Vector Snake design - WiP

This is a design im working on.  Not for any particular reason, I just wanted to design something that i thought looked cool.

The picture was hand drawn, then scanned in.  After which I used Illustrator to draw over the original, & added some colors & gradients etc.

I am however stuck now.  I can't figure out the best way to achieve the scales on the snake, apart from hand drawing every one.  The scales in the hand drawing are somewhat overstated.  I'd like to achieve a slightly more subtle effect.  I will have to consult some design guru's & attempt to discover the answer.

I guess pushing my limits is the best way to learn.

Just click the images to get full size.

UPDATE 17/08/2011:  I finally finished this Image, & here it is for you to enjoy.  Hope it was worth the wait.

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