Mike Corriero- Damn that Terryl Whitlatch! She has replaced Wayne Barlowe as the artist who most often sneaks into my creature designs. In my defense, I imagined #58 as more of a hammerhead frog, whereas the Gorg (or whatever that thing is called in the book) is more of a Diplocaulus frog. But yeah, it's too close. It's interesting that everyone, including me, has different favorites among my designs. Your favorites and my favorites seem to have the most overlap, though.
zweiDei- Thank you!
markeshi- Thank you for the kind and encouraging words. Comparing myself to others is a trap I often fall into, unfortunately.
James Wolf- Coming from the man who, in my opinion, has one of the two or three best collections of creature designs in the round, that means a lot. Thanks!
Ignonimious- Thanks, buddy. I'm going to go over to your sketchbook and critique you one of these days, I swear.
spazozo- Thank you.
longshao- Sweet! I'm looking forward to the larger versions. Yeah, it was only in the last 30-40 that I finally settled on a method on how to work on these things as well. I'll definitely have to research some insects and other invertebrates. I learned a bit from your mentoring thread already.
Damn, I think that's the most comments I've ever gotten between updates!
Anyway, I've begun to render out some of my thumbnails. Here's my work on #1 so far. The values and rock forms still aren't finalized. I'm heading out into somewhat new territory with this one. I'm starting out with values, instead of diving straight into color. I'm experimenting with more texture in both the creature (using the Sphynx cat as a reference) and on the background. I'm also doing quite a bit of the work on Painter. Jason Chan's video encouraged me to get try to get to learn that program a little better.
So here's what I think about this creature's biology. I was a little doubtful when I increased the size of this image, because the creature has few sense organs. Its head has no eyes, ears, or visible mouth; just nostrils. So, what the heck does it do? How the heck does it get around? Here's what I think. It's a very cautious, slow-moving creature, relying on its sense of touch and sensitivity to vibrations. It always reaches out a testing hand before taking another step. It eats only a certain type of rock-growing moss, to which its sense of smell is specially attuned. It consumes the moss by scraping its snout over it and drawing plant matter into its small, almost invisible mouth. The scraping action would explain the downturned shape of its muzzle, as that would perhaps be a more efficient scraping shape. The need to scrape surfaces at various angles would also explain why a creature that is blind, deaf, and therefore has no sense organs that it needs to aim has such a mobile head. When it senses a threat approaching through the sensitive pads of its feet, it simply curls up and presents its highly venomous spines. Why is it blind, though? I don't know. Perhaps, fairly recently, its star underwent a change and began to emit light in a different spectrum, invisible to the ancestors of this species. Individuals who carried genes that caused blindness did just as well as those who could see. Because the blind ones survived long enough to mate, when before they had almost always died, the blind genes proliferated and eventually became the norm. Why no ears? Perhaps creatures on this world have evolved a vibration-sensing method similar to insects, who have their "ears" on their legs in some cases. In that case, it didn't loose any ears on its head; it never had them.
I hope some of you enjoyed that speculation. I rarely figure out this stuff ahead of time. I just make up a story that fits afterwards.
Edit: Looking at it now, I think the composition might be calling for more space to the left.