Zooming in once again, I'm using a very small Hard brush to work on the tiny feathers around the face and neck that will help sell the image.
We can also use a Soft Round brush with white to smoothen out the area beneath the ear.
Moving on to the twigs, color-pick the established colors and begin to refine them into branches of a tree. I brush a little of the background blue onto some of the branches to give them a sense of depth.
Now let's add a egg! Start painting in a partial oval (Fig.23). At this stage we only need to block it in with a little hint of the light direction. I'm using a Soft Round brush for this and warm, desaturated tones to create the block-in. Using a very small brush I also begin to add minute strokes to the feathers on the wings to imply detail.
Concentrating on the egg, zoom in and use the Soft Round brush to increase the amount of detail and sharpen the rendering (Fig.24). To establish more form, push the darker values, making it seem more oval in shape.
Begin the block-in of the talon using a Chalk brush (Fig.25).
Choose a bright yellow similar to the highlights on the beak. Apply only slight pressure so that the colors optically meld together.
Darken the background of the ice region with a Multiply layer. This is done to increase the contrast between the background and the griffin, which is the main subject in the image (Fig.26).
Begin to add highlights and also darken the talon and claws. Add highlights to the claws, making sure to follow the form and thinking about where the reflected light would be on the claw. Zooming in, refine the claw and make sure to use a high-res photograph as a reference for the details (Fig.27).
Finally, let's add a little bit of atmosphere in the form of falling snowflakes on a separate layer, which you can paint with a combination of a Soft Round brush and applying Motion Blur (Fig.28).
To see more by Darren Yeow, check out Photoshop for 3D Artists