I was thinking... Your basic all-around griffin is made by combining hawk parts (an obligate carnivore) with a big cat (another obligate carnivore). That way the bird face is able to eat things which the cat body can actulaly digest. Right? Well, your basic hippogriff is made from a horse (a non-ruminant herbivore), which poses a problem. Whatever head I use has to eat an appropriately horsey diet, seeing how notoriously sensitive a horse's digestive system is. Hmmmm.... Somehow, an Amherst pheasant head appeared in my sketchbook, and the rest naturaly followed.
Why I pick such masochistic projects for myself, I'll never know. Painting feathers has to be one of the most dull, repetitive and time-consuming tasks. Each one had to be individualy done at high magnification, keeping in mind the realistic shading of the rachis and vane, and matching brushstrokes to the way the barbs lie. My fingers hurt. The end result is totally kick-ass though, which makes everything worthwhile. I believe this is the only Amherst-hybrid on elfwood :) Too bad the resizing kills the finer feather detail
Oh yeah, Tablet, Painter, Photoshop. I'll sell 8.5x11 prints, shoot me an email if interested.