Creature Creations

Creature Creations - student project


I chose an ornamental magic lamp, an old brass candlestick, a spiral lightbulb and an antique iron as my objects. I went with four, so that if one just didn't speak to me for whatever reason, I'd have plenty as backup.

I don't have a light-box, so just inked the pencil drawings so as to be able to see them through the overlaying copy paper (in order to easily complete the upcoming transformation process)...



I began with the spiral lightbulb, which instantly made me think 'snake', 'jellyfish' and 'reindeer'. After briefly exploring these three ideas, I gravitated back to the tentacles, and created a (potentially glowing, to fit the object's use) squid-like creature which is what I settled on...
Creature Creations - image 1 - student project

I then went on with the candlestick. I bent the stick as if it were 'melted' (broken) adding a webbed foot at its base. I then thought of the object as a limb, adding different 'feet' and finally just added some wings and lanky legs on a whim as I was honestly out of ideas. Ultimately, I went back to the initial 'trumpet-duck' for its wonderful quirkiness (it also makes me think to Alice in Wonderland -- the horn ducks -- which is an association I enjoy)...Creature Creations - image 2 - student project

When I first looked at the iron, 'snail' and 'frog' came to mind immediately, though I'm not entirely sure just why. I was a little intimidated by the frog idea, so did the snail, then went crazy-wacky, still procrastinating the frog. I'm glad I finally got to the frog though, as it is indeed my favourite...Creature Creations - image 3 - student project

I'd left the lamp until last as I'd assumed it difficult, but it was the one I actually had most fun with. My first thoughts were 'camel hump', 'scorpion tail' and ' elephant trunk' so I explored those before unexpectedly coming up with a dragon at the last minute, of which I feel is the most interesting of the four (I enjoy the fantasy elements of the magic lamp and dragon combined, too)...

Creature Creations - image 4 - student project



I played with paints from my (well, my Mum's actually) watercolour paint palette for a while...Creature Creations - image 5 - student project

I was tossing up between an ethereal, subdued colour-set and a bright and energetic one...I ultimately decided on the latter and chose these five colours as my palette for my quirky characters...

Creature Creations - image 6 - student project


PAINTING (Part 1 & 2):

As aforementioned, I don't have a light box, so I got creative and found that an old iPad mini with a blank note page open does the trick.


Creature Creations - image 7 - student project


PAINTING (Part 3 & 4):

I reworked the 'frog-iron' a touch to make the two blend together a little better...

Creature Creations - image 8 - student project

Creature Creations - image 9 - student project

Overall, I think they all came up pretty well, though I feel like the candlestick-duck may just be the odd one out in regard to a 'set'. The other three have more realistic elements to them, while it doesn't, but is still great in it's own way.


I thoroughly enjoyed this class. I'm a big fan of whimsy but never really trusted that I had the imagination for it. I now feel like maybe I have, and I'm looking forward to exploring the world of fantasy further. Thanks, Hélène, for a fantastic class.