SWEET! I really hope you get around to finish this! Love the colour scheme so far. Excited to see what you end up doing with that hair. THe only thing thats bugging me at this time is how thin the dragon snake gets on the part of his body on the upper left compared to that curve that goes out of the frame. [Or maybe the curve gets too thick]Looking forward to updates on this!
Sweet sketch! I like the composition a lot, it reminds me of some of Jason Chan's work from Massive Black.
I know what you mean about realism without a reference. Unless it's a portrait, it has to be more along the lines of a cartoon for me to pull it off. This is a great composition idea and it's cool to see a little insight to your process. Painting straight into in color rather than greyscale seems to be the right avenue in a lot of ways.