The animal kingdom is full of weird specializations and features. A mutation happens and suddenly an animal has a different color, or a new feature. A stronger jaw, a higher top speed, you name it. Specializations are caused by little errors in the DNA of an individual. Most of these changes go completely undetected, but sometimes they’re very evident. More often than not this mutation doesn’t change much about the animal, but when it does it either means the demise of this animal, or success. And when success hits, this specific animal will likely be able to have more offspring than it’s other species members.
Living species are an archive of organisms that are alive today. There are millions upon millions different species out there, ready to be used in your character or creature design.
Locomotion is key to understand the anatomy of an animal properly. You can’t draw an interesting and believable pose without understanding the way the animal moves. You also can’t understand the way an animal moves without understanding its anatomy. These day’s we’re a lucky bunch because current technology allows us to see animals in slow motion. Allow me to introduce you to some of the best videos out there!
The micro-cosmos, a world we only truly started to explore in the past few decades. If you’re looking for complexity in simplicity, you’re in the right place. So, there are way more shapes out there, and I mean, WAY more. In this top 10, I just picked a scope for you to get a good idea. In some other articles, we will dig deeper into the different shapes we can find when we have a powerful microscope.
But what is the use for artists, you may wonder? I think we can take two lessons out of it. 1: Less really is more, and 2: just look at the complexity of these very simple organisms that stand at the very base of our food chain. It’s a source of inspiration and something to fall back on when you want to create something really special with your art.
We people are quite privileged with our ability to see color. Our sight is our main sense, unlike that of many animals. Color to us tends to be a matter of taste, but for animals color is a matter of life or death. So what can animals see? And what does color mean to them? And what do their colors and color patterns tell us about them? Come have a stroll with me for a glimpse at mother nature and what she can tell us about color and learn how to use color in your creature designs on the fly!
The planet we live on screams specialization. Every single organism you see is specialized, one more than the other, but they all found their niche and adjusted to it. In some cases, this means they have very remarkable features you rarely see in other species. In other cases, it meant the difference between life above the water surface and a completely barren planet. Let me take you on a stroll and show you some wonderful specializations on this planet.