It’s a Process

The weather has turned in the UK so I figured a character in the cold was warranted. This guy and his sheep/ram buddy were fun to design and took probably about four hours to illustrate altogether. I took a lot of inspiration from Siberian, Mongolian, and Icelandic cultures, but isn’t specifically any of them, instead he’s more of a fantasy mash-up, like the characters you get in Joe Abercrombie novels (read his First Law trilogy, you won’t regret it!).

The first image is a very rudimentary snap-shot of how I design characters. In reality I’ll spend quite a bit of time looking for a bunch of images that fit the aesthetic I want and make some quick exploratory sketches. I’ll then put together a very loose look for the character – usually a front-on view – and then move on to a more dynamic pose. The pose I choose is determined by what I think is happening to the character at the time. I think I may have mentioned my general rules for character design in a previous post, but it’s worth mentioning again, and those are:

The World – where is the character?

Interaction – how would the character dress, live, look, etc… in their world?

Reaction – how is the character reacting to what is happening in their world?

In the case with the characters above we have two very different reactions to the tracks of a predator in the snow. The man is stoic, almost unemotional, because this is a common occurrence. The ram however is alarmed and has physically put the man between itself and the tracks.

Colour is also very important too. I generally try to use a very narrow colour range, as too many colours can make things seem a bit muddled, but I also make sure that I’m using colours that are appropriate to the overall character design aesthetic and world.

Anyway, I feel like I’ve gone on for too long. Hope you like the piece!



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