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Creature Design in Digital Paint

Creature design is a nuanced process, with many applications – from reanimating extinct animals to creating movie monsters. If the goal of the design is to invent a creature that performs certain actions and which can be seen from any angle, a solid silhouette is important, but the overall composition should take a back seat to anatomy. In this workshop, I’ll be painting a piece that’s meant to create a unique creature within a balanced composition which stands alone as a finished illustration and not just a design rendering.

Aside from a few thumbnail sketches on paper, I create my illustrations entirely in Photoshop with a Wacom tablet. While I use tools like layers and colour adjustments that don’t really exist in the physical world of painting, I approach the digital painting process in a fairly traditional way. I paint dark to light with simple brushes and flatten my image on a regular basis to keep it cohesive. Ultimately, my process is more about the basics of colour, lighting and composition than the digital tools. That said, the computer’s by far the best artistic tool I’ve ever gotten my hands on.
Click here to download the full workshop for free (PDF)
Click here to download the support files (9.93Mb)

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