Paint a Viking wearing leather armour
I do a quick line drawing and block in all the main colours. The scene is set under an overcast sky with even lighting conditions, so I avoid noticeable differences between the values and tones. I want to keep the character simple and realistic, so I limit the colours and level of contrast.
I focus on the materials around the focal area and leave everything outside this area rough and sketchy. I try to capture the surface qualities of the different materials and also draw the garments and armour pieces, which all serve to add an extra level of story to the piece.
I add stripes on the arm, blood splatters on the armour and subtle engraving and scratches on the helmet. This is another level of detail without making it too fantastical a piece. Then I push the contrast around the focal areas and finish the painting with some extra effects and colour correction.