Shocked Lizard

Shocked Lizard - student project

Hey Stephanie!

Firstly, your class is an absolute dream and I am incredibly grateful for it! I loved the presentations, how clear everything is and your humor of course :)
Secondly, I struggled a looot and that's why it took me a while to finish the render. Here I'll try to explain why and what helped me (maybe it will help someone too). 

This is my first...well, everything! My first digital art on Procreate, my first character and one of my first digital artworks at all. So, you may consider me a beginner. 

Here is a full process and below I left comments on each one :)

Shocked Lizard - image 1 - student project

1. Line art. 
I was trying too hard to make perfect lines and it wasn't worth it . I could just make clear pencil lines (not messy, but not too perfect either). Also, I don't know why I decided to choose this kind of angle but it seemed cool at the time (later I will very much regret it).

2. Basecolor was really fun step!
I sketched several ideas and decided to combine their pieces.
Shocked Lizard - image 2 - student project

3. Ambient shadow was quite easy to choose, but I had to change it several times cos I changed the background color (first one was green).

4. Main light was the Main Struggle also . I just could not get it right because of the camera angle I've chosen (here comes the regret)! I really wanted to make light from the left side or from the front, but it was too hard for me, so I just settled with the light from the top - the 'safe' choice.

5. Occlusion shadow was fun...when I finally figured out the color for it ಠ_ಠ . It seemed too dark or too red or not dark enough. And because of the tail and hands colors I had to use several shadow lights colors (which was a revelation for me!).

6. Reflections light? I began to question the additional light layer when I was working on the eyes. I took a bunch of references and tried to get all the reflections right. Now I am pretty proud with them! I know, I know - they are not perfect but these are my first ... creature eyes and I tried to make them as realistic as I could. Then it occured to me that maybe the body will look more 'realistic' too with some white spots on "screen" layer mode.

7. Secondary light was a scary decision because I was too afraid to overdo them. Also, I wasn't sure that I've put them in all the right places. The rim light was definetly the easiest part, loved it!

8. Casting shadows was fun too, but I'm afraid that the back leg shadow is not so great .

Background was first with gradient but I've removed it and left just purple tones.

And that's it! Could I be more happy?

Thanks again, Stephanie, for this journey! 
I would really appreciate your feedback and I would gladly make some edits if you tell me what is wrong with it and maybe how can I do it better. I still have some question about light interacting with objects (even after watching your another cource on it) but I guess that I just have to experiment more with it.
I would never think that I am ready to pull off this kind of intense render if it wasn't for your cource! So, thank you, really :)