To Draw a Fantasy Creature
Hi! I, [Zab], will try to help you draw a fantasy creature, or at least show how I do it sometimes.
Please remember that this is only one way, and if you have another one that works better for you, then there is no reason to dump that one for this. I’ll try to make it as good as possible, but if you still have questions or suggestions to make things here more clear, please tell me in the commentbox or in a message.
Thank you for visiting.
Ok, let’s start with making an easy bonestructure. Remember to make the lines light; you’ll erase them later.
First I always make the head, when I’ve gave it somewhat the shape I like, I continue with the body. I draw circles for the chest and hindquarters, and lets the spine and tail be a line. I mark the middle of the circels and head with one line, and the eyes place with another, crossing the first. To make different types: Heavy and powerful creatures often have a big, round head, short neck, quite short and thick legs and maybe a short tail. More atletic beings have a small head, long necks, long thin legs and a long tail. If it’s a flying creature I suggest you to make the atletic type, and if it’s a slower, stronger being use the heavy shape. I’ll make a quite light shape.
1. This foot is bent in a step, that’s why it’s a little wierd looking in the angles.
2. the bones are placed like this with most mammals, they aren’t stuck with other bones, only muscles, and therefore it’s possible to change the angle here very much in each step.
Time to make the main structure! Now just imagine how the creature will look with skin and muscles under it. Still remember to draw with a light hand; we’ll put muscles on it later and maybe you want to change a few things then. Don’t be afraid to draw wide and without any details, that’s the way to get new ideas and find good changes.1. Here is a muscle, think of that already now to get the right size and so.
2. Here isn’t much muscles at all (at least not if you’re using animal structure, on humans here are some muscles) but a bone and ligaments.
3. Mark the size of the eyes and how the ears should look.
4. Is it a thin or a fat creature?
So, time for muscels. We’re just drawing the ’visible’ muscles, those who’ll probably be visible through the skin. This is to help us shade later.
A suggestion: If you’re insecure on where the muscles are, look at a image with the muscles on some other animal. I mostly use the horse as referense, simply because it’s easy to find scheduals on them and I’m used to draw them ;)
1. The ribs, they are often visible here, between latisimuss (the muscle on the back) and abdominis (the belly).
2. There are many bones and muscles in the head, it’s not nessessary to draw them all. Just show the biggest. :)
3. Now it’s time to make horns and stuff like that.
Time for shading! :D
Now, decide were the light comes from, I’ve shown it with the arrows in the upper right corner. Remember that most muscles are quite round, and the light falls on the parts closest to the light-source, as the shadows falls behind the highlights, on each muscle. If the light is dim, or the creature is a little fat, make sure the differense between highlights and shadows is quite small and dim too.
1. It won’t come much light here, the rest of the body is in the way.
2. Remember the ribs? They shows quite much here on this skinny thing.
OK.. here is the same creature, but in a dim light. Notice that it’s darker; it don’t have to be, it’s just because I was too lazy to make it all over, so I just made the highlights darker instead. ;)
OK, Here will be some other images, many of them are quite old, just to show a few different types. Only two here now, but maybe more to come.
(If you're about to ink the work, it's best to do it before you shade.)
And an image of a scull, and of the horses muscles, just for referense. :)
See also: Horse photo reference