This is part of my ideation process, I'll take a sketch and redraw over and over again. I do it to begin with and then I'll do it over an established sketch. Formstorming is tiring but absolutely vital - wether it's a graphic design project or a digital painting project. Small variations like these can change the basic image substantially. Doing as many as I can is key - 50 to 100.
Character development, sperm whale meets Poirot. Not sure where the Squid villain comes from, perhaps some terrible sub-conscious corner of my mind. :)
I've always enjoyed working across different styles. From photo-realistic work to very stylised work. There are so many levels of stylisation you can break things down into, here I've worked on character designs done in varying degrees of stylisation creating different illustrative styles.
These sketches were done in Photoshop- depending on their end purpose I'll either take the sketches into Illustrator and work on them there in a kind of 'flat' character design or I'll reiterate them in Photoshop until I'm happy with the results.