1 I like to start with a warm textured background. My favorite is an mixture of cadmium yellow and burnt sienna.
2 I normally don't do a tight sketch on the board itself but in this case, I was really worried about the anatomy.
3 Final sketch was sealed down with a layer of acrylic spray varnish. This does two things. First, it keeps the charcoal from coming up & contaminating the paint. Second, it allows me to wlipe otu mistakes without losing the sketch in the process.
4 Actually following the rules and starting back to front for once.
5 Working into the foreground.
6 Initial layers of the background finished.
7 Just getting the basic forms down for the dragon.
8 Finished the first layer of the dragon.
9 While the dragon dried, I added in the rock and started working on the foreground snow.
10 I forgot to get some snap shots of the main figure while it was in work.
11 Starting to glaze scales. I had originally developed this "form, then glaze" approach to scales while working on the naga in the painting Sunset and I loved the way those scales turned out. I never realized how time consuming it would be to cover an area this size with that method.
12 Literally months later, I was done painting scales.
13 Close up of the finished forms.
14 Photo of the finished painting, complete with color correction.