Sunday, October 14, 2007

Character development process

A few people have mentioned that they might like to see the process that goes into developing a character, so here goes... I knew I wanted my next character to be a wart hog. I tend to pick the overlooked animals as favorites - the ones nobody likes, or that people see as "trash" animals. First the goat, now a wart hog. Anyway, I started like last time sketching some wart hogs from random photos; combining elements of some with others - poses, lighting, different horns, tusks, etc. Then I picked a couple to start developing a personality from.


My first attempts were kinda static and stoic, which I think worked for the goat because he was so regal and all. This guy was just kind of standing there, not doing anything of any real importance.

Wart hogs tend to move around a lot more; rooting in the mud, and running from predators (more on that later), so I knew that I wanted this illustration to be more dynamic and moving - some action throw in. I decided to do some thumbnails, which really help when trying to decide on things such as composition, movement, placement of figures, etc. Here's what I came up with.

I got a lot of ideas during the thumbnail stage. It affords great opportunities to make adjustments and to make discoveries about what you're really trying to say. I decided that what I really wanted to do with this hog was to make him a WWII infantry-type; being chased through the battle field by the enemy, or shot at while running through some heavy mud. Something like that. I also decided that he would be carrying a side arm (probably a pearl handled .45), and kind of rushing forward like maybe a forward charge. From these thumbnails, I picked one to develop, and started with that.

Here's the first one from that stage. I liked it, but the legs weren't just right, so I worked up a few more before I was satisfied with the anatomy, and the over-all form of the figure. Another interesting thing that developed with this drawing was the skull of one of his fallen comrades at his feet.


I did one more slightly larger sketch before I went to a more finished drawing. As I said, I probably had the most trouble getting the running legs correct, and the positioning of the .45 to look like he is holding that gun.

Here's the final one. I'll now scan this into Photoshop and combine it with some of the details of the earlier drawings, and start to work up the color on layers. More to come. Stay tooned.

(Notes to self: Give him some "Hog" tags, make fired shots more horizontal, copy fallen skull over to this image)

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