I made some good progress today. It's already around 1:30 A.M. and I have a few more minutes of energy to share today's experiences.
This morning started with a short jog to the campus memorial, a few stairs, some calisthenics down by the baseball field. A light breakfast followed and I spend the first few hours further developing my new sketch. The cropping along with the addition of several other dragons in the sky felt like a good decision, so I stuck with it and moved on to a larger value study. Right now, the figures are the biggest challenge. My classmates have been shooting some really gorgeous reference (of some really gorgeous classmates). Details like hands, folds and facial expressions tend to look their best when done with proper reference. Tomorrow will be the day for shooting my photos.
This morning, I also followed through on my decision to at least attempt a paper model, and it was surprisingly successful. The downside was that it reminded me completely by accident that the u-dragon actually looks best when I reverse the head and tail. If I decide to flip it, I'll do the work in Photoshop to avoid driving myself crazy with yet another value study.
The value study also led to some interesting textures, and a few new ideas on what parts of the dragons might be illuminated other than the areas closest to their exhaust organs. I also have a pinch of black Sculpey 3 to help with referencing the surfaces of the dragon's shell. I'm looking forward to getting some much-needed rest.