Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Bride

I'm procrastinating. Really I should be finishing up some comic design stuff, but instead I ended up drawing something for the next drawergeeks topic, samurai.

I'm tempted to keep tweaking this, but I should probably get some other work done. Click for a bigger version.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Curvy Mermaid

When I start sketching for fun lately, mermaids tend to appear.

Also, check out this cool tattoo Jenn Wallin got of one of my sketches, done by the talented Danielle Distefano at 13 Roses Tattoo Parlor in Atlanta! Thanks Jenn for letting me post it. :)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Model Sheets

To be honest, I find model sheets kind of boring to do, but I'm also the first person to argue when working in a studio that they are absolutely necessary. So although I've been dragging my heels regarding my graphic novel characters, sets and props, I decided this week it was time to bite the bullet and get going. To keep myself from being overwhelmed (there is a lot to design), I've decided to focus on the first three sequences. This character is in all three sequences and requires a different costume for each. Lucky for me, these three outfits show up frequently in the book (particularly the central robes as they are worn by various characters), so it's a great jumping off point.

I also thought I'd include a few thoughts/notes on how I approach character model sheets.
-I use animation paper for rotations, drawing each angle in the center of the page. That way I can flip the images and ensure that proportions are accurate. Good animation paper is also a bit translucent.
-I like to draw rotations nude... the characters, not me. Ha. Most characters will end up wearing more than one outfit and even if they don't, I want to know what's going on under that costume.
-I may not always draw a back and 3/4 angle, but if a character is going to be drawn several times, it's super important to do at least a profile and front view. Nothing drives me more crazy than character designs that no one bothers to design a profile for.
-I always do the rotation in a neutral pose. There is nothing more time consuming (and not that important) than drawing a character rotation in a complicated expressive pose. Plus, expressive poses can sometimes hide flaws in the design. If I can draw the character in the boring neutral pose and the design still says something about the character, I know I've got a design that works.
-For costume design, I do draw a more expressive pose that I'll use as a kind of "paper doll". It's not necessary, but the costume has a lot to do with personality, so I like some personality to be there. That said, it's also nice to have an uncomplicated 3/4ish pose, because that way you'll be able to see the most of the costume you are designing.
-When working on costume designs, I ask myself "Is this an outfit the character wants/likes to wear, or is this an outfit the character has to wear, like a uniform?" For example, the last costume in my line-up is an outfit I want the character to be comfortable in. The middle one, on the other hand, is something he dislikes wearing. I've tried to make it stiffer, heavier, more confining.
-I also like to think of costume design like a wardrobe. I want to think of the outfits as having pieces I might mix and match as the book goes on, to give the feeling that this is a real person who owns a bunch of real clothes. For instance, the first outfit has a long vest-jacket that could be worn with the last outfit. The boots could also be swapped.
-When it comes to colour, I like each outfit to have a colour theme and be cohesive. Ultimately, this character will be just one element in a drawing with many others, I don't want it to get too distracting.