With the recent ArtOrder sketch theme being a plant humanoid, I got to thinking about the first Dungeons and Dragons creature I redesigned for 4th Edition, the Dryad. The redesign was for a miniature to be included with the Desert of Desolation set and eventually the Monster Manual. They wanted a new approach for the Dryad and gave me several elements or characteristics they wanted me to include. With that in mind, I got to work on many quick studies, some of which I went back into and fleshed out.
From these small sketches, a general body type was selected, and I then designed several body/head variations. I love the 'hair' on option B. Looking at it now, there is no way it would have been selected, but it sure is fun.
More notes were given, and I moved closer toward a finished design. More variations on the 'hair' were still needed, but the overall body form got locked in. Here is a perfect example of why an Art Director is SO valuable. I was working with Stacy Longstreet throughout this entire process. At the time, I was completely attached to option A. I was too close to the drawings and lost perspective. The Art Director was able to be objective and make the better decision... so that we would not end up with the "Bride of the Dryad." It is undeniable now, the same with the 'hair' on option B above.
Option D was the winner. Here is the final turnaround for the miniature.