Since I haven't posted much of these kind of concept art on my blog I though I'd shed some light on how this creature came into existence! Something you probably did not know is that I had made a previous attempt at showing off this technique but failed because I was too eager to dive in and get working that I didnt even have an idea what it was that I was concepting. So that was quickly thrown to the bin and I did a quick drawing to give myself a direction. Most of the time its important to plan what it is you are working on, it will save a lot of stress and brain power on the long run :P The only exception to planning is speedpainting where you set out to discover the piece as you go along which I think makes it harder to pull off than people think (maybe I will talk more about speedpainting in a future update).
With the drawing giving us a plan I start gathering some photo textures and cut and pasted them together to make a texture base. I was looking for textures that has a flat lighting so that I can control it later. I used the warp transform to shape the textures to follow the contours of the creature's form and to make some monstrous deformation as seen on the head piece. A lot of the textures had to be desaturated and colour balanced to give all these different cut outs unity. There was hardly any painting done at this stage but you can see a few form shadows I couldn't help but drop in, but nothing huge.
Once that is done I flatten it down to one layer and set it to 'overlay' blend mode. I then add a new layer below it and paint the lighting in, adding shadows and a tiny bit of highlight (dont go too crazy with the strength of these or they will look really fake). Its easier to make a mask around the creature so you can paint freely at this stage.
With all that done I then flatten the image down begin to paint on top of the image. This is where I will fix oddities in the photo comp like where there are odd transitions and if I just want to change something completely like the mouth piece. I added some red patches around the body using a 'hard light' layer to echo the reds on the head, again this is to ensure there is a unity to the design so that you dont look at head and think it doesn't belong to this creature.