The three (rough) Nessie options
After roughing out some Nessie shapes - I have narrowed it down to three Nessie 'designs'. They all take my original brief into consideration (although they are rough just now so not all elements are visible). So each of these designs is sizeable (somewhere between 4.5m and 14m long), able to swim at great depths, dark in colour (counter coloured - so pale underneath), four legged/flippered, rarely on land, furry like a seal and has both lungs and gills.
Not one to miss out on a marketing opportunity, I posted all three designs to Instagram and asked for 'the public' opinion on which design they thought was most Nessie-like. My Instagram following is fairly low (although I love each and every one of them) and mostly based in Scotland, so they might be a little biased. But I am heavily taking their thoughts into consideration.
First up - the more traditional. Super plesiosaur-inspired, this Nessie has a strong, rudder-like tail and the classic long neck, as well as powerful flippers. I've given each design big eyes, which in this sketchy stage makes them all look a bit cute, but once more detail is added this will (hopefully) lessen.
As you might expect, this was the Internet's favourite. By a lot. Basically none of the other designs got any votes - which is a little disappointing for me, I would quite like an unconventional Nessie. But I too was brought up on this Nessie shape - it's what I know the monster to look most like.
This one is my favourite.
The flippers have a lot more dexterity, which I find both pleasing and sensible. She has the long neck (which in this case is very flexible) and is likely to be a little smaller than the plesiosaur-shape.
Having put it out to the vote (this one got a very small handful of votes) I'm quite keen to incorporate some elements from seal-Nessie into plesiosaur-Nessie, even if it's just the flippers.
Lastly, the radical shark-Nessie.
I had a couple of comments about the tail. But I can't think that she would look particularly good with fur, so really, this was a bit of a wildcard.
It's good to know what the general consensus is on the shape, too, and now I get to move forward with a more final sketch!