I didn’t really have a strong idea for the creature I wanted to design initially so I started to research and explore the animal groups with the hope that during my studying something would spark an Idea. I focused my attention on fish anatomy first since it’s the area I had the least experience with. I did my first studies on a few extant species that I could easily find reference for. I also kept my eye out for anything that caught my attention and might make a good base for a creature. The goliath tiger fish was one of these. I really love the big teeth and the sharply curved fins.
I also did a couple pages of extinct species. Here are a some studies featuring the ancient lobe finned fish eusthenopteron and and early amphibian capitosaurus.
After doing a bunch of studies I did finally settle on an idea for my creature and began another round of sketches this time focusing specifically on those species I wanted to incorporate into my design
I wanted the final creature design to incorporate elements form all three animal groups. I also wanted to push the story telling in the design, so I spent some time writing a brief natural history for the creature. I wanted it to be like something you might see in a field guide, just a quick summary explaining a bit about the world it comes from and some details regarding its behavior. I wish I had time to get a color version and some additional studies of the creature finished. If I can I want to revisit it sometime in the future to flesh things out even more.