With summer conventions coming up, I'm always inspired by the huge paintings I see in the art shows. It reminds me that I want to work bigger, instead of squishing all the detail into an 8X10 or 9X12 painting! I've wanted to paint another large (11X14 for me is large!) acrylic painting for a while, featuring gryphons, so after doing some sketches, I came up with the idea of a gryphon holding a flag as a signal for other gryphons to fly into battle.
I am trying to pay closer attention to composition lately. As I learned long ago, the eye automatically tends to travel from top left to bottom right, so you want to catch the viewer's eye and move it around the composition while breaking that straight 'dive' to the bottom right. I aimed to create movement from the gryphon in the foreground, to the middleground gryphon, all the way to the group in the background.
For colors, I didn't want to go with the same plain blue sky. I looked through some photos I took of sunset skies and found some inspiration in the yellows, oranges and deep purples there. It also gives a yellow glow for the highlights, with cooler blues for the shadows.