I see illustration (or even being creative in general) as a skill that needs to be exercised, a bit like going to the gym to get better at sport. Before a big work out, it helps to warm up so that you can kick ass when it comes to the meaty bit. In illustration-land, my favourite warm ups tend to circle around monsters - mostly because there's no right or wrong way to draw a monster! This benefit of monster drawing means that anybody can draw them - yes even those people that say they can't draw at all.
In today's blog post, I'd like to share with you one of my monster-drawing exercises, as I think it's a really useful tool for creativity. Give it a go and share with us - we'd love to see what you come up with.
Step 1: Shapes
Firstly, grab a drawing tool. Pen, pencil, crayon; whatever floats your boat. On a piece of paper draw a random shape. Here's a bunch to give you an idea:
Pretty random huh? Ok, so I like this one:
Step 2: Features
Give your monster a face by drawing in some teeth, eyes, nostrils and so on. I even added an extra ear as you'll see below.
Step 3: Detail and Shading
Here is where you ask things like "What would my monster feel like if I petted it?" and "How does it hear, or eat, or walk?" These leading questions can help you fill in some of the details, such as fur, scales, extra limbs, claws or even accessories.
By using shading, I start to give the critter a sense of form. Sometimes I'll draw a simple star shape further out on the paper to suggest where the light may be coming from, which informs how I shade the monster.
If you liked this exercise, I run a creativity-flexing, monster-drawing workshop bookable through The Art Troupe where you can get more gems like this one.