Chimera | Skillshare Projects





Designing realistic creatures seems fun and challenging. It's been an interest of mine and seeing RJ Palmer's art has inspired me to take these classes. However, I don't do creatures often so I aim to find my way and learn some things.

I had trouble with an idea here, so I mashed some animals together and decided to make a Chimera. At the top was my first design. I started very humanoid and threw in a Crocodile tail. I experimented with gliding wings but I wasn't feeling it. I decided I wanted to avoid the classical version of a Chimera (three heads, snake for a tail, wings) lose he reptillian features and go quadraped, which I got really comfortable with.

I put antlers in the shape of wings on its back, and added a muscular tail with a bone protruding out of the end that looks like a skull. Avoiding feline head design, I decided to go with a pit bull. I found a design that I liked so I resisted adding more detail, trying to stick to step 1.

On to step 2.

Here I assemble everything I think I need for the next step: Fur patterns, angles, anatomy, lighting, etc. I will be doing a study that focuses on anatomy and lighting.



And here is a quick study of dog anatomy since that will be my primary reference. I added some things in green that aren't apart of its anatomy. It will have horns, antlers on its back and a longer, muscular tail that will be able to bend to it's front.

On to Step 3.

Here I start the palettes, and I attempt to finalize the design. I'm unsure about the antlers/horns/spikes on it's back so I'm playing with those. Top left is the original design: three antler like spikes on it's back. Top middle I do like, but I'm fine with dropping them all together. Bottom middle is a smaller version of the original. Any feedback is welcome.

I chose shorter antlers, and changed the tail to that of a clubbed tail dinosaur, which kinda looks like a snake head. I put some barbed fangs on the bottom to complete the "snake" portion of the chimera.

Here I experiment with fur patterns from snakes, cats, ligers and dogs. I don't bother with the bones much because their color wont change much from natural bone except with the gray palette which I do like. I like the liger one as well.

I began to wonder, what does a Chimera do exactly besides maul stuff with different heads? Well, apparently they also breathe fire so after using a blotched pattern I added a little red and yellow onto the fur. I kinda like that one as well.

I also forgot to add the front view of the head.

I kept the pose study loose. I already had some idea of what I wanted to do before I got to this point, but I sketched it out in case I wanted to change something. It's going to be dynamic, a mix of te top and bottom right poses. I want to have it breathe the fire.

Final lines:

On to step 4.

Since he will be blowing fire, the light source will be angled in front of him. I plan to have a cooler background light behind him. Next the colors will be added.

I'm back, and I'm finally able to upload the final touches. I enjoyed working on this and I learned a lot. Looking back, I feel that there were a couple of things I could have done better. Let me know what you think.


This beast spends its time lying in wait for its food, Using its snake-head shaped clubbed tail to smite smaller prey. It uses its fire breath and antlers as defense against larger predators by keeping a low stance. Anything it cannot catch in short sprints and overpower with its muscular body and jaws it will try to wound with the "fangs" of the clubbed tail which usually have rotten meat (formerly used as bait to lure scavengers) on its serrated edges left there by the beast, which it can track by scent for miles.


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