I walked up to Chris and flapped my arms in a fit of panic and told him that I’m having terrible trouble with confidence and getting started with the character drawing. He sat with me and we looked through some children’s books, a little bit of reading, and laughing at all the silly things that we’re lucky enough to still enjoy even as adults. He said to me, grab whatever you want to use, and just go, forget about the big white space and you just let yourself go, so I did. It was pretty fun!
I just went for it. I found myself starting with the face, as that for me is always the hardest part of creating a character. I wasn’t too sure what I was expecting him to look like, but I know that I wanted him to have a sort of naive glow about him. I tried to portray this by using his eyebrows: by lifting them slightly in the middle, this gave him a dazed and confused look about him.
I then got to thinking about his accessory that I had mentioned in my previous post. I wasn’t sure what, but I thought seeing as this is MY story, MY book and MY character, why couldn’t it have a little bit of my favourite things in there? One thing that I have loved since I was a little girl, is dinosaurs. I really do think they’re fantastic and beautiful and the fossils and skeletons they have recovered are so wonderful to draw. So, thus came his dinosaur hat! I wanted some of his little hair poking out the bottoms of the hat too ( and I had already imagined him to have brown hair). I then felt great and the sketches were flowing, and before I knew it he was born! Sporting a very unique dinosaur that had 4 stegosaurus spikes on top, a turtle neck jumper nearly reaching his cheeks, very essential explorer shorts, with many pockets to hold things such as maps, a compass, treasures that he may find on his adventures, too. And last but not least, a pair of shiny red Wellington boots, perfect for protecting him from puddles, snow and even lava. (first image above)
I then moved swiftly on to adding colour to him. I wasn’t sure what to go for, but I started with a pastel like green for the helmet, as you can see in the second image above. I then moved to his jumper: I knew I wanted a pale blue somewhere in the colour scheme, just because it has that little innocent glow to it, so I went for the jumper. It works well, but it didn’t take me long to realise I didn’t like the green for the hat, so I drew him up again, started with the jumper, knowing his Wellington boots would be red I added that in next, then my instincts told me to make his shorts matching to his boots. This worked for me and I felt g r e a t. I mixed a tiny bit of brown into the red i had made for the shorts and boots, and that’s where i got his hair colour from. Seeing as the red popped out of the page, I decided to go for a pastel colour for the hat, mixing white, brown, blue and red to get a sort of creamy-lilac colour.
Another thing I decided to do is experiment with different coloured paper to draw him on, this was because I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to colour his skin or leave it clear, therefore if I were to use a coloured paper this could colour his skin, you see? This didn’t really work out so I thought I could put that worry aside and come back to it later.
Next was the future self! A difficult one I can tell you that, but fun all the same. I wanted ragged, I wanted desolate, I wanted droopy. What did I have to change, exaggerate, manipulate to gain all these features? Starting again with the face, I tried to make it look skinny and ever so bony by bringing out the cheek bones and pointing down the chin, and then adding numerous bags under the eyes to show fatigue. This was all well and good, and yes it was ticking my boxes, however is was almost making him look a little too aged… almost 60 years old! What do you think? (third image above) I was hoping he would be looking around 30-35 years old. So my next actions had to be to knock some years off the fella. I fattened him up, only slightly, and popped a very thick beard on there too, and I feel it worked quite well. Some other things that I enhanced in his character was the length of his arms. I made these extremely droopy, droopy enough in fact so that if they were completely relaxed, they would drag on the floor. I then made the Wellington boots shabby, by adding a hole in the right boot so the toes are exposed. (accidental rhyme there) Now, that beloved Dinosaur hat, hey? I added some cracks, some scratches, and I broke the point off one of the spikes! Crikey! Then taking the colour pallet from what I used on the younger boy, I applied it to the future shamble of a man. (final image above)
What are you thoughts?