Below are some of the eighteen stages Encounters: 45 went through as I took it from base collage through to finished piece.
The base collage I made from four separate sketches. Parts of two of the sketches were duplicated or used in different places. Others were flipped, cropped, rotated, or all of these.
When I start a new piece from scratch, I draw all of the elements and place them in their own document layers. This collage shares some base artwork with Encounters: 31-44 so I started of only needing to draw the bluish figure on the left side of the composition. For the rest I took a short cut and brought in parts from other finished pieces. The round-headed figures are from Encounters: 33 or 36; the tendril-headed figures are from Encounters: 40-44.
As I worked towards step 5, I made slight changes to the figures I had imported. I removed their textures, rearranged the composition, and changed the colour scheme. Most of my attention at this stage was on the group of figures on the right. By this time I was rarely looking at the base collage.
I refined the composition further, and played with the colour scheme. A great deal of the work at this stage was in refining the figure on the left.
By this point I had added the flame- or vine-like texture at the bottom, as well as the background texture. I had also been working on the colouration of the left figure.
This is the finished piece. Steps 13 through 17 were mainly more tweaking of the transparency of the figures and the overall colour scheme, as well as adding textures to the figures.