Another render for my underground series and for the BlenderGuru 'Fantasy' competition. After lots of wheel-spinning on a few other ideas, seeing the theme of the new BG contest gave me an excuse to start over with a whole new scene.
Going in, this scene was based on the idea of a creature with an elephant nose - all the better to snivel with. The makeshift shrine came about since I needed something for him to be sniveling at, and the book was my first and probably best idea for something to put in the alcove.
I did learn from my Sphinx scene not to make the environment as one sculpt, which would have been especially ill-advised in an enclosed space like this. Instead, I took some of my previous blending and smoothing techniques to 11, smearing the busy rock textures into a smooth clay surface. Thanks to the shadow catcher option in Blender 2.79, I could render out some pebbles to comp in on top and keep some of the detail.