A Creepy Creature

By: Courtney McCreary

Who doesn’t love cryptids, right? Whether or not you believe in them, you’ve got to admit the stories behind them are somewhat interesting to hear about.

Cryptid is a term used to describe unknown creatures around the world, literally meaning “an animal whose existence is questionable“.

For my senior exhibition next year I will be developing some cryptids of my own, using inspiration from animals and eyewitness depictions of some popular cryptids such as the Jersey Devil, the Dover Demon, the Flatwoods Monster, and Mothman (my favorite).

The process of creating these creatures from the imagination involves working out a lot of studies before working on any finished pieces. I’ve been working with charcoal on some gesture drawings, basically drawing out as many variations as I can until I find one I like. Now I’m working on some small painted studies to get a better understanding of the creature’s anatomy, light values, and shading.

A creature study. Oil paint on a 6×8 piece of panel.

Ultimately, my goal is to portray these cryptids in landscape settings i.e. their natural environment, while maintaining a level of ambiguity. In eyewitness accounts of popular cryptids, very rarely is a clear image captured, which kind of deepens the mystery surrounding them. So it seems appropriate to adhere to that level of curiosity. Regardless, I’m very excited about this project. I have A LOT of work ahead in order for it to turn out like I want it to. I’ll probably post more studies along the way as I paint more of them.

Until then, happy painting, y’all!

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