I had a lot of fun working on this image. The characters on the left are some of my oldest friends, going back to some library books I checked out week after week in elementary school, each about one specific monster. From Wolf-Man, Dracula, and Frankenstein's Monster to King Kong, Godzilla, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Mad Scientists, Aliens, Zombies - I checked them all out a dozen times each.
But still my biggest influence was Michael Berenstain's Creature Catalog. In a complete stylistic departure from his parent's Berenstain Bears, he use a very intensely detailed pen and ink style that feels more like engraving. At first I thought Durer was his primary influence, but now I see a much more direct link to work by German artist Wilhelm von Kaulbach. Berenstain used this tight, sculptural style to create a survey of dozens of mythological and fantastic creatures from cultures all around the world. Anyway, I guess its the only book I still have from when I was 7, and its a treasure to me. As time goes on, its really my biggest influence, and its a pleasure to find its stylistic ancestors.
As far as my image goes, I'm pretty happy with the way the foreground and background are meshing. Anyhow, let me know what you think!