I knew I wanted the Ulon Dosi to have a goat-like appearance, so that made for an easy starting point. In general, with aliens, I don’t mind drawing inspiration from actual animals, but I’m not a big fan of just putting straight-up animal heads on human bodies. I prefer to play around with features, mixing and matching them between different animals (or making them up), and I always try to play around with different proportions.
The Ulon Dosi had the extra challenge in that I knew they were going to be major characters in the story arc and needed to be sympathetic and look like intelligent beings, so I didn’t want them to look TOO animalistic. So I deliberately kept the snouts from being too long and tried to straddle that line between animal and human proportions in the face.
As a random note, back in 2007, I did a freelance comic project called The House of IL for a corporate anniversary event. The 3-issue comic was distributed among the company employees but was not made available to the masses. It was a fun D&D-type story about a band of adventurers and I really liked the different character designs I did for that series since the characters all had armor based on different historical styles, and each set of armor was distinctive and had its own telltale, instantly recognizable features. Anyway, one of the characters had tiny beads in his hair, and I always liked that look, so those beads made it into the Ulon Dosi as war beads that the fighting males of the village wear.
You can check out some pages from The House of IL, as well as the character sheets here. If, for some reason, you’d like to buy a set of the comics, just shoot me an email through my Contact page.