When I first started this artwork I only knew that I wanted it to be a fantasy piece with a dragon in it. Naturally, the first idea that came to mind was a beautiful girl holding a dragon in her hands. But there was a problem — I’ve already done that couple of years ago. It had to be different… After some brainstorming I decided to add a dragon egg to the scene.
Once I’ve had the rough concept in my mind it was time to find the right stock to use. The first place I look for that ideal photo is always the stock folder on my hard drive. This shot from a series I’ve purchased some time ago was an instant winner.
The pose was just perfect although her facial expression wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. So I decided to combine it with another shot of the same model.
Blending the two images together, applying some skin smoothing and liquify and here’s the result:
Once I’ve had the model photo ready it was time to start building the scene. First I’ve added the background photo.
Next step was to add the rock she’s sitting on and transform her dress to fit the shape of the rock.
Then I’ve added the foreground
Changed the color scheme and defined the main light source.
It was time to add the dragon and the egg to the scene.
Finally I’ve added the necklace and the headpiece.
Now it was time for painting. I’ve painted over the egg to make it glow — this is the secondary light source. Also painted the dress, some highlights in the hair and over the skin.
Then I’ve added the plants & flowers and painted more lights to boost the contrast between the main subject and the background.
More plants and more lights 😀
Minor color changes, some dodging and burning…
And voila! It’s done.