My Kind of Critter

Something I like to do sometimes while watching a horror, fantasy or sci-fi movie (usually something I’ve seen a number of times) is sketch out some thumbnails of how I would design the creature, person, vehicle or whatever the case may be.

I thought something fun to do here on the blog would be to show some step-by-steps on how I would re-envision a creature from the movie “Critters” – an 80’s creature feature.  It’s a really goofy movie.  Lot of fun if you haven’t seen it.  And I think it spawned about 3 or 4 sequels.  None of them were particularly good, but I always found the first one to be goofy fun.

My idea is to look at the Krites (that’s what they’re called by the space bounty hunters…see, I told you it was goofy) and come up with my own design for the creature.  I want to keep parts of them as is so their look doesn’t look foreign to those familiar with them.  But there are things that always bugged me about them.  For instance, they have the ability to curl up into a ball and roll quickly (which is good because their arms and legs are stubby).  My problem with that I never felt it was done realistically.  They really do look like fur covered balls that someone rolled from off-screen.

Krite from the movie Critters:


This week I’m going to work on my own version of this creature and see where it goes.

Today I just sat down and started on some thumbnails to loosen me up and get me thinking.

Brief description of a Krite:  Small furry eating machines from space.  Love to eat and cause mayhem.  Can curl into a ball and roll around.  Have spikes on their backs that they can launch at prey to immobilize them.  And they have big mouths full of many many teeth.

I grabbed a 40%, 60%, and an 80% cool grey prisma markers as well as a 02 micron pen.  I used the 80% on the first 3, but then switched to the 40% to begin the rest.  I really just went all over the place with these – trying to come up with something different.  I didn’t want to limit myself with what’s been done before or I felt I might miss out on a great idea.  For the thumbnails here it wasn’t about paying homage to the original, it was about coming up with my own design.  I basically had 2 ideas when I drew these and that was – 1) big mouths and 2) they need to roll.  I knew I would get into more of its anatomy later:


With these thumbnail sketches I thought that a fun idea would be to give the critter some caterpillar or centipede-like legs along its back to use to speed it along when it curled into a ball.  I also played with the idea of longer arms as I liked that idea with the larger sketch on the previous sheet of thumbnails:


Okay, that’s a start for today.  Tomorrow I’ll work on more thumbnails and decide on a direction to go in for a more finalized design.  This has been fun.  I think I’ll do more on the blog where I do my own take on creatures and etc.  Stay tuned!

Click here for part two of designing a new Critter – Huntin’ Down Reference

Click here for part three of designing a new Critter – Finding a direction – part 1


  1. Pingback: Direction Found |

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