Fantasy Illustration: Creatures and Characters

Drawing of animal mix Image by Quinton Delmar from Pixabay

Class Overview 

Fantasy fiction and science fiction are fascinating genres for art. You’ve undoubtedly seen this imaginative art form captivate audiences in books, comic books, animations, games, and movies. In this class, learn to draw, paint and create magical fictitious fantasy creatures and characters with no limit to the creative possibilities.

Explore the rules of anatomy and how to realistically illustrate the proportions of fantasy creatures. Then learn how to bring them to life through movement, action, and three-dimensionality. Learn how to illustrate light, shadow, detail, and color in your fantasy creatures. 

Combine these skills to portray a variety of creatures, such as dragons, dinosaurs, robots, trolls, shape-shifters, cyborgs, mutants, insectoids, animal and multi-creature hybrids, and mecha. Learn how to illustrate all of the amazing actions they do such as running, flying, battling foes, rescuing heroes, breathing fire, etc. 

You will develop skills to use your mind to create entirely new species and worlds and bring them to life with your own hands!


Supplies Needed

This Supply List gives you the option to purchase a smaller selection of supplies, or a larger, more varied selection of supplies, depending on what you would like to use for class (and after class)!  The more varied selections will be listed with the word (optional). For the Drawing supplies, it will be good to have them for the first class, but for the painting supplies, you can wait until after we talk about them on the first day of class (as in the first few days we will be doing drawing).

Drawing Supplies:

  • Pencils (Graphite): 2B pencil, 4B pencil, 6B pencil (Optional), 8B (Optional), Woodless Pencil (6B or 8B) (optional)
  • 70-90 lb. Drawing Paper Pad - either 9"x12" or 11"x14"
  • White vinyl eraser
  • Pink eraser on the back of a pencil (for detail erasing and drawing white lines on gray areas) or a Mechanical Eraser (Tombow Mono Knock 3.8, optional)
  • 3-4 Paper Blending Stumps (in a variety of sizes), (or paper towel/ tissues for blending, if you can't find blending stomps for the first day)
  • Pencil Sharpener (preferably with shaving collector)

Painting Supplies:

For the Painting Supplies, you don’t need to get the Paints or Paint Supplies until after we talk about them in the 1st class, (We will be drawing the first few class sessions), so you won’t need the paint supplies at the beginning, and in class, we can talk about what collection of paint supplies would work best for you!)

  • You have the option of getting either an “Entry level collection”: i.e., a small selection of Acrylic Paints (either 60ml/ 2 oz or 118 ml/ 4oz) of at least 5-6 Colors: (at least White, Yellow, Green, Blue, Red, Black)- (i.e. Liquitex Basics), or a more varied collection (optional), (in 118ml tubes, 250 ml tubes, or 400 ml jars), including Titanium White, Light Yellow, Medium Yellow, Medium Orange, Medium Red, Magenta, Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue, Phthalo Green, & Black.
  • Watercolor Paper Pad (8.5x11, 9x12, 11x14 or 12x16) and/ or Canvases (Stretched or Canvas Panel) (8.5x11, 9x12, 11x14 or 12x16)
  • A small collection of Brushes - A small #1 round, a ¼ inch filbert brush, and a 3/8-inch filbert brush
  • (Optional brushes): ½ inch filbert, ¼ inch “angle” brush
  • Jar or large plastic cup or container (like Yogurt or Peanut Butter Jar) for water
  • Paper Towels
  • Disposable paper palette pad (i.e., Strathmore, Canson, etc.)- 9x 12 or 12x16 (12x16 is better because it has more room)
  • (Optional): If you'd like a palette that keeps the paints wet between sessions, (optional), you can get a 12 x 16 “stay wet” palette, or another good option that you can find online which is cheaper/ better is the: "Hipiwe a4 file box (recommended)" (i.e. on Amazon) (If you get either "stay- wet" type palette, you'd still need a "disposable paper palette" (above) to put the paints on, inside of the "stay wet palette")
  • (Optional) Paper plates for additional paint mixing
  • (Optional) Acrylic Matte Medium 
  • (Optional) Spray bottle for keeping paints wet
  • (Optional) Small table easel or small drawing table (optional, depending on if you like drawing/ painting on the table or drawing/painting upright)


Learning Objectives 

  • Depict a variety of fantasy creatures and characters
  • Illustrate dynamic poses, motion, action, and facial expressions
  • Gain knowledge and skills in the depiction of anatomy and proportions
  • Utilize light, shadow, and geometric objects to depict 3 dimensionality
  • Use color mixing, hue, value, intensity, and complementary colors to depict fantasy creatures in color
  • Explore and develop your own fantasy creatures from scratch 


Who Might Enjoy This Class

  • Anyone who is interested in enriching their lives with the joy of fantasy creature drawing and painting
  • People who would like to gain or improve their drawing and painting skills 
  • Anyone who would like to explore the world of fantasy creatures and create their own from scratch
  • Anyone who would like to bring more realism, movement, and personality to their fantasy creatures


Class Details