I started out by searching the web for a good photo to use as a basis for a dryad icon I was thinking of doing. I'm kinda tired of my little head-shot icons on LJ, so I was thinking: "Rowan is a type of tree. I could make a dryad with leaves in her hair and tan skin, and use that as a basis for icons." I haven't drawn anything in a while and it'd be a nice change of pace.
I found a photo (here, for the curious). I liked her expression, and that she wasn't a classically beautiful female. I also liked the age ambiguity of the image--this person looks like a teenager to me, but she could easily be older or younger. But, mostly, I really liked the expression. She's not smiling for the camera, or trying to look sexy, or professional. Instead, she looks intent, determined.
I don't know where I'm going with this sketch; I may work on it further, or try making icons from this visual idea (not from this specific sketch, though -- I'd want to color it), or just go back to the word mines of working on my novel.