I worked on this image for 4 days. It took more than 50 hours in total, longer than most because I had to build the dragon piece by piece. I composited digital images of iguanas, a monitor lizard, crocodile, and even some giraffe fur samples for the dappled effect on the wings. The fox is also comprised of many different pieces. I built several different backgrounds and foregrounds until I was finally satisfied with this version. I love building backgrounds and spend hours adusting and tweaking even the smallest bits of foliage. This one is made of at least 40 or more images.
People have asked me how I extract the tree leaves against the sky. The method I often use is a combination of contast and Blending Modes. For the dark leaves I first adusted the image’s Levels and Curves, maximizing contrast. Then I overlayed the image using the Multiply Blending Mode.
This piece is made for my friend Martine, of her daughter, Danielle.