How to Draw a Monster (Monsters 101)

How to Draw a Monster (Monsters 101)

REB wrote a base article on how to draw a monster some time ago for We thought it would be a nice addition to the blog here at Art of REB, for artists of all skill levels. Besides it’s just fun to draw monsters. That original article appears below:


Even the word sounds cool.

To me, the best monsters are the ones that the viewer can somewhat identify with. Though this symbiosis can take place on many different levels… the most common technique employed is the distortion of physical appearance. If the creature has a recognizable human attribute, mangled or rotting, we feel we can relate to some degree. Which leads us to our subject manner… How to draw a Ghoul!

How to draw a monster. Art of REB

Basic Shapes – Solid basic shapes that depict dimension and form are the building blocks of any good drawing. Wether a simple cartoon or detailed line art, understanding dimension and form aids in the artist’s comprehension of how the object occupies its space and makes the art convincing – the arm looks like an arm – fingers look like fingers… etc. Understanding Basic Shapes are essential for any artist.

How to draw a monster

The Rough Sketch – This is where I generally begin with a new piece of art. However, as I sketch out my rough, I am seeing the basic shapes with my minds eye. The rough is done in a creative, fluid state of mind… allow your mistakes to happen here, be loose, so you may edit them later. In this stage, the scribbles are like little cliff notes… the grass sways this direction – the hair sorta flows like this. General anatomical notes – the rib cage – chest – certain muscle shapes and groups, and so on.

How to draw a Monste

Tightened Pencils – After the rough, I will trace the lines I wish to keep in a non-photo blue lead. This is truly an editing stage for me. I carefully examine my ‘cliff notes’ in this stage and decide if it will work or not. This is also the stage my final blacks will be planned. Where is the light coming from – is there a secondary lighting source – how much shadow do I drop in?? All my questions are asked and answered at this time before I begin the final inks.

Final Inks – Remember, before you start slapping ink around, make sure you have a complete, solid drawing to begin with. All the hard work is done at this point, which allows you the freedom to concentrate on line weight and mass. Be smooth with your inks. Pay attention to little touches of detail here and there. Pull out the areas you want to accent with clever lighting techniques etc.

Drawing monsters is the same as drawing anything. You are trying to convince someone’s eye that this object is occupying this space on a 2 dimensional plane. It’s not easy… takes lots of practice…. so what are you waiting for? DRAW ALREADY!!!! 😀

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