When Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was released there was no doubt that the CG character, Davy Jones, was simply stunning. I liked all the sea-life characters in the films, and they inspired me to create my own interpretation – just for fun!
My timeframe was roughly about four to five days (down time at work), so I knew it would be too much for me to create a full character during this time. I decided then to simply render the head out in a "headshot" photograph style.
Like with anything I do, I started out with sketching the concept. This helps me tremendously in the modeling process. Obviously, the work flows a lot faster when you know what you want. I looked up references for fish and sea creatures, sketched out a few designs, and came up with this character (Fig.01).
I started out with a polygon cube and worked my way up to form a head. I imagined a skull underneath his flesh to keep the form nice and solid. Even though my plan was to render him for a still shot, I still wanted to have good topology – it's just good practice and also handy if I need him for some kind of animation in the future (Fig.02).
I built my way up to extra details, like skin folds and creases (Fig.03).
Once I was more comfortable with the head, I built in the fins (Fig.04).