Step-by-step: Paint a family of extra-terrestrials
1 Choose the look of a mature adult first. Are there males and females, or does reproduction not need that? I pick a male in his prime and add patterns, colours and features I can use to help suggest different generations. Making him an upright biped helps viewers make associations I can use as well, even if he obviously isn’t human. 2 I use that biped association to sketch a junior version using what we know about human proportions through childhood and old age. I sketch a smaller version of the adult with a larger head, shorter tail and less- developed plant-like features. Then I sketch an aged version, slightly hunched, rather tattered and worn. 3 Using the adult as a mid- point, I colour the younger and older versions based on a logic of the life- cycle. The youngster’s colouration evokes sapling plants, but also perhaps the need for camouflage to avoid predators while it’s small and vulnerable. The elderly version references those that have withered and lost their bright colours.