Monday, January 31, 2011

Character Finale

Meet Eena, an ogress who lives in the deep woods. As far as ogres go, she is quite good-natured and will only eat people who leave trash in her forest. Her hobbies include cooking, herbalism, singing, storytelling, gardening, and making cloth dolls.

And then there's Dorkbobble, who acts as a messenger for his gnome clan, but also sells potent hallucinogenic mushrooms on the side. He speaks 14 different languages, so is often called upon to settle disputes among forest creatures. When he's not traveling, he enjoys writing ridiculously overblown and exaggerated tales of his adventures.

The essay So You Want To Be A Concept Artist appears to not be online anymore. But I'll take a stab at it anyway. I've always been interested in concept art, and have considered it as a career. I've always found preproduction more interesting than actual production. But there are two things I find difficult about it. The first one is allowing myself to use visual references and not think of it as "cheating". I've always liked to draw from imagination, and for a while I had an obsessive fear of being unoriginal. In high school, if I drew something from my head and thought it looked too similar to the style of another artist, or the pose or composition looked similar to someone else's work, I would erase it immediately and start over. Clearly this has been holding me back, and I'm slowly breaking out of it. The second thing is allowing my characters to grow. I often get too attached to my original ideas and feel like I have to stick to them, even when the character could benefit from a makeover. So while concept art might be a fun hobby for me, it might not be the best career choice if I can't learn to loosen up a bit.
When it came to making these characters, I tried to express their personalities through movement while keeping them readable and easy to draw. It was a bit difficult at first to draw them at different angles, but I keeping their shapes in mind helped.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Mickey Mouse was Calvin. I loved his antics and his musings, and I loved Bill Watterson's art style as well. At the age of 6, I was using Calvin and Hobbes comic books as drawing guides.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

30 Original Character Silhouettes

Until now, I had never really tried just focusing on the silhouette, but it proved to be a very useful exercise. I had been wondering how to make my characters more distinctive and recognizable, and this helped a lot. I often get bogged down in details while neglecting the bigger picture. Faces are my favorite things to draw, so when I design characters, I tend to focus more on the face and neglect how the rest of the body looks. I will definitely be working with silhouettes more in the future.
For my original characters, I used some that I had already created, some that were loosely based on ones I made up earlier, and some that I made up on the spot. All of them were done in Photoshop with a tablet. I sketched the form, filled it in, and then cleaned it up with the eraser and the small brush tool. Sometimes the silhouette would go in a completely different direction than the one I was intending, but I just went with it and created a new character in the process.