July 2, 2009


Hey all, back for some more fun I hope. Well, after I posted that character (The Cat) last week, I really looked at it, and I really did not like it. It felt bland and forced, the personality was not there and I felt ashamed to call myself an artist for posting it (okay a little melodramatic but you get the point). Anyways, upon seeing it I threw myself back into the drawing chair and started sketching a new and improved Cat. The first image is the result of it. For me, why this one works better is because the overall shape feels more devious and underhanded. I pushed more twists into him like in his hair and pipe and I made sure to give him pistols that felt more akin to the type of person he is, very outlandish and dirty (hence the gun with 4 barrels). Finally, the colors in the previous version were too bright and cheery, now the muted dirty colors really help to push the accent to his hair and head, an area I want you to focus on.
These next few images are for the next character in my retelling of Alice and Wonderland in Japan, Tweedle Dum. He has a twin who looks exactly like him but the arms are different. You'll see what I mean, and no I haven't designed the other twin yet, this one alone took me some time to figure out the design. OK, here we go:

Step 1: Figure out my story--Tweedle Dum, henchman to the Cat. Dum and Dee are the Cat's most dangerous and loyal bodyguards, not the smartest but man are they tough. The queen of Hearts tried to assassinate the Cat but failed. Upon trying to escape she ran into the twins, in short, she kicked their butts and cut their arms off to flee. This did not go well with the twins.

Step 2: Sketch--I did quite a few pages of sketching and a few more hours on gathering reference for my characters. This helped me greatly because I had a clear picture in my head of the feeling I wanted Tweedle Dum to have. I know, a clear picture of a feeling, what the heck is that...I myself cannot explain it fully but it is an important part of my creative process. Below is the final sketch I decided to go with, this was done in my sketchbook and its about 2.5 inches tall.
Step 3: Revisions--Took it into Photoshop, created a new layer and began to do another iteration or version of it. Making another layer in Photoshop is pretty much like putting a piece of tracing paper over your drawing to make corrections. That is basically what I did and this is the result:
Now, I love the weight I got in this guy and I am starting to like what is going on with the arm, but I am still not happy with the overall shapes, I want a little more contrast and flow pushed throughout the forms....ah...now on to.....

Step 4: Revisions...wait, wasn't that step 3, well its my step 4 also so get over it buddy! Revisions and iterations are keys to a successful design. Not to say to keep doing it infinitely, but for myself, I learn a lot from my bad drawings and do not want to just accept those mistakes but learn from them to create better deigns. I usually do 3 or 4 passes at a design, some of you may be bale to hit the design on the money at first pass..to those who can I admire and hate you at the same time...j/k...not really.

Step 5: Final revision Lineart. Now I clean up my linework considerably and really start to pay attention to how things work, especially that dang arm. I spent quite a bit of time on that arm, figuring out how it would work and what shapes to push. I have a lot more to talk about on that particular aspect of the design but I will save that for another post. Basically, I looked at gears and drawbridges, combined with a Japanese storage barrel that holds a spiked statue head which he uses as a mace. Makes sense right?!?!
Well, I will be coloring this guy up now so I will post that up when ti is done. I will also post a sneak peak for an upcoming show I am going to be a part of in San Diego during Comicon Weekend..the show is called Meanwhile in the Halls of Justice.

Stay tuned!


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