-By Mike Butkus


I put the thumbnail of the finished sketch in the corner so you can see how I got here. The first thing I did is block out the anatomy and the overall shape. I used a black prismacolor pencil on Duralene paper, making sure to have at least 20 sheets of the Duralene paper stacked beneath so I could get a nice smooth line.

Here you can see how I really focused on the skeletal structure, blocking out large shapes and redefining them, making sure nothing is too symmetrical. I used a 600 wet and dry sheet of sand paper on the side to get a nice chisel point on my Prismacolor pencil.

In this stage I start chiseling out the muscle structures and start thinking about my dark and light shapes and where I want my core shadows to further define the muscle structures.

Now I start designing my shapes to really capture the overall expression of the creature and this process is a transformative process where by I constantly reevaluate the look of the creature. Don’t be afraid to erase!

The last step demonstrates the final finishing touches using the airbrush to soften shadows, and gouache in the white highlights to make the details pop. If you look at the overall shape of the creature,…it’s one big letter C.