character design

I’ve been working on a bunch of new character designs lately, all in various stages of completion. I had a lovely experience recently doing a few illustrations for a toy client, DEFINITELY a dream client, and I had a great time, got to work on some great properties and learned a lot from a terrific art director. Nothing quite inspires one like getting a good opportunity, so I’ve been trying to keep up lots of personal work.

First off, I found this again today:

face studies14SM

Three faces, three ways – pseudo-realistic, comic, Disneyish…I’d like to think I’ve come a long way even since this, but it was a fun exercise and I still like ’em. Plus REDHEADS.

Recently, I’ve been adding work to the galleries, more often than I’ve been updating this. I have to say, I also have been enjoying ArtStation way more than my own website….eep, it’s true! Anyway, I’ve been having a ton of fun practicing a toonier approach to character design (though rest assured, I also have a painting or two in the works).

When I designed this Maid Marian character, I was thinking about what it would be like if there actually WAS a Robin Hood done in the style of The Last Unicorn. As you may remember, there’s a part in the beautifully animated tale (and of course, the phenomenal book) when Schmendrick creates more of his zany, one-day-I-will-be-a-genius-sorceror-I-swear magic (which is true) and summons a vision of Robin Hood, Marian, and the Merry Men, to Captain Cully’s dismay (resulting in the amazing boob tree scene, I KNOW). I mean, his outlaws were doing so well what with that 4-day rat soup and the mention of tacos. I loved the look of those Rankin/Bass films with all their amaze-balls Japanese animators doing a slightly more western style, so here is MY Lady Marian.

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I have a Bachelors in Fashion Design, which maybe I don’t talk about enough. Drawing flats was one of my favorite things when an assistant designer, so when I was creating Marian’s looks it was important to me that each piece still be a complete object. Also, I have several of these ALMOST paper doll projects, so I really need to turn one into an actual working doll with the tabs and slits.

So I’ll leave you with one more design here, but again will remind you that there’s more updates in the galleries. I can’t always be trusted to post about them all, though I will try!

This little lady is from an animation class. Honestly, I hadn’t quite considered when I wanted to draw a deer girl, that I was, in fact, designing a furry. So, apparently that happened, but you know, we could just forget the whole furry phenomenon and remember that the Greeks invented things like satyrs, and that was perfectly respectable material for artists prior to the internet and poorly drawn anime, okay?

deerMaid

smug smugglers WIP

smuggler figures

smuggler silhouettes

I really want to push my portfolio to include more sci-fi and feel more varied (also why I’ve been lately trying to do some more cartooning) so started sketching some faces, silhouettes and clothing ideas one day. I picked out these two guys to take forward and had to sit on this a bit longer than usual to figure out what’s next.  They aren’t finished but got a little stuck here for a while.

Things feel like they’re flowing again so they should now be finished soon and I think I’m going to add a frame around the guys to work on a little materials indication of leather/metal/whatnot and to have a decorative element to the piece without adding much to the background. :D

dark creature designs

dark_realm_v7logoThese are some concepts from a creature design class I also took last winter, this one with the amazingly talented Jerad Marantz (here is his ArtStation and please go check it out if you aren’t familiar – he’s crazy prolific and works on the coolest projects).

Anywho, for the latter half of our 10-week class, Jerad had us concentrate on creating SCARY characters for a dark planet, which for me and a few others was pretty new. I loved drawing animals as a kid, but I never, ever tried drawings something creepy.  As you may have noticed (unless you’re blind), my schtick generally is pretty girls.  So, the reference gathering began. Naked mole rats, bugs, gross things that live underwater…yum, yum.

Jerad is a really solid critic, so I was really happy with my results following his workflow.  I just want you to know you can start out with some really crappy sketches. Like, I think I used this paper to check if that blue pen is still working…BUT you can see the formation of a couple of my designs right here, in all their crappy glory.

creature feature

Not that I showed those in class.  Here’s the first set of ideation:

dark realm 1-72 dark realm 2-72Getting more finalized….the idea is that two are herbivores, two are carnivores and two are humanoid, so only moving forward with one of each.

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Some last adjustments happened on the line work and then added value. I turned the “herbivore’s” head (because does anyone NOT eat meat on this planet?!) for a little more variation in the poses, otherwise, they’d all have posed, turned heads. It’s noteworthy to mention that things look good in threes….yes, I’m talking about the boobs.dark_realm_v5_value72The rest is all color, shadows and an indication of environment. Thanks for taking a look!

Bigby Wolf sculpt teaser

BigbyWIPIt’s amazing how until you put hair on a sculpt of mid-transition Bigby Wolf, he looks surprisingly like my beloved Panthro from the Thundercats. WIP….getting somewhere on the face but need to work on the body more next (his back is fairly amorphous). Needs more texture like Walken needs more cowbell.

For now, it’s just a bust because I want to use the sculpt to practice doing hair in xgen.  I mean, who better to practice modeling hair, than thisBig Bad Wolf?

ice lair environment

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This past winter, I took a fun environment design class at Gnomon with Jason Louie (http://jlouiedesign.blogspot.com/) and had an assignment to practice environments using a photo-bashing technique to start, though obviously this has subsequently been painted over a lot. I was kind of skeptical and without direction at first, but this piece especially just snapped in place for me and had a lot of happy accidents. My only real reservation is it wasn’t created with a lot of story in mind from the onset, but I think once it was finished it and some ice-climbing characters added that has an okay potential for some creative imagining….

Here’s an earlier version so you can see some process:

glacial hall

Medusa book cover commission: Constance Burris

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Long overdue post! I did this illustration late last year for a wonderful client, author Constance Burris, for her book Medusa, which you can check out here on Amazon: ow.ly/EeXXn. It was a super fun project and we had a great time working together.

You may remember this image from a couple years back! I should post it as a draw-this-again meme. Before I had photo-bashed a bunch of snakes into hair, and now I took the time to redraw all of them, which surprisingly was less tediously horrible than I thought it would be (all those scales ahhhhhh).

Best of luck to Constance with the book and with her work! <3

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