I had a difficult time picking which image of Smaug to do.
So many other truly great artists have done such amazing versions of the classic image that Tolkien himself drew:
Among others, Donato Giancola, David Wenzell, Allen Lee and John Howe have all created stunning works which have more or less been crystalized into what everyone now understands Smaug to be. (and no doubt Jackson and Del Toro's forthcoming film will reflect this as Lee and Howe's stunning work has been the template for the major visual aspects of the films thus far)
But in the end it is too tempting a piece and I find that I must get the ideas that were in my head as I read this scene down before the films come out. Del Toro will do a fantastic job on this as he always does with monsters.
The other scene that I was particularly interested in (and that I hope to do in the future) is the scene where the dwarves have to leave their ponies and flee into the mountain just before smaug attacks the cliffs where they had been hiding. The tension of seeing a fire breathing dragon flying towards the dwarves as they are trying to pull their friends up is really appealling to me.
...up he soared blazing into the air and settled on the mountain-top in a spout of green and scarlet flame. The dwarves heard the aweful rumor of his flight, and they crouched against the walls of the grassy terrace cringing under boulders, hoping somehow to escape the frightful eyes of the hunting dragon...
...A red light touched the points of the standing rocks. The dragon came.
They had barely time to fly back to the tunnel, pulling and dragging in their bundles, when Smaug came hurtling from the North, licking the mountain-sides with flame, beating his great wings with a noise like a roaring wind. His hot breath shrivelled the grass before the door...