Monster Drawing Techniques - Stan Winston Creatures with Timothy Martin

How to draw monsters with traditional pencil techniques. Master special effects character creator, Timothy Martin, pays homage to Stan Winston.

Sep 3, 2012


The Predator.  The Alien Queen.  The Terminator.  The Kathoga.  The Leviathan.  Pumpkinhead.  Edward Scissorhands.  The Raptor.  The aliens from Galaxy Quest, and Stan Winston himself.

Beside their obvious connection to the Stan Winston Studio, what else do all of these iconic figures have in common?

They’re all going to be part of the “Winston Chimera.”


As I see it, this week’s lesson, Monster Drawing Techniques: Stan Winston Creatures, has two distinct paths for viewing.  The first, and what I see as the most important, path is the journey into the world of conceptual sketching.  This is where Timothy Martin, artist extraordinaire, shows you how to simply use a pencil and paper to create a concept directly from your imagination.


The second path is a journey into sheer fanboy awe.  Martin’s creation, as I mentioned before, is the “Winston Chimera.”  This is a remarkable creature that combines the attributes of many favorite Stan Winston creations, including Stan Himself!  Now, regardless which path starts you down this journey, you’re in for a treat either way.  This is one of the most visually creative segments to date.  And to think it’s all done with only a pencil and paper just shows that anyone can do this.


In the industry, the art of conceptual sketching is one that sadly is being bypassed more and more.  With computer technology becoming more of the norm, the simple act of putting pencil to paper is sometimes looked at as an older medium.  The major factor for this thinking is time.  Sometimes in the “quick and hurry” atmosphere of the industry, and to an extent, the world, there just doesn’t seem to be the time for penciling out a concept.  This is a shame because working things out with a pencil and paper is sometimes where true sparks of inspiration exist.  Watching Tim Martin work, watching his fluidity, watching his style, his care, his attention to detail… these are things that sometimes just don’t translate to a “quick and hurry” style of computer rendering.  Watching him work not only teaches and instructs, but it also completely enthralls.


Speaking of enthralling, in addition to watching Tim sketch many of your favorite Stan Winston creations, and seeing them blend in ways you never thought possible, there is another perk contained within this lesson.  And for me, it’s a big one.  During Tim’s instructions, numerous original concept sketches are shown of the Predator, the Alien Queen, the Terminator, et al.  It’s absolutely fascinating, and humbling, to see how these similar conceptual sketches became some of the most favorite creatures from all of filmdom.  It’s like a virtual museum of some of Stan Winston’s greatest creations, at their very first steps.  Plus, looking at them as pieces instead of wholes as we focus part-by-part, piece-by-piece, in this “Winston Chimera” is something that will truly open your eyes to the fact that there is always more than meets the eye.  It’s all on display here, and it’s truly something incredible.


Now, before you start watching the lesson, try this game.  Look at the sketch of the “Winston Chimera” and see if you can figure out where each and every piece comes from.  I feel like I’m somewhat of a pro on all things Stan Winston, and I’ll tell you what, when Tim got to certain parts of his Chimera, and explained what the sketches were from, there were even a few pieces that surprised me.  I thought I knew each and every part of the Alien Queen until this video.  Goes to show that sometimes there are so many details that even the most trained eye can miss them.  And these are the details that all originate from the simple art of conceptual sketching.


So grab a pencil, grab a piece of paper, and join along.  When you’re done, see if you can come up with some kind of chimera of your own.

You’ll be inspired.  I guarantee it.

Click Here to check out the FREE LESSON PREVIEW now.

-Jeff Dixon