was constantly having issues with how clothing would work with her tail and wings, realist that I am.  This is probably the point at which she went from the D&D "tiny little scales" to actual smooth skin, though it may have been sooner. I can't remember.
This is the first image of her in this incarnation, and my first true success with metallic silver.
The next image was one of my favorites, made to be my front page image and eventually I had hoped to employ some flash with it. That never worked out, but I still liked the pic.
This was Sidian enjoying the wind.
This one came after chilling with Wolfmage at Howlapalooza.

A short time later, Goldie drew me how she saw me. I loved it. I STILL love it. It's probably one of my favorites still. I have the print on my wall. I loved the loincloth, and it solved the "why don't you have genitalia" problem, so I adopted it.
I made a "how to" guide for this version as well.

A new front page image  was born. The first one I'd done of Sidian in flight, this one was a sheer joy, and is still one of my faves.

I began to play around as Sid more and more online, and as I played, gradually she seemed to become less and less anthro, walking around on all fours a lot of the time. It wasn't long before I began considering doing away with the breasts completely. Having to explain to people why she didn't have nipples, but had breasts, was becoming too tedious. The only reason I'd left them on her to begin with was to make sure there was no confusion as to her gender, like I'd seen with other breastless females. I removed the breasts in sketches of her that I produced during this period, but alas, none of them ever made it to my scanner glass, so I have nothing to show. She wasn't like this for very long anyway, before I hit a particularly large fork in the road...

At this period in my life, I had become particularly sexually active online, and wanted to draw myself in some sexual situations with a few friends. Problem is, I couldn't. When I tried to draw the dragon Sidian, it just came out a scribble that barely looked like her. It was almost as if she refused to be drawn in such situations. I was frustrated, so just sat down and started to draw. What came out was a wolfish version of her, something I came to call a lupine dragon. Not a dragon/wolf halfbreed, but a dragon with wolfish traits and characteristics. I kept the loincloth, and she still had breasts, but having fur solved the nipples they were just covered by fur. I also picked up the white eye markings that Goldie had done in her fanart image of me.
Unfortunately, most of the images of this version of her are...ahem...rather not readily available for showing. But I did do one official "character portrait".
Done in colored pencil. At this point, she was still anthro, still had hair rather than a mane.

I visited with Kyoht shortly after my birthday, and she produced this GORGEOUS picture of this version, much less anthro than I'd been doing. Indeed, Sid had begun to appear less and less anthro to my mind's eye.

I went to Howlapalooza again, spent a lot of time thinking about it, trying to see Sidian for what she was. I figured out that the face was wrong. The canine face didn't fit, so I gave her back her draconic muzzle.
After another visit with Ky and Goldie later that summer, I produced this, which was briefly my frontpage image. She's still wolfish, but you can see the classic draconic muzzle and the less anthro body design. No more breasts, no more loincloth. Her hair is also more manelike at this point.

I farted around with this incarnation of her for a while, then had another epiphany. When I had made her lupine, I'd gone too far, hence my being drug backward to the draconic muzzle. I got dragged backward even farther, returning her to full draconity, though retaining the fur. This image of her just fit. It clicked, and this is the body design that will probably stick with her forever.
Of course I had to change my front page image again, replacing it with a new portrait of Sidian.
She hasn't changed much since this, except to shorten her fur slightly, and figure out just exactly how big she is, which took a while.  Her mane is fully a mane, the fur smooth and silky, brushing off itself in the wind to avoid tangling like human hair (though grooming is always necessary). She's now fully non-anthropomorphic, though can move about, albeit uncomfortably, on two legs. She retains hands, though they are pawlike, and still has the white eye-markings.
Here's a pic of me, Kyoht, and Goldenwolf, me with my new appearance. Looking at it now, I see the mane was a little wierd...done like the hackles-to-hair that Goldie and Ky draw. Hmm...
This image was done for my FurCon badge for 2003, and is the image I usually give people when they ask what I look like. It's a good facial close-up.
This image was done for my business card, and briefly as my frontpage image. Pictures of Sidian in flight always make me happy. This one shows her unique dental structure well and is a good facial close-up.
This was done for Wolfmage, as he was not feeling well and needed a hug, virtual though it may be.
A digital painting of Sidian, which I was rather proud of at the time.
Silliness at Ahkahna.
A sad Sidian, due to personal upset. Emotional as it may be, I really like her coloring in this.
This was to be my new official portrait, but it just wasn't right. I hated it. Her head shape is all wrong, her body form is all wrong. Her wings even look dumb.

Throughout all of these images, I could never QUITE get the look JUST right. Recently, I finally managed it. With this. It's not colored yet, as I wanted to do it digitally and my computer was misbehaving at the time, and I have yet to get around to it. But it's her, right on the money. All of the following images of Sidian are this final perfect image. Sidian doing things that Sidian does. It makes me happy. ^.^

Well, there you have it. The evolution of Sidian. Are you bored out of your mind yet?