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Sky Shepherd Study by MichaelBeaudry Sky Shepherd Study by MichaelBeaudry
This work serves as the official kickoff for my illustration project called "Exobiotica". The creature pictured is a Sky Shepherd. As its name implies, it carries on an aerial existence - maintaining neutral buoyancy via internal hydrogen compartments. The front appendages serve two functions- they are used to physically herd or corral the species of floating creature they subsist on, and also they are equipped with color-changing tissue that is used as communication between members of their group. Like them, most of their predators and prey are essentially floating gas bags which are highly susceptible to rupture. Thus, the Sky Shepherd evolved sharp appendages for use in attack and defense. Propulsion in any direction is achieved by the intake of air at the ventral posterior end, and then subsequent directional exhalation of the air through any of the four siphons.
The next work will I produce will feature these creatures and their prey in their aerial environment.
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:iconadamantiel:
Adamantiel Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2015
There really are some geniuses on here. Well done sir!
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:iconscp-811hatena:
SCP-811Hatena Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
It looks like an organic spaceship. I love it.
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:icontriplicate-squid:
Triplicate-Squid Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2015
Colors like a tropical fish or bird, the shape of an internal organ... Big points for making a life form with maneuvering thrusters that avoids looking at all technological.
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:iconspiderbesider:
SpiderBesider Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015
Breathtaking artwork. Looks so real. I love the colors you used and the blue-ish spots on its body. Wonderful lighting/shadowing.
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:iconsin-and-love:
sin-and-love Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014
Is it Sapient?
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2014  Professional Artist
No, actually. I haven't done any sapient creatures and I currently have no plans to.
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:iconyasu0523:
yasu0523 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
it's very good design :)
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Professional Artist
Thank you! You've got some really nice concept art, btw.
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:iconinsaneinferno:
InsaneInfernO Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014   Traditional Artist
wow man, the texture of the skin of this fish thingy is awesome!
really gives the feeling of a dolphin like fish skin...you know :P
good stuff man ;)
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Professional Artist
Thanks, dude. That's exactly how I imagine it's skin- extremely smooth, and almost waxy.
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:iconmagcargoman:
MagcargoMan Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Creepy but creative. Looks like an alien puffer fish.
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Professional Artist
Ha, thanks. Just what I was going for - creepy but creative.
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:iconploofwoowoo:
PloofWooWoo Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2014
Beautiful piece; it suggested tropical fish to me too.

What kind of planet does this inhabit? Terrestrial? Gas giant? Something else?

Also, could you give us a rough idea of scale?
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2014  Professional Artist
Thank you, I have a lot more work to do in fleshing out this creature and its environment. They reside on a terrestrial planet, although I need to do a bit of research to see if a floating creature would even be feasible. I seem to think it would, given a dense enough atmosphere. Regardless, it would have to have a high volume to surface-area ratio, so it is rather large- about 25-35 feet long.
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:iconploofwoowoo:
PloofWooWoo Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
I don't see why floating creatures couldn't be feasible, especially in a denser atmosphere.  I found this post with some estimated numbers: planetfuraha.blogspot.co.uk/20…
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Professional Artist
Excellent find, thank you. I remember liking this blog awhile back, but I don't check in regularly. His calculations are based on an earth-like atmosphere, and they don't seem to rule out a ballont type creature, they just make it less likely. However, I've been planning from the start to have the atmo of this planet be somewhere between the density of Earth and Venus, so it might work out better for my creatures. Thanks again
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:iconclawedfrog:
Clawedfrog Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Biologically accurate Flappy Bird comes to mind. Very cool!
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Professional Artist
Ha, nice. The only difference is that I'm not going to remove mine from the public access.
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:iconclawedfrog:
Clawedfrog Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorta funny isn't it? All of those flappy birds died and now they're gone forever. Let's hope that nobody builds big pipes between the sky shepherds' wintering and breeding grounds. 
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:icongrazatt:
grazatt Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014
amazing
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:iconboazpulu:
boazpulu Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Student Photographer
incredible work! love the details
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Professional Artist
Thank you! Detail is what I love to do.
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:iconchavatquiah:
Chavatquiah Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013

Wow I already love it!

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:iconmickmcdee:
MickMcDee Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
awesome colouring! looks really like a tropic fish in a coral reef, looking forward for the enviroment of this beauty
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Professional Artist
Good call- I actually had tropical reef fish in mind when I designed this one.
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:iconorionide5:
Orionide5 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013
Wow, cool! Reminds me of a parrot-cuttlefish-daphnia.
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:iconherofan135:
herofan135 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Such awesome work, this design is so cool and actually very realistic!
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Professional Artist
Thank you!
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:iconzippo4k:
Zippo4k Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013
This it great!
...
Reminds me vaguely of the large, Gigantocypris deep-sea ostracods!
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013  Professional Artist
Thanks! Yeah, those are pretty cool. Never fails, no matter how unique I try to design a creature, it always ends up looking like something that already exists haha.
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:iconzippo4k:
Zippo4k Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013
Heh. Guess it's just convergence? XD
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:iconcybershot:
cybershot Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013
Mice creature!
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:iconnefelem:
Nefelem Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013
great concept and execution. It looks like it could be real.
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013  Professional Artist
Thank you! In my next piece, it will be in its natural environment, so it should look even more realistic.
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:iconmagmasloth:
MagmaSloth Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
wow, very inspirational xenobiology ya got there.
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:iconjackrover:
JackRover Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013  Student Digital Artist
This is... beautiful. Feels realistic and elegant like only a real life form could be
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013  Professional Artist
Thank you! I spent more time designing this creature than any previous one, and tried to make it more realistic.
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:iconhyrotrioskjan:
Hyrotrioskjan Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013  Professional General Artist
Perfect :thumbsup:
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:iconmichaelbeaudry:
MichaelBeaudry Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013  Professional Artist
Lol, I wish. Thanks!
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September 19, 2013
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