I created this illustration for a previous version of my website in 2007. The inspiration for my illustration was the art of the Japanese tattoo, irezumi (刺青). Most motives have a deep meaning, based on religion, history, or myths from China and Japan.
A lot of the motives are based on the Chinese novel Shuǐhǔ Zhuàn (jap. suikoden, engl. Water Margin), or are based on mythical creatures like the Phoenix, Dragons, or Koi.
I chose a motive from a legend, in which Koi, who swim against the stream of some magic waterfalls turn into a dragon. After 500 more years, they turn into a horned dragon and after 1000 years into a flying dragon.
The illustration was done with a pencil on paper and then brought into Adobe Photoshop, where all coloring was done (with the help of a Wacom tablet).