hey Prometheus09, no reason to be discouraged, you have to start somewhere! you have some really good ideas for your creature and since you've joined the challenge, you're on the right track. Also, pencil on paper is great exercise (i for one use the standard Photoshop round brush).
we're all here to learn, it's a lot better to see these challenges as opportunities to create rather than compete
i'll send you a PM with some resources and inspiration.