On ConceptArt.org there is an activity called Creature of the Week. As the name suggests, each week a new topic is given, and anyone registered to that site may post their own interpretation of the topic. This week's topic was Beatific Dragon. While jumping from article to article in Wikipedia, as I sometimes do, I came across the Mute Swan, and thought it would make a pretty sweet basis for a holy dragon design.
Here is what I've sketched for it so far.
In addition to swans, I also looked at some dinosaur and iguanid lizard reference. The iguanid reference doesn't really show in the design at all, but it is definitely quite dinosaurian. Someone has already commented that there's quite a bit of Oviraptor to its design.
After choosing which design I liked (which didn't take very long) and roughing in a color scheme, I drew it in the more interesting pose above. And that's as far as I've gotten. I tried a few backgrounds, but they weren't working, so for now there's just a blank white background. Because of schoolwork pressures (next week being finals week), I highly doubt I'll get this done in time for the Monday deadline, but I do intend to finish it. I've found digital painting to be somewhat awkward recently, though, so what I think I'll do is finish a large paper drawing, photograph it, and then colorize it digitally. Or something like that. We'll see.