Draw and paint a hy­brid species

Blend hu­man and in­sect fea­tures, with Ed Bink­ley.

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents -

Cre­at­ing a blended hu­man and in­sect is one of my favourite things to do, so I’m hon­oured to be in­vited to demon­strate my ap­proach for Imag­ineFX here.

De­pict­ing an­i­mals with hu­man char­ac­ter­is­tics (an­thro­po­mor­phism), from your imag­i­na­tion can be fun, and cre­at­ing be­liev­able anatomy from two very dif­fer­ent species is a fas­ci­nat­ing chal­lenge. But there are sur­pris­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties across species that can be played with, and you’ll find you can take ad­van­tage of fas­ci­nat­ing mix­tures by al­low­ing happy ac­ci­dents and other cre­ative op­por­tu­ni­ties as they present them­selves to you. There are plenty of ex­am­ples of great artists who ex­plore th­ese cross-species in­ven­tions. Arthur Rack­ham, Ed­mund Du­lac and con­tem­po­rary il­lus­tra­tors Olga Dug­ina and Chris Beatrice are masters of an­thro­po­mor­phised wood­land crea­tures – birds, in­sects and a va­ri­ety of small mam­mals who’ve taken on hu­man fea­tures and per­son­al­i­ties. The work of Travis Louie, HR Giger and a gen­er­a­tion of con­cept artists has gone in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion, not only de­vis­ing creepy hy­brids from mul­ti­ple species, but chal­leng­ing our per­cep­tion of the nat­u­ral or­der or the tra­di­tional food chain.

Here we’ll look at some of the chal­lenges, tech­ni­cal and nar­ra­tive, such a com­bi­na­tion presents. I’ll demon­strate some setup and or­gan­i­sa­tional prac­tices, some tech­niques I use to cre­ate the il­lu­sion of depth, light­ing and tex­ture, and we’ll ex­plore the un­end­ing, fun ques­tion: how much hu­man and how much in­sect?

The il­lus­tra­tion’s back­ground is not part of this work­shop, but the ob­jects in it were cre­ated us­ing nearly iden­ti­cal tech­niques demon­strated here.

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