this is the snake i've been working on. i found inspiration in 'the encyclopaedia of australian wildlife' by Steve Parish. the snake that caught my eye was a non-venomous diamond python curled up very cosily in a birds-nest fern. although the diamond python in the book is quite beautiful, mine is nothing like it and i've used lots of detail again (click on the picture for a closer look).
the white lines on the leaves were made with the help of masking fluid (sometimes called frisket) which is a liquid latex solution that you apply with an old paintbrush, then paint over the top. when you've finished painting it simply peels off with the help of a plastic eraser. it works with any water-based medium. i'll play with this some more as it was lots of fun and the possibilities are endless.
the body of the snake was perfect for practicing 'transitioning'. i don't think i've quite got it yet. to create the effect of roundness it is necessary to apply a wash then lift off some of the paint down the middle with a dry paintbrush, to reveal a light turning edge. lots more technique to practice.