Help me concept a mutant
Kyle Spick, US
The first step in creating any kind of mutant is to determine their origin story, their life before the mutation event took place. Whether it’s a heavy dose of radiation, genetic splicing or a bit of magic, the “how” behind the mutation will inform your reference research. Don’t be afraid to get specific when gathering your reference material. Mixing in elements from another particular species or exaggerating known and existing mutations can help add flavour and believability to your design.
The level of mutation you create, from as subtle as a slight shift in bone structure to severe body form changes, will entirely depend on the needs of the story you craft. For this article, I’m going to illustrate a woman who’s been bitten by a cursed spiny orb weaver, a type of spider that’s striking in both form and colour.
Working in Photoshop, I began with a sketch of a human in the pose I want. Taking this approach can help you keep mindful of the flow of the forms, creating a natural mix between the human face and the mutated elements. Maintaining enough of the human form in the face can create an even more disconcerting mutant, because it can still evoke empathy in the viewer.
Altering and including additional aspects of the figure, like the hands, can help push the creep factor
of your mutated human.