Below you can find a bit of a making of (step-by-step images) of John Snow and Ygritte, my latest Game of Thrones chacarters after Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo and Jaqen H’ghar. As for the others, I used scanned acrylic and brush strokes on canvas and watercolour marks that I made myself for the textures. I also used the same images to overlay on mine that I used for the other portraits, so that I keep a uniform feel to all the portraits I am doing of Game of Thrones characters. You can find them here or going to my Digital Art Resources section.
I used the same technique as usual. I start with a black and white portrait, which I find easier to build. I then make a symple background and overlay the black and white layer with the portrait on this background. This is my starting point. It is important to select the right background colours because from this point onwards I will be picking colours from the canvas. Then is just a matter of adding layers with touches here and there. At the end is when I add all the layers with all the effects and so on until I achieve the look and feel I am after.
Below is a small step-by-step of both John Snow and Ygritte, starting with the basic blocking of darker and lighter areas in greyscale, until the later stages where I apply the textures and then the base colour.
The end result is below. The whole process probably took around 7-8 hours for each one. I like to keep the time for this series of GoT characters to no more than 10 hours so that I am not tempted to go into details which I think will ruin the traditional look and feel.