Monday, May 13, 2013

Introduction and First Assignment


Welcome to your Creature Design workshop!
Murder Sticks!
Image from The Oatmeal

Your goal: To sharpen your ability to create believable imaginary creatures as used in concept art with research, reference and storytelling exercises.

I will give one exercise in May and then two assignments a month through July. Each assignment will include several components and the option of doing a “push yourself” portion. (sort of like extra credit) I encourage you to post WIPs for each other to critique throughout. I will chime in occasionally during the process and a little more when you post finals but other than that it will mostly be up to you to support and push each-other.  If you wish to continue through August, you will have the option of creating assignments for each other and I will still participate.

This workshop is limited supervision and will only be as successful as you make it. I encourage you to practice the initiative and self-discipline necessary to your success after college.

If you would like to state any personal goals you have for this workshop- I encourage you to do so. It will help me tailor assignments to your needs.

Assignment 1: Natural History
 Due May 31st

Good creature design is informed by your knowledge of the real world and the questions you can answer from observing it. Let’s start off by expanding that knowledge a bit.

Find an unusual creature (can include insects) that you don’t know much about and do some heavy research on it. Write a report that answers some basic questions:

Where does it live?
How does that affect how it has evolved and looks?
How does it feed?
How does it procreate?
What are the differences between the male and female?
What might be its evolutionary ancestors- what other creatures is it related to now?
Does it have any symbiotic relationships with other animals or plants. (such as how bees pollinate flowers or oxpeckers eat bugs off elephants)
How do they usually die?
What are their predators and how have they evolved to escape them?
Share anything else you discover that may be of interest

Draw your creature from as many angles as you possibly can. Draw the male, female and baby versions If you can find a skeletal structure to draw- do that as well. Try to find videos and do gesture drawings of it without pausing if you can.  Add at least two color versions exploring color, texture, patterns and any changes in these that may occur depending on their environment/age/gender etc. Arrange these studies in  800 x 1000px documents (landscape orientation) 72 dpi. (use however many layouts seem necessary)

*Push Yourself: Illustrate the creature in its natural environment.

Here's some inspiration:

Why the Mantis Shrimp is my new favorite animal

Underwater Astonishments with David Gallo Ted Talk

video

Nick Baker discusses the Mimic Octopus more in depth:


Image from The Oatmeal

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