I have a very brief image post today where I will share some drawings from life, followed by some free-wheeling imaginary creature designs based off of my life studies. In previous posts I have discussed a bit of my love of on-location drawing…

And recently I was able to take a trip with my family down to the coast, where we were able to see a wild variety of creatures in the tide pools and inlets and along the shore.  Drawing out in nature is a challenge and a struggle, as your subjects tend to move, jump, jostle, bite, sting and possibly poison you. All of which makes precise, highly-rendered drawings very difficult to pull off. It is one of the hardest scenarios to work in, but it also feels like a true challenge that stretches me and makes me better than when I started. So without further ado, here are some of the drawings from life:

And then, because I can’t leave well enough alone, I did a follow-up page of monsters while sitting on the couch with my kids later at night while we nursed our sunburns, cuts and poison stings:

To those of you currently thinking that this kind of drawing might scare my kids, please know that instead of filling them with terror, it instead made them go off and make their own page of monsters (which were far more terrifying than anything I came up with...). Making a page of speculative creatures like this feels like a sort of a decompression for the brain. It gets all the tangled ideas that occurred to me while I was drawing from life out and onto paper. That way they don’t stay in my brain, haunting me for days afterwards. (Or so I hope…)

I hope you’ve enjoyed them!