Arakkoa

I was looking forward to this one. Arakkoa have lovely, multicolored feathers. And I wasn't at all sure how to draw that. So perhaps 'looking forward to' is a bit strong. 'Resigned to my fate' might be more accurate. But things actually went pretty well. As you can see, I'm made real progress freeing myself from the need for lines. This is one of my major goals for this series, actually. If you look at most of the good digital painting, they define the forms without outlines. Y'know, like regular painting. But my natural mental bent is more towards pen and ink, so prying myself away from comforting lines is something of a struggle.

I'm using a higher here contrast than I've managed previously, which will I think be what eventually allows me to get rid of those sketch lines entirely. Also at least 1/3 of the feather transitions are totally awesome. The remaining 2/3rds are just adequate, but that's all right. I haven't totally learned how to do a color transition with that many shades in it, but this was very good practice.

aarakoa

From the WoWiki:

The arakkoa are an ancient race of bird-like humanoids native to Outland. They have brightly feathered bodies in a veritable rainbow of colors, hooked beaks, clawed hands, taloned feet, and an erectile crest of feathers on their heads. They wear ragged cloaks about their bodies. Arakkoa appear to also have "sage" (with ornate shoulder and head ornaments) and "warrior" (with a metal helm and mail epaulets) classes.

They have great magical power over the arcane, and are also as "smart as any gnome you ever met", according to Gremni Longbeard in the Hellfire Peninsula. Most are aggressive to both Alliance and Horde, although there are friendly members of the arakkoa to be found.