Help with creature design



  • Hey everyone! I have an ongoing painting series of griffons that aren't the normal combination of eagle + lion. I'm tackling a Barn Owl + cougar griffon next. Looking for tips on making it a stronger creature design, and i'm especially struggling with the tail design. I want to include both the tail shape of a cougar as well as feathers. Here is the sketch: 0_1541725732280_barnowlgriffonSKETCH.jpg Any tips appreciated! Thanks so much!



  • Really nice, I like how you’ve blended the two creatures. I have no issues with the tail, although if pressed, I’d say maybe decrease the size of the feathers as you get further down the tail. I like the angle you’ve chosen, and overall I like the composition. The one area that seems slightly off is the rafter or beam cutting through the tail, which (due to the width of the devide compared to the size of this creature) makes the tail appear a bit disconected, and I’m finding I want to see more of this critter. Hope that helps.



  • @amelia-bothe Hey, this is looking good! If you don't like the tail try reversing it and have the tail start like a Cougar's and then fan / flare out like an Owl's at the end; almost like a Giraffe tail. I think the reason why it's not working as well as the rest of your design is because the feathers on the tail are a bit random and do not look as "purposeful" or "functional" as the rest of your Griffon. If you know what I mean. Otherwise good job!


  • SVS OG

    Your skills are so impressive and Imaginative. I agree with @Adrian-K that the width of the beam detracts from the animal. Making it thinner would allow the tail to feel more cohesive and also make the feet more prominent. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.



  • This is really nice! I love it. My only suggestion is to check the perspective on the rafters. It might just be me, but something seems off about where the bottom piece connects to the one the bird is sitting on. And maybe even the piece the bird sits on seems like it is rotated instead of level with the ground.



  • @amelia-bothe Very cool design! It does look quite cougary.

    I agree with @alexsen that the tail feathers at the moment don't look like they serve a purpose (unless they're the fuzzy downy feathers of a cougar griffin kitten).

    My initial read was that this creature only had two legs, much like an actual owl. It looked like an owl with cougar footies. This problem is tricky to fix at this worm's eye view.

    I would move the wings further onto the creature's back. Griffins are quadrupeds (I always though it was 'quadr'I'ped') with wings closer to their shoulder-blades. Right now the wings are where an owl's wings would be. If you move the wings further up, we'll be able to see the hind legs and it'll look more like a cougar griffin than a kitten owl.

    Awesome work so far 🙂



  • @kristin-wauson yes I completely agree! In fact The perspective was giving me so much trouble yesterday I made a physical mock-up of the setting and took some reference pictures. It looks a lot more believable now! 🙂



  • @amelia-bothe I hate it when that happens! The perspective grid in procreate has saved me a million times. I hate to admit what a crutch it is, but I don’t know what I would do without it. I guess I’d be drawing lines with a ruler and pencil. 🤨



  • @amelia-bothe Yeah! This looks really cool. Just to echo what some others said, it might be interesting to think about how this creature lives and moves in the world. Does the tail have a purpose? What's a cougar's tail for vs. an Owl's tail? I know that takes it to a more abstract layer, but it might help give you ideas about how to design the creature so that things make more sense.

    It looks awesome so far though!


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