This painting of Thranduil started as a messy splatter/salt/texture background that I painted probably over a year ago (I really don't remember). I had been playing around with the idea of making a textured backdrop without knowing what I was going to paint, and then letting the form and colors dictate what I did next. It worked for a few pieces, and then I got bored and moved onto other things.
But I have a really hard time throwing things out if they could be useful, so the paper sat in my drawer of blank and unfinished work. A couple weeks ago I was sorting through that drawer, and decided I really needed to try and finish more of the unfinished pieces rather than starting a new one. The green woodsy colors of this one made me think of the woodland elves, and there was a nice blank-ish spot where I could paint a portrait.
It was interesting trying to paint skin tones over a greenish background, and his face is still a little green, but definitely stands out and reads as different from the surrounding colors.
This painting of Draco is much newer (painted it last night), but is also green! I wanted to paint something green for St Patrick's Day, and this is what happened. It's actually quite small - 4.5" x 5.5".