Hello, I haven't modelled much lately so I thought I would share a brief rundown of the process. Bottom picture is the model in progress - called the 'mesh'. I used a great free program named anim8or for this, but will tweak it later in Carrara if I decide to use him for closeups etc.
The second image is a render of the transmap - or alpha map. A 'render' is like taking a photograph of the mesh. You use the alphamap in photoshop as a mask.
The next picture has a bit of dragon texture applied. You use the alpha mask to make sure your texture stays only on the dragon while working in photoshop. The texture has been given a 'pinlight' or 'overlay' parameter for it's layer. Then various parts erased to reveal the highlights on the model.
The final is after a bit of dirtying up, a few clouds added, some more texture and a few flocks of birds to put it in situ. Plus a bit of sparkle. Where would we be without sparkle I ask you. Plus a ubiquitous moon.
As always click for big and thanks for looking!
PS Anim8or is free here if you would like to try your hand.
There's more info for traditional artists moving to 3d here