Draw and paint a hybrid species
Blend human and insect features, with Ed Binkley.
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.