My project involves giving a fantasy twist to a real-world animal. How should I start?
Answer Lorena replies
If you want to give an animal a fantasy twist or want to put it into a fantasy setting, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, decide what you want to do – where does this creature live and how would that affect its appearance? Once you have that figured out you can get to work. Fortunately it’s fairly easy to turn a normal animal into a fantastic one as long as you stay consistent within the story or world you have in mind.
Remember that there are different kinds of the same animal – so before you get started, look up some pictures that might inspire you. For example I’ve chosen a fox but there are many species of foxes that offer quite a lot of inspiration: Maned fox, Fennec fox, Arctic fox… So start out by gathering some suitable reference. You don’t necessarily have to use it during your painting process, but it will help you come up with different ideas. When it comes to adding the ‘ fantastic factor’, there are no limits and you can go from adding feathers or horns to turning the animal into a fire elemental and so on.
I decide to have my friend sit in the shadow with the background in full sunlight. This gives me nice values to work with. There are many options for the layers in Procreate including locking them, using one as a reference layer, and changing their blending modes.
Ensure your environment ties in with your creature concept, so that your beast doesn’t look out of place.