schoolism – Creature Design (part 1)

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I took part in my second course at last summer: Creature Design with Anthony Jones.

His teaching style was quite different in comparison to Bobby Chius Digital Painting course but I liked it just as much. He was more explaining and defining what will be needed from an artist working in the field of creature design then simply showing how he works. He also greatly explained what defines a real character “design”, I was highly thankful for that. In contrast to Bobby’s course, where most of the time a basic drawing was given to work on further, one worked on a personal approach to the given task of designing a special dragon kind.

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Lesson 1 – What is Creature Design?

In the first lesson Anthony Jones reminded the viewer that designing doesn’t just mean drawing and showed his approach for the “visual brainstorming” part. Mainly we worked on some silhouette-thumbnails, a more abstract approach and a more detailed sketching style with many iterations.

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Lesson 2 – Comparative Anatomy

The second lesson concentrated on the anatomical background of creatures: how one can relate the human anatomy to animals and then back to the creatures. I now realised that many of my leg combinations from lesson 1 wouldn’t work in real life. 👿

I’ve worked on the anatomy of a kangaroo for this lessons assignment. Getting the bone structure was one thing but, to be true, I’ve never really thought about the muscles of an animal while drawing before. Moreover it was quite hard to get matching reference material for the kangaroo from the front view.

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Lesson 3 – Thumbnail to Sketches

Now it was time to bring the thumbnails to some more detailed sketches with structure. Also the knowledge of the anatomical research from lesson 2 should be taken into account.

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Lesson 4 – Gesture Drawing of Animals

This lesson was about animals in motion and in static positions, having different gestures. It was pretty interesting to realize that it’s much harder to draw the static poses and keeping the figure in balance then with the ones in motion, as one can see the weight and the direction more clearly and can be more drastic with the drawing while with the static poses one need to be more settle.

If you want to take the course, or some of the other great courses they offer, you can click on this link to get yourself a little discount and me some extra money for my next course too. 😮


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