Create Your Own Fantastic Creature!





Hey, guys! I hope you’re doing well. I’m back with another tutorial, this time we’ll be diving into mythological creatures and monsters! As usual, I also made a video form for this tutorial too!

Each culture has their own unique mythical creature. I find them interesting because they’re mostly, if not all are based on humans,existing animals or even hybrid!

For instance, Phoenix, a legendary bird that can regenerate itself by fire or a Titan that rivals the height of Mount Everest! Knowing that there’s endless list of these creatures, it’s impossible to fit all of them into one tutorial.

So I thought, why not start from the basic? Having a general idea is a first step for creating a better version of any subject. I’ll be sharing my thought process of creating a creature, this time I’ll be drawing a dragon with my own twist!

And here’s the outline:
1. Know your mythical creature!
2. Silhouette practice | importance of shape
3. Colour, pattern and texture
4. Iconic element

Know Your Creature!

It’s good to have a general idea of the creatures you’re going for. Take ideas from existing animals, better yet having understanding how human and animal kingdom work will tremendously help you in coming up with more elaborated ideas.

For example, dragon is a large, serpentine that in some culture depicted as winged, horned, four-legged and capable of breathing fire. Break their parts apart and you’ll notice they’re from animals that you’re familiar with and each part has their own function. But remember, this tutorial isn’t just about creating straight from folklore, it’s about unleashing your creativity and imagination and create a creature of your own. So, treat them as such. Add personality, describe what makes this creature as yours!

For my dragon, it’s a giant, curious 2-legged lizard that escaped from a children storybook.

Once you got the basic idea of your creature, let’s get into the visualising your concept on paper.

Silhouette Practice

Drawing a shape is a good way to start. Shape serves a lot of information. You can relate it to movement and personality.

For instance, round represents friendliness and rectangle represents dependability.

It also depicts movement of your creature, they could be flexible and quick, heavy and slow or fat and clumsy.

One technique I learnt from character design class back in animation school is to utilise silhouette. Silhouette is the solid figure with well-defined outline.

I like using lasso tool because the looseness can help you to create shapes you may not even think of and it’s quicker.

I prefer to make several variation of silhouette to generate more ideas. I take account to its shape, personality and how it affects the creature. I go with cylindrical shape with rounded edges to match its friendliness and bulgy nose to match with the storybook idea. Don’t be afraid to delete and redraw another silhouette while at it.

! Silhouette bashing!

Silhouette bashing is also a great way to come up with newer design from the existing ones. I mixed the variation that I like and further redesign until I satisfied with it.

Then, I use lighter and darker colour of the same hue to add more details.

After I finished with the head, I implement similar edges, shape and minor details to the body.

*extra details*

Colour, Pattern and Texture

Colour and texture also affects how the creature is represented. There are various way to choose colours, for example warm vs cool colour and pale vs dark.

I decided to further elaborated my dragon’s description along the way. It’s a dragon that oversees the sky and ocean. So, having this information with the existing ones, I thought transitioning from warm to cool colours throughout its body would be appropriate! Warm represents the sky and cool represents the deep ocean.

As for texture, it gives information of the touch ability, roughness and sliminess of your creature. Since mine came from a children’s book, I thought that associating pencil-like texture would be great addition. I used pencil-textured brushes to create the details and the outlines.

Here, I used PETPEN brush to create water-like texture.

I also add my own doodles on its body to subtly convey the idea of its origin by using Tapered pencil brush. I try to be consistent to ensure everything is tied up as the end result. I repeat adding the texture, colour mixing until I’m happy with the result.

Here’s what it looks like!

Iconic Element

Iconic element refers to any piece of flair that is unique and memorable but also consistent with the creature’s personality and purpose.

So, I’ve already rendered my dragon! Its bright warm colour shows his happy-go lucky personality. Its horns that resembles thin papers and the doodles on its represents its origin from a children’s book.


That’s it for today’s tutorial. I hope you find these tips helpful.

While I only demonstrated these tips on this creature, they’re also implementable to any other creatures as well. Let your imagination runs wild and I’m sure you’ll be able to create your own fantastic creature that you could be proud of! Bye~



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