Sunday, October 20, 2013

A fun surprise in Pacific Rim - Emily

First off, if you guys haven't seen Pacific Rim yet, I highly recommend it! Monsters galore in that one, and some great designs!

We started off our blog with some studies on some real life creatures, and this movie shows how you can take that sort of study into creature design. Many of the kajiu in the movie are each based off a different animal, yet they share basic characteristics such as texture, color, and basic shape to appear as though they are very similar species. There's a shark-like kajiu, gorilla, bat, crab and even...

A sarcastic fringehead fish!!

I was pleasantly surprised to see my old fishy friend in that movie after doing studies on in for this blog.

Here are a few bits of kaiju concept work from

Enjoy guys!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back to School!

Hey boys and girls,

This summer has flown by. I can't believe I'm going to see you all again in just a few days! I hope you've had a wonderful few months and feel like you learned a few things. Thank you for your enthusiasm and coming up with some cool new creatures. I can't wait to see what you do next!

I hope you will all consider continuing on the work you started here and keep sharing. Keep pushing yourselves and each other. I know it's hard during vacation when you have jobs and family commitments always seeming to take precedence over art. That never ends, unfortunately. But doing things like this, making sure you have a little place and community that will force you to keep moving forward, it makes all the difference. Keep it up and eventually making time for art will be as natural as making time for  the new episode of Breaking Bad.

And with that, I will leave you with one last fun creature list:

20 more animals you won't believe are real

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Wild Munna Appeared! Realistic Pokemon from Britt, Plus Some Goblins!

I've been painting goblins for a book cover for about 6 hours today, so when I checked in to see the blog, I decided to take a few minutes to use Emily's Pokemon project as a brain refresher. (before I get back into the goblin-y fray!)

I only started playing Pokemon this year, and I instantly fell in love with Munna. She's just about the opposite of things I usually draw. Round, Pink, Girly, Flowery, Easily Stackable, and nibbles up the dreams of pokemon like candy. What's not to love?

(My friends keep buying me little Munnas. They stack nicely on my studio windowsill)

Below is a 45 minute-ish speed paint, I'll do a bit more on it later this week I think. I was stumped as to how to start, and by Emily's suggestion, I based her off a tapir... they do have similar noses! Working in Munna's flower spots is tricky but I think as I develop the skin/fur texture they're going to be a little more abstracted and part of the "real munna's" coloration!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pokemon Realism - Emily

I'm sure most of you guys have seen this sort of thing, but I figured I'd share some of the things I've been doing. It's fun! And coincidentally, a nice creature design exercise.

Pokemon! There are now more than 700 pokemon, each incredibly unique little monsters.

They're pretty simple cartoon characters, made with some really wacky shapes (that sometimes make very little sense as far as realistic anatomical structure). Cartooning's never been a strong point for me, so I prefer to draw my pokemon with an extra heavy dose of realism, making colorful shapes into living, breathing, and believable monsters.

Here are some examples from other artists' rendition of pokemon:

RJ Palmer

René Campbell

Gavin Mackey

And here are a few drawings of mine:

It's a ton of fun! I enjoy researching some of the background information on how some pokemon designs came about. For example, the last one, Tyrannitar, is based off of Godzilla, so my rendition pulled inspiration from Godzilla designs rather than making him into an actual T-rex. Being a rock type pokemon, I chose to adorn him with tough, rock-like scales (much like Godzilla's nearly indestructible hide) and interpreted the dark spots in the official art to gaps in his 'armor'. Many pokemon are based of real animals, myths from around the world, even everyday objects. 

You can stay close to the original design, re-imagine the creature completely, or anywhere in between!

The same sort of concept can be applied to most cartoons really, I just figured it'd be fun as a creature design exercise, if anyone wants to give it a try! 


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Silhouette Creature-Brittany

Hi all!
This one is definitely not quite as finished as I'd like it to be-- but today's the deadline so here we are!

I'd imagined this creature being from a dystopian future, either an experiment or a freak of nature resulting from the meltdown of a nuclear plant near a swamp.

The legs are very frog like and the torso appears to have vestigial nubs where limbs once were. It is not a creature you want to be anywhere near, as its very undiscerning about what it eats. The jaw can unhinge much like a snake's, making it capable of devouring just about anything.

This was definitely a challenge for me- I tend to soften everything i draw so doing something creepy/pointy/uncomfortable is sometimes a difficult stretch. I'm not completely happy with it yet but its on the road to getting there!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Final Design - Savanna Ape

Savanna Ape

Genre: General Fantasy

Habitat: Savanna/plains

Culture: Feral Beast

Time Period: Future

This creature would be more of a background character than anything. I see it as an environmental element, just a run-of-the-mill inhabitant of a savanna setting. Not a main character in any story he would be a part in, and any interaction would be minor. Perhaps a smaller foe for a protagonist, before facing the larger predators in the area.

It is an evolved creature that lives on earth in the future. It would co-exist with animals that live today, or at least their more evolved forms.

Many animals today share traits with others that far outside their species, Like moths that look like hummingbirds, or mammals with large duck-like bills (Talking about the hummingbird moth and platypus here!). So I took the same route with this guy. He is a primate, but shares a lot of features with cheetahs. He has the long limbs, large ribcage and lungs, and flexible spine made for long strides and amazing speed. It also has spots to aide in camouflage.

I hope you guys enjoy!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Emily's Super Silhouette Extravaganza!

...or something I don't know...

I had a lot of fun with some of these silhouettes, I started drawing, and my mind was working too fast for my hands! I started with a ton of sporadic ideas, drawing whatever weird creature came to mind. As my initial excitement faded, I went back on some of the original ideas and explored them further. It took constant reminding not to get caught up in detail, and to work quickly. Basic shapes, basic shapes! 

I've gotta say though, drawing 100 different creatures without having follow through and finish them was a lot of fun, and pretty refreshing (guess I'm not good with commitment…) I will most definitely be saving these ideas, I'd like to expand on a few of these sometime in the future.

But for now I think I've found one idea I'd love to work on for this project. There was one I was tempted to do, but it was something I've done a lot of...*sigh* maybe some other time.. It was hard to decide, and ended up going with a pretty unique one to me.

So far this is what I have, an omnivorous ape-like creature. The silhouette was really unique I thought, and those long limbs could be useful for a lot of things. In this case, running and climbing. So I've been working on designing a running monkey. I can imagine him living in a savannah-type environment, where he would take shelter in the trees and eat the leaves, and occasionally wander down to pick the bugs off carcasses on the ground (gross). The trees are pretty sparce, so I can imagine him having to book it from tree to tree to avoid hungry predators on the ground!

Maybe I should call him the "floor is lava" monkey...