For my creature, I tried mix an elephant with a giraffe, and put it undewater. It only kinda worked, but I ended up with a cool lookin' monster, so who cares.
Same as before, I give the creature what is basically a cel-cut rendering to serve as an underpainting.
I detailed all the little parts beofore touching the skin at all. I pulled up some reference of elephants skin and started going to town on those wrinkles; first adding all the cracks, then the highlights, and evening out the midtones where needed. A multiply layer to add more dimensional shadows, and the creature is finished.
After a quick water background, I have a snazzy-lookin' creature.