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How to Draw a Creature Design with Ballpoint Pen, Colored Pencils, & Watercolor

00:10 Interest in creature design
00:39 Identity through creature design
00:53 Animals in cultural contexts
01:20 Considering environments
01:53 Imagination vs. reality
02:09 Using reference photos

02:35 Drawing guinea pigs: Fluffy
04:03 Drawing guinea pigs: Jub Jub
05:54 Drawing guinea pigs: Wheat
07:39 Creature sketches: shapes
09:22 Chinese mushrooms as reference
11:57 Ballpoint pen drawing

13:31 Color sketches with tracing paper
15:45 Watercolor painting
17:12 Colored Pencil enhancements
18:24 Name for the creature
18:38 Bloopers

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Catherine Huang

Cat Huang
Illustrator & Comics Artist

Julie Benbasset

Julie Benbassat

Strathmore logo

Materials provided by Strathmore

Tombow logo

Materials provided by Tombow


Design an original creature illustration.

Core Ideas

Color, line, shape, illustration, narrative, character development


Art Supplies: Tombow Mono High Quality Drafting Pencil
Art Supplies: Watercolor Brushes
Art Supplies: Tracing Paper
Art Supplies: Hot Press Watercolor Paper
Art Supplies: Colored Pencils
Watercolor paints
Art Supplies: Sketchbook
Art Supplies: Ball Point Pen
Art Supplies: Blue Painter's Tape
Art Supplies: Tall Plastic Container
Art Supplies: Paper Towels

Related Tutorials


Eiligh Orff

“I used my poodle Spin as a model for creature design project. The final product was a white eight legged poodle that grows lavender from its back. It was tough to get sketches of Spin standing up as he would move around too much, but I managed to get a good few of him laying down and I liked the way his body curved and his legs stuck out.

Because I liked those curves so much, I added even more legs. It was tough trying to invent the anatomy, but I looked at some dog skeletons online to assist me in that. Because poodles are domesticated dogs I decided to put the creature in a home setting instead of in the wild, and carried the idea of domestication even further with the lavender growing from its back. It can be harvested from the back of the dog.

I put some drying herbs hanging from the ceiling to suggest that perhaps there are other dogs in this  world that grow other plant life from their bodies. I used neutral tones for an earthy, peaceful atmosphere of a doggie just taking a nap in a sun patch. I am not very experienced in watercolor so this was a bit of a challenge for me, and ballpoint pens are not my favorite lining tool, but I made it work for this creature’s sake!”

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