Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Creating Characters - by Deborah Cuneo

So, the theme on D2PB  this round was  various aspects of our process.  I thought a lot about the various aspects of my process...inspiration, sketching, concept, time management, taking art to finish...  and one part that stood out and was the most interesting to me, was the creation of characters. It's absolutely the best part of what I do!!  It's also the thing I think I spend the most time on whenever working on a project. I'm not sure about anyone else's approach, but this is how I do it.

I am a very visual thinker so when inspiration hits for a character, my idea usually comes in the form of a face in my head and I need to "get it down" using whatever resources are at hand,  before I lose it! 

Eraser Goat - self explanatory?

Then I can jot down some more sketches later, when I have more time...and a pencil!
More goat Heads - This time with the pencil!

 But the image I initially come up with is not necessarily the image I end up with. It really depends on what's appropriate for the feel of the story.

Beagle with Ribbon - First Round Sketch

Beagle with Ribbon - Second Round Sketch

Beagle with Ribbon - Final Art/ Acrylic and Colored Pencil

One of  the most important parts  for me ( and most fun!), is that my character be able to react to what's happening.  I try to envision him/her/it in different states of emotions.

Duck Character Sheet - Acrylic and Colored Pencil

The next part is the body and a basic idea of what it looks like. I've found that occasionally creating a model  is sometimes helpful,  but it's never an exact version, just some basic shapes and placement to help inform my sketching.

Duck Model - Air Dry Clay

Little Dragon Model - Air Dry Clay

After I get basic elements, I do a little research to help  refine the image.  If the character is something that doesn't really exist, it's more of a Frankenstein-inspired drawing.  In the case of LD, I looked to things like dogs, cats, dinosaurs , bats, lizards (to name a few),  and incorporated that into a small, age appropriate child. From there I draw the character in different views.

  "Little Dragon" - Sky Pony Press -  Character Sketches

Now I'm ready to move on to the story. My character will get a few more tweaks along the way in the final sketches, but by the time I get to this point, I have a pretty good idea of who the character is visually and I'm ready to get down to business!  

"Little Dragon" - Sky Pony Press - Sneak Peek...shhhhhhhhh.........