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