When I design an animal character I like to study photos, then drawing by drawing play with character, warping it. The final step is usually focusing on the more extreme experiments away from the studies and bringing back what I might call universal appeal. The fight is creating a legible appealing character, while maintaining that interesting concept you discovered while experimenting.
The drawings here are the first few steps into turning information into abstraction. They don't go to huge extremes yet, but lead me there.