I'll keep this reel simple.
Done with Photoshop CS4 and the tablet
1.Start sketching or make lineart (I plan to make a quick drawing, so I only sketch)
2.Under that layer, you start building a grey tone an airbrush with a hardness set to 0%. Meaning you need to take that blurry brush (Not the first ones, but the second ones) DON'T START WITH THE DETAILS YET. This part is merely to give the correct tone and to have them blend well in the next steps
3. Here you can start putting details with an airbrush set from 80% to 100% hardness either to blend or to sharpen some parts.
4. You can put more details with a different brush (Here, I used the chalk brush)
5. WOAHHHH HUGE JUMP. I merged both layers did the rest of the details with the same brush at step 2. I also used the soft airbrush+overlay mode with white or black to modify the lighting without having to change some of the shapes of the creature.
6. (Ctrl+U or Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation and check colorize) Here I put the base color for the dragon. I usually take a color of the opposite color scheme (ie: Cold vs Warm). In this painting, I slid the hue to blue and gave it a low saturation. Touching the lightness is useless for me since adjusting the levels (Ctrl+L) are more convenient.
7. I made several new layers for each color with the layer modes set to "COLOR". I used the softbrush again to put the colors. Don't put too much or else you'll over-saturate it.
8. Here I put more colors (Same thing as step 7)
9. After I'm done, with the color layers, I adjust some stuff. Like changing the color balance (Ctrl+B) to have a more purple scheme. I'd fiddle with the Levels menu, but I think this would be ok C: