Step-by-step: Cap­ture the mo­ment be­fore the beast at­tacks

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1I start with a very rough ges­ture sketch and fo­cus on the flow of the pose. I take the time to play with limb place­ment be­cause this is es­sen­tial for cap­tur­ing a sense of move­ment. Don’t be afraid to scrap what doesn’t work and it­er­ate on what does. For this ex­am­ple, I de­cide that I want the crea­ture – a chimera – step­ping down into po­si­tion.

2When I start to work out the anatomy I do a quick sketch to fig­ure out where all the joints should be, and more or less where I’d ex­pect the bones to sit. Then I work out how the mus­cles would lay over it. In­stead of ag­o­nis­ing over 100 per cent ac­cu­racy, I fo­cus on ma­jor land­marks that will in­flu­ence light­ing, tex­ture and the de­pic­tion of weight.

3Now that the form is a lit­tle more re­fined I be­gin work­ing out de­tails such as toe and claw place­ment, and fa­cial fea­tures. I also block in larger fea­tures such as hair and horns. Once I’m sat­is­fied that the base sketch both solves the ini­tial prob­lem and con­tains all the in­for­ma­tion I’ll need to pro­ceed to the fi­nal, I be­gin ren­der­ing the beast.

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