Last night I had a wee think about how I want my dragon's skin to look. I decided against the traditional scales. Instead, I want a horny, spiky kind of texture on the areas where the skin would be thicker, such as the animal's back and flanks. Where the skin would be thinner, I've made it slightly wrinkled and pebbly. I didn't get too far with it because I had to make a bunch of little spikes and then leave them to dry, but here you can see the beginnings of this skin effect:
The dromaeosaurs that my sculpture is based on had feathers. However, I won't be using any feathers. Instead I've made small spikes out of paper and glued them onto the skin. Between the spikes I've put bumps and nodules of varying sizes. The skin effect is partly inspired by this picture from All Yesterdays:
Yes, I know: ceratopsians aren't theropods and I specifically said I was going for something that looked like it evolved from theropods. It's called artistic license, and if it's good enough for Naish et al it's good enough for me.