Step-by-step: Design and paint a creature’s mouth
I began with a loose profile sketch to give me a target for on the threequarter view. I was not worried about following it exactly, as the purpose and focus is simply the mouth. I started the initial sketch off in black and white to help keep my values straight.
Next, I focus on what the teeth arrangement should be, along with what the gums should look like and where the tongue sits. I think the back of the jaws, palette and throat shapes, while easily overlooked, are key in helping to sell the feeling of weight and power.
I leave the specular reflection and saliva for last. For the former I use a reduced Opacity Airbrush for light reflective surfaces, followed by a dense soft brush or one of the hard Rounds for the stark highlights. I use a soft Round or angled for the saliva in the same way.