I’ve been pretty quiet for the last month or so since all my free time has been eaten up with my Drawing II final. We had to cover 1,296 square inches of paper with drawings. The medium, subject, and size/number of papers were all up to us. I’m going to go ahead and talk about it here for a bit rather than writing it on every post (I’m doing one a day for…probably the next 26 days so U R WARNED).
SO for my project I did an alphabet of obscure mythological creatures, titled Alphabestiary!
Each page is 6x8.5 inches, and that background texture you see is a scrapbook paper I found at our local scrapbook store. The other side was some sort of Americana pattern, so I’m not sure what the paper’s theme was supposed to be but okay, hahaha. I drew straight onto the paper, so the only part done in Photoshop was some color correcting after it was scanned!
I used archival pens to do the lettering and fine details; three shades of teal Copics to do the spot blues you see on some animals; and charcoal pencil to shade the animal itself.
For the letter in each upper left corner, I tried to find a font that reflected the culture the myth came from. Some fonts are a bit cliche for my taste, but making letters that reflect the art of each culture could have been a project in itself, and due to time constraints I had to use pre-made fonts. All other writing is just a font I made up!
This project owes a lot to Wikipedia’s extensive list of legendary creatures, but I also Googled and referenced various books I own. I tried to pick creatures that weren’t well-known, because honestly I feel like dragons, griffins, etc. etc. are pretty overdone when there’s still a lot of really cool myths out there! I also avoided any humanoid mythical creatures because honestly, I just don’t like drawing them as much :P
Because the creatures were so obscure, I mostly worked off of what scant written descriptions I could find. So I am sure there are plenty of inaccuracies! If there were images of a beast that contradicted the written description, I usually went with the description so I had a bit more artistic freedom. For most images I used 3 or 4 reference photos.
In all, each page took about 3 hours, but I am super pleased with the result and am thinking about making a small book/zine out of them :)
You can read short comments about individual images on my facebook album, as well as see a few pages early since Facebook doesn’t have a handy queue function :P
To see the whole set on Tumblr as they’re released, you can check out my Alphabestiary tag :)