A few days ago I stumbled across the Art Explosion contest, and the theme was Spirit Animal, which seemed interesting so I decided to make something for it :)
I've liked deer ever since I was a kid, mostly because the name Hart is also the word for a type of deer. Honestly, these days deer generally annoy me since they like to stand in my driveway at all hours of the day. But at least they look pretty.
So my original concept was a standard deer with some leaves tangled in his antlers, but my sketch looked too much like a mounted head so I kept sketching things and eventually wound up with a kind of creepy tree-creature deer. And that's what I decided to go with.
And the anatomy is not so much deer-like anymore, but I also used to draw a lot of dragons when I was little and this deer-creature is now reminding me of that so it's all good. Here's a progression of the lineart.
Everything digital is done in Krita, btw.
Then I painted it. I'm getting better at remembering to take progress shots, but I forgot to take one early on which I'm sad about 'cause honestly it looked really bad. The creature and trees were more reddish-brown and forest-green colored like normal trees should be and it was just terrible and I wish I had saved it somewhere.
I also had problems because at some point I decided that I wanted the creatures's horns/back to be a light source and that made dealing with shadows confusing so they're more artsy shadows than realistic, haha.
I'll also mention that I usually try to avoid using green since my monitor severely under-saturates green and cyan so sometimes something that looks grey-ish to me will actually be like crazy bright. But I wanted this to have green and turquoise, and it looks only somewhat crazy bright on my phone, so it is what it is.
Here's the final thing again.
Now my only problem is that this creature turned out pretty sleek and cool, but I'm more of a scruffy mess like the actual deer that hang out in my driveway. So I'm not sure if this is really my spirit animal anymore, haha. But it's a spirit animal. Like a plant-spirit animal. And I'm not even completely sure if the contest is still active, but this was fun to work on either way, so thanks for the prompt @juliakponsford :)