After picking a shape, I start doing a rough drawing over the top, not finished, not really detailed but giving enough information to let the client or Art Director know what your going for, like these..
with this example I took 3 of the silhouettes and added some drawing over the top of each of them. I lowered the opacity and printed them off on copy paper, and drew directly onto the print. this part of the process could be done in photoshop or other program as well. but I like the feel of pencil on paper so I do this when not in a big hurry.
Bellow are screen grabs of refining and adding together different ideas.
After showing them again, you'll be asked to combine ideas usually. Take #4's head and put it on the torso of #8 with the feet of #6… just for an example. if your lucky you will get to keep one of the ideas in tact if not its still fun to combine the concepts. I begin to refine them even more at this stage. adding them together in photoshop, and depending on the art director possibly submitting more example of how thing combine differently. like this example from Codename:Demon.
After seeing the ideas it was decided that they were cool, but not quite as GREAT as it could be. So I went throughout the process again and came up with a new version all together.
which turned into this. The idea behind the Codename:Demon character is the monster hides behind a human form. they then transform into a monstrous version, or opposite.
This is a very refined photoshop painting, with some references of the egg sack on her back and an example of one of the props. From here it is easy to throw over a bunch of rough colors. Color studies.
after picking a color I go into refined finish painting using Color layers, Multiply, and Overlay in photoshop.
The finished looks something like this.
adding notes to explain some ideas is a good idea.
Here we go this is the first post about some of my process and how I go about working out different aspects of my art,
the first step in my character design process.
we start off with rough silhouette shapes, focusing on overall shape and having a rough idea of where I want the character to go in the end.
I usually start off with a sketch book and a Sharpie marker, work out some ideas fast not worrying too much about the small details. those will come latter.
From there I take them into Photoshop. It is also an option to use a tracer light box or tracing paper to refine the ideas.
So I took my favorites and refined them some filled them in and added a few areas that could be fine details.
I showed them to a few people (fellow artists or art director) and got some feedback. these below are based on the feedback received. I have the originals above and the revisions below in this next image… so you can see the changes.
At this point you usually turn them in again to show the art director or client, depending on what they want.
When a silhouette is picked I move forward with that direction.
As a good side note, I strongly suggest you never turn in anything you don't love or would like to see finished. It has been my experience, if I ever turn in a design or sketch I didn't like that would be the sketch chosen every time. so Make sure you like what your making and never submit something you hate.
I'll post the next step in for the characters next.
Here are some cat shapes I threw together for a discussion in one of my classes this week.
I agree there are a lot of ways to explore characters with poses that have foreshortening and a lot going on within the overall shape of the character, and silhouettes do not work for that. However, that kind of illustration is not what silhouettes are meant to be used for. Silhouettes are supposed to be the first step done when you have no idea or a limited idea of what the final character will look like. or a very limited direction (orc, mutant, alien) these are the times when silhouettes work the best. For example, one of my fellow students, appears to already have a clear direction of how he wants his characters to be. His Alice character is a slim female character with a floor-lenght fitted dress that flares at the bottom. the cat is a standard house cat shape, but no need to work out a lot of silhouette shapes for that. he knows what they are going to be already. This image above would be the kind of explorations he should be doing if he wanted to explore his cat character further.
we might have ideas of what aspects we would like the character to have but the silhouette sketches will hopefully help us push concepts to the next level. then once we have a solid grasp of what the character will be based on the silhouette studies. then we can place the character in an interesting foreshortened pose that wouldn't make a good silhouette but will make a wonderful finished illustration. silhouettes are a tool and only work if they are used for the right purpose and in the right context…. like concept art.
Well I am always trying out new things and learning new techniques and ways to improve my craft. Here is another animation, Pencil Test, of a balloon in flight.
Here is a similar animation but I was going for an Alien Orb exploring the suburbs. The alien orb is more mechanical than the balloon. I attempted to show the organic nature of the balloon flying on the wind while the Alien Orb is meant to seem more mechanical and intelligently controlled. let me know if you feel it works.
Wow, I'm not being good about posting here. I will try to remember to get on this and post more than once a year.
I have two images included in the Academy of Art Spring show this year. one image in the Illustration portion of the show and one image in the concept art portion of it. I am honored that I got some images in with all of the amazing artists at the school. There were over 2500 submissions this year. If you happen to be at the school, check it out and let me know how it is, I'm not going to be able to get to the show this time.