Character design: Th beak look pretty awesome, but I can't see how his body looks. Since the contest was about the creature design you would have done good to choose a perspective where the beast anatomy becomes clear. But aside of the contest, as an illustration this would do perfectly fine.
Colors: Well chosen, very saturated colors on the beast and less saturated on the background. Must say this is you very best yet!
Lighting: Not to exciting but pretty clear.
Painting technique: I like how the things that matter are pretty rendered and the background has less detail, thats exactly the right way to do that.
Canvas: Save choice and it works perfectly well. A more impressive canvas would be a very narrow portrait, adding more hight.