My fantasy creatures tend to look static – how can I bring them to life
There are a few different situations that can lead to a stiff monster image, so I’ll try and address each of them here. No matter what you’re drawing, the usual root of a problematic pose is a static (or nonexistent) gesture. If you’re not starting with some loose gestures, then you’re just asking for a stiff creature!
Beyond that, you also need some story behind the character so that it feels relevant to the audience. Story can be something as simple as showing the monster emerging from a lake, which implies there was something going on before and that there’s still something about to happen. Not all monster scenes have to be scary, but if the monster itself is, then you’re also going to want some sort of implied threat. It can be massive jaws, crazy claws or bony paws, but something about it should feel dangerous.
You can also use textures to make the beast feel less human. To this end, I’d suggest avoiding a silhouette that reads too much like a normal person. This will indicate to the viewer’s subconscious that this strange creature is of unknown origin, and could be dangerous!
What sort of monster would he be if he weren’t dangerous? Adding large claws or giant fangs are good, but also consider more subtle traits like slippery skin.