The Temple Thief
9 different thumbnails I was exploring for this revised version! 
I ended up going with a mixture between 2 and 3.

9 different thumbnails I was exploring for this revised version!
I ended up going with a mixture between 2 and 3.

Here's a tighter sketch!

Here's a tighter sketch!

Color Comps! While the bottom left was super intriguing, I wanted to stay true to the original piece, and went with the middle right one.

Color Comps! While the bottom left was super intriguing, I wanted to stay true to the original piece, and went with the middle right one.

This is the original piece as it was completed in Fall 2019.

This is the original piece as it was completed in Fall 2019.

Original concept sketch with my first concept designs for the monster

Original concept sketch with my first concept designs for the monster

Here's the tight value sketch I submitted for review. I ended up adjusting the composition slightly to allow it to be more effective.

Here's the tight value sketch I submitted for review. I ended up adjusting the composition slightly to allow it to be more effective.

Finalized linework (showing the compositional changes from the previous sketch).

Finalized linework (showing the compositional changes from the previous sketch).

The final color comp

The final color comp

Early concepts for the hero's clothing!

Early concepts for the hero's clothing!

I decided that this piece previously titled "Heroic Standoff" needed a MAJOR rework. I started from scratch and redid the composition, character designs, and narrative. 
I really felt that moving past the "Good Human fights Evil Monster" trope that is often used in fantasy art would help improve the piece as a whole. 
My new concept features a redesign of the 'hero' character, who has stolen a religious artifact from a temple guarded by a large snake. Having outsmarted the Temple Guardian, the Thief is seen gloating rather arrogantly at it at they make their escape. 
The old piece and process work will be kept at the bottom, if you'd like to see improvement from Fall 2019—> Winter 2021. 
I want to take time to thank Ilse Gort who was kind enough to give me a portfolio review— and who was the one who ultimately pushed me to redo this piece.