At this point, I had built my flying creature maquette and then found a more dynamic pose. I re-drew my thumbnail referring back to this new pose and also broke things down to more abstract shapes. I could more easily see how the foreground and background shapes interacted. Also important at this point was determining the lighting before I took my final reference photos of my flying creature. I thought a nice light from the top left would be flattering. It would add some drama by contrasting with the gloomy lighting of the storm clouds.
Here's the beast! He's made of foil, tape, paper, and magic. I would usually add a layer of Sculpey clay on top, but it occurred to me that he is much more poseable without it. Also, the wrinkley texture from the tape works really well as it is.
A head! It belongs to the rider. I may have other plans to draw more of this character, so I spent a good two days on the head. I may bake this one, unlike my other sculptures, which I usually recycle. The eyes are baked Sculpey that have been painted white with acrylic paint.
Here's the pose I'll be using for my painting. The image has actually been reversed so I could have the smirky side of the face facing left.
Here's the shot I will be getting most of my lighting reference from. Natural lighting is a beautiful thing.
Other reference that you don't see here include those I have for the rider's pose, the clouds, and various aquatic creatures to inform my flying beast.