So my personal project currently is designing an entire mock WoW dungeon based on the lore from Azshara/Nazjatar. I decided to start with an opening illustration featuring the Naga queen herself to establish the feel I wanted the entire dungeon to have. The artists at Massive Black have been leading the students through a specifics illustration process, which I used for this image. Here are the steps. =)
Of the two thumbnails, the majority preferred the more dynamic pose. The upper was more of a flat presentation shot, while the second captured the large-scale and epic feel I wanted Azshara to have.
I chose "God lighting" from above for this scene for three reasons:
1. The instance is technically underwater, at the center of the maelstrom. Particularly this chamber is directly underneath the opening left by the whirlpool above, allowing for a strong overhead light source.
2. To accentuate the focus on Queen Azshara and all of her crazy, world-ending Naga Queen glory.
3. It's just insanely fun to paint.
This may seem like a jumbled mess, but that's only because the way I paint is... a jumbled mess. I tend to lay in my colors fairly early once I have simple values. From there, it's just pushing and pulling things until I get it to where I want it.