Cre­ate an aw­ful crea­ture

How to turn a quick sketch into a fully formed, hor­ri­fy­ing, char­ac­ter con­cept

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Meet­ing an old friend


Years ago I made a noo­dle in Pho­to­shop of a strange, one-eyed beast. Years later I be­gan work­ing on a per­sonal project called a Mem­ory of Dead Reck­on­ing. Glanc­ing through my old files one day I came across that old one-eyed jerk and re­alised he had a role to play. Step one: de­ter­mine who – or what – he was.

B Re­fin­ing the de­sign

I al­ready knew enough about my project that I could set the tone for ap­proach­ing this fel­low. I want an old back­woods, Amer­i­can style, folk-tale vibe, like the tales of Sil­ver John, mixed with a strong dose of HP Love­craft. I also want an iconic shape. Time for more scrib­bling…

C Room for self-im­prove­ment

I move to dig­i­tal paint once I’ve got the shape go­ing in the right di­rec­tion. I use my painted ver­sions to change the Hookhan­der’s out­fits (im­prov­ing my skill at paint­ing cloth­ing and ac­ces­sories) and ex­per­i­ment with the tex­tures of the de­sign (wet and mucky, or dry and brit­tle, or translu­cent, and so on).

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