Hello and thanks for stopping by! I'm new to this so please bear with me while I try to get a handle on things.
I posted this image a few months ago up on DeviantArt with the intent of adding color and painting it out traditionally. The physical piece is quite a bit further along now and has been a great learning experience so far, but there's still a long way to go on it! I'll hold off on showing that for now though :)
I've had some people ask about my process, and usually the answer is something like "it's always different" or "it varies by piece," with a few common threads here and there. So I figured I'd throw everyone for a big loop by c. I've dabbled with oils and acrylics in the past, but my comfort lies with photoshop, and I really have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to truly painting. I'll be doing my best to hide that in the finished piece (and luckily have some great help and inspiration to aid me), but hopefully this can offer some sort of insight into how my messed-up brain works.
Step 1: Getting it on paper
This guy started at IlluXCon, and as messy at it looks, he was the first legitimate thumb that came out of the concept I was trying to convey.
For those who don't know, IlluXCon is an amazing convention dedicated to showcasing the work of several dozen of the world's best traditional Fantasy and Sci-Fi artists every November in Altoona, PA. A combination of lectures from Donato Giancola and Todd Lockwood, staring at Michael Whelan's wall for hours, and riffling through my mentor Lars Grant-West's paintings all weekend got me thinking that it was time I did an awesome dragon painting. A real painting that might get me on track for having something to compare with those guys some day.
For me, composition makes or breaks a piece, so even while I was at the convention I began thinking about how I wanted to showcase his body, and how the shape of it would direct the viewer's eye into the background; even more than what kind of dragon he'd be. Donato's talk on abstract realism was still fresh in my mind so I knew I wanted to keep it bold and minimalist, and that hatched the idea for this sort of circular waterfall out in the middle of the ocean.
Since Photoshop is still what I'm most comfortable with I decided it would make the best vessel for getting ideas down and arranging a composition. By the end of this I will have bounced back and forth a ridiculous number of times.