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.