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Monday, 17 May 2010

Planning a Naga - How to draw a monster?

The weather is gorgeous, and I have two days off work this week! Woohoo! I'm going to tackle my next drawing challenge - Wetcanvas' Creature Feature - a Naga. A Naga is a mythological creature, usually seen with a female head and torso, and a serpent tail from the waist down. It has the ability to change form either fully human or fully serpent.

I am not at all experienced at drawing a make-believe monster, or planning out how I want it to look! The links on the Wetcanvas Creature Feature forum lead to images of statues, the Naga creature appears to be depicted as a many headed snake, and I really fancy having a go at that. I will need reference photos of snakes, especially angry looking snakes. I want to do individual heads all looking angrily at the person viewing the picture.

Looking at some other artists work to get ideas as to how they do their monsters, I was looking at Marc Scheff's website, and found this image of a "Scorilla". Not only is it an awesome and imaginative creature, but I noticed he gave it a background that it seems to fit into. So I think rather than just do a dark background, I could do with thinking about where my creature is likely to live, where will it be found? My first thought is a D&D dungeon, though it could also be in the water.

Another artist whose great at doing Monsters is Christopher Burdett, a couple of his images really caught my eye, Galog Bullfrog and Post Apocalyptic, both are action shots that appear to tell a story, and both have extra characters in them you either feel sorry for, or will to fight and overcome the monsters in the images. I would like to include another character in my image, but I'll have to see how I can fit them in. I'm thinking of doing the image in colour pencil on A4 paper (English Letter Size), not sure how much room that will give me to do detail on the secondary character. Although having said that, Christopher Burdett managed to fit his extra characters in easily, although I don't know what size he was working on, probably digital so I guess the size doesn't count the same on the computer!

I'll also need to come up with a pattern on the snakeskin, either similar to that of a real snake, or one made up. I might use a real snake's pattern but change the colours - I quite like the greens and yellows from the first picture of a Naga at the top of this post. :)

This picture is definitely going to be a challenge, but again looks like it will be good for me to improve my skills! Any help or advice anyone can offer would be gratefully received!

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