For clarity’s sake, in this series I will explain how I draw each part separately. In reality, the entire image is drawn step by step, and as a result, several parts and layers other than the explained parts may be explained out of order.
 Layer dividing
Before drawing, the image is split into layers and folders.
Some may say that I should draw the parts separately in the first place, but I find that if there are too many layers in the rough-base coloring stage, adjusting becomes a pain and it is difficult to study composition.
(1) Select the dragon using the [Selection area] tool → [Lasso] sub tool.
As the dragon’s outline will be adjusted while drawing, the selection area can be rough.
By copy & pasting using [Edit] menu → [Copy] (shortcut: [Ctrl]+[C]) and [Edit] menu → [Paste] (shortcut: [Ctrl]+[V]), the selected area of the layer will automatically be created on top of the original layer.
To show the copied and newly created layer, the other layers in the image on the right are hidden.
(2) The pasted dragon is contained in the “main” folder, and the previously merged layer is contained in a “background” folder.
For effect layers such as the dragon’s breath and fire, a layer folder called “effect” is made, and layers are added there.
After dividing the layers, the background and dragon are painted separately. As it’s distracting when drawing the finished dragon if the dragon’s draft is visible, I paint over the dragon in the background (on the “base” layer) with a flat color.
 Drawing textures apart
Before I start painting, allow me to go into how to approach materials.
The dragon in this piece has smooth metallic parts and rough scaly parts.
■ Smooth parts
■ Rough parts
Light enters the eye after reflecting off of objects. A smooth object looks shiny due to the reflected light directly entering your eye, but a rough object looks matte due to the reflected light being scattered.
In short, if you can express different types of reflections when drawing, you can distinguish materials from each another.
 Drawing the head
(1) I started from the head, which gathers the most attention.
While the head is the most prominent feature in the piece, it currently lacks contrast and doesn’t pop out from the image.
To correct that, I added lighter parts to better define the dragon’s silhouette.
(2) After adding contrast to the background, the head shape is refined to be more dragon-like.
Detailing is mostly done with the [Brush] tool’s [Oil paint flat brush] sub tool.
(3) While drawing, I felt that the piece lacked the mechanical elements that I initially wanted to draw, and the design was adjusted.
Straight lines were added to the head’s silhouette, enhancing the contrast between the mechanical parts and dragon parts.
With that, most of the head was done.
In the next lesson, parts other than the head (neck, arms and torso) will be drawn.