Today I tackled the detail work. Lately I’ve gotten into the bad habit of skipping the detail step altogether, and it really shows. But, because this is a commission and I generally work harder for other people, I spent a long time on the details.
First I painted in the scales on a new layer. (Click the pic to enlarge.)
It was a lot like stippling or pointillism, one of my favorite (if time-consuming) pen and ink techniques.
Once I had my layer all finished, I set it to Lock Transparency (which means that your paintbrush now only hits the spots on the layer that already had color) and tweaked the shading. I got a nice iridescent look in some places, too.
Then I added all kinds of detail that you can’t see in a pic this small, like the guys on the dragon’s back and the stuff in his belly-net.
I’m happy with it. We shall see how the client likes it.