I chose to use a creature similar to a crocodile which creates a feeling of fear in most of us. I drew a few option to choose from and created more of the image than will actually be used, which helped me with the design process.
The first sketch (above) I started with the eye and built the silhouette of the head, then added the shading and then refined the details. This is a basic 4-step approach I use on most projects and applied it to all of these sketches. Staring with the eye, I focused on the emotion which aided in deciding the light source. The silhouette determined the perspective, which is normally is from the side or front when creating characters. depending on if they are bipeds or quadrupeds. I add the jagged teeth to help sell the fearsomeness of the character. I think that I like this one for it's perspective similar to what we would see in the real world.
I used a Prismacolor Premier pencil which is a waxy material with a smooth feel. It is virtually smudge resistant compared to graphite or charcoal, but when used in conjunction with Bienfang Graphic 360 paper (a marker paper) one can easily erase as long as you don't go too dark. I use a battery operated eraser that works wonders. The pencils also do great on my favorite paper ...printer paper 500 for $5. It is great for design work but not for framing.
In the second sketch I did it in a pseudo-3D perspective. I kept the teeth from the 1st design and changed the texture of the skin a bit. I did a full view of the head including the nose, which wasn't included in the 1st sketch and made minor changes to the eye and back area.
In the third design above I worked out some of the kinks, changed out the teeth, detailed the eye more, added a detailed back ridge, a smooth-like skin texture (compared the the others), had fun with the nose and developed the perspective more accurately.
The study of eyes, researching images of eyes, how the light reflected and the way the shadows fell prior to these sketches was essential. I always recommend researching before creating. Here I took from real life examples and applied it in concept art / character design.
I will post the digital painting of this project when it is completed.