I then worked on adding shine to the metal and details to the armor. I used F-X Glow, the same acrylic brushes, the same blender and the same airbrush to get the effect of metal shine. At first I drew the general form of an element using an acrylic brush, then by means of an airbrush I underlined dark places and did reflexes (the same airbrush with the biggest size and low opacity). I made highlights (I mean a patch of light) using F-X Glow and softened it using shadings of glow (Fig.06).
I began to make the horse stronger and bigger. And when I finished the silhouette, it turned out that the horse was on the very edge of the picture and I had to increase the picture's size. I added earths in the foreground and then started to work with the average plan. I made soft light, which makes its way through the trees on a hill by means of oil brushes (Smeary Bristle Spray and Fine Feathering Oils 20) with different degrees of opacity. Also I gradually painted roots and stubs. I worked with the figure of the horse by means of large brushes. I wasn't exact in my proportions because I was pursuing other aims. I needed to make a dark stain in the foreground. Besides all this, I also made Koschei's hair longer and almost finished his armor. His shoulder had the head of a dragon as a result (Fig.07).
I wanted to add more story details to my picture. It seemed to me that the killed warriors and the burned down houses in a background would go well with the mad horseman. And this addition even helped to remove the mountains from the spectator and move them more into the distance. I created the smoke with oil brushes, using some transparent layers for volume. To add dynamics and connect Koschei with the trees (I mean compositionally) I drew a flying owl. Owls are considered as mystical birds in Slavic mythology, and they often enter interaction with sorcerers. Therefore the owl seemed to me the pertinent object. I drew an owl by means of oil brushes and blender. And then I wanted to do owl's view more harmonically in the sky. I use Erasers (Real Hard Eraser) with a low opacity (about 7%) (Fig.08).
The picture still didn't have enough dramatic character. Moreover, Koschei with his horse still didn't unite with the general environment. I had to work with illumination to correct all these things. I made dark clouds in the sky by means of large brushes. I glazed Koschei, his armor and his horse too, making them all darker. The figures should look darker, when they were placed against light. Also I added light on edge of Koschei's face, because the gleam among the clouds should influence the figures. At last, I started working with the proportions of the horse and readjusting the drawing. I drew the sword and added dark locks to Koschei's hair. I used an airbrush (Fine Detail Air 8) and some layers with different degrees of a transparency (Fig.09 – 10).
I increased detailed elaboration. I worked with the grass and the foreground, and glazed the owl and the sky. I divided the mountain's plans by means of transparent layers (Fig.11).
It was a hard task to make a dramatic picture without using the forced colors. And it was difficult for me to paint shiny armor, with it being located against light at the same time. But I did it! As usual I searched for inspiration for this artwork in the best museums of Moscow. I was inspired greatly by works of the great Russian artist Viktor Vasnetsov, who worked with Slavic mythology. And though I didn't use Slavic elements in my artwork, nevertheless most of all I was guided by the work of this artist.