The final monstrosity is here
This is the story of a bunch of stuff I produced during my first creature design experience. I kept procrastinating because these pieces look pretty embarrassing now, but I thought it could be fun to
get rid of them all at once
show the whole process.
Now for some clarity. Steps:
0) I got some guidelines (long thin legs; small pointy head) for the creature and I started to think about it. Which animal class would it belong to? What kinds of animals have long legs, and why? What about its diet? I grabbed animal reference photos and thought about what kind of anatomy and features I would need to borrow to create a long-legged, pointy-faced fantasy creature.
I jotted down quick, messy silhouettes to envision general shapes. Keeping them rough helped make happy accidents happen; twisting and enlongating shapes to alter proportions helped too. I try not to use round plain brushes when I'm brainstorming: too clean.
2) Refining silhouettes
: most boring thing ever. Paint Tool SAI is way better than Photoshop if you need to make something smooth. I was requested to produce those clean silhouettes, but I really wouldn't spend time on those otherwise. Not when the final design has yet to be elaborated.
3) Seeing things
. Time to lower the opacity level and fill in the thumbnails/silhouettes with lines. It's amazing how many variants you can come up with starting from the same black mass! You can place facial features differently on the same head shape; you can have different skin types. And next comes a thorough anatomy check to make the resulting creature believable.
Here I selected the one I liked most, even though it was not chosen for the final design. I even tried to make a finished, sketchy turnaround. This creature obviously lacks a thorough anatomy check
4) Color schemes!
Just a selection of color tests that came after the final design was choosen. Pretty fun until I realized my eyes hurt, especially considering the creature was supposed to live in an arctic environment. Temptation is strong, but color has to make sense in context, so no yellow polka dots on violet. Unless we're designing a very poisonous beast that likes to be recognized and avoided.
needed to see the 2D creature in its entirety. Kinda
6) Final painting!
I decided to go for a cel shading here. This is less flat than a turnaround and the creature is a bit more lively here, but I would have loved to make an actual illustration, a scene where the beast interacts with the environment and/or other creatures. Unluckily, I couldn't.
There's so much I would change now! I'd like to design something new and manage the whole process with more time and accuracy.
I hope you liked this! Now go draw monsters