For this little assignment, we compiled together a list of various 'themes', 60's america, Mongolian steppe, ancient Greece, etc. .. all pretty as random as possible from each other. The end vote was for the theme of 1920's America, with the title of 'Moonshine'.... I'm not quite sure why, because I certainly didn't choose it. But never mind, despite being a subject I don't necessarily have an interest in, I dived into research and accepted it as a challenge.
Even though I was concentrating on Character design, I also still looked at vehicles and environment and added them to my mood-board ... knowing what these sort of things looked like will no doubt help me when I create my final piece with my character in it.
Early sketches I did relying on the reference gathered in the mood-board.... I was aiming to make a male character this time around, as the last character design project I did was a female, and I like to mix it up sooo... yeah. I want the character to be as stereotypically rural american as possible, without having to resort to every stereotype as possible... a careful balance is needed so you can tell who this type of person is instantly, and not be TOO ridiculous.
I liked the idea of a scrawny old dude, who looks has a xylophone ribcage, and a constant slouch as if he has spinal deformities..... which he could well have. I liked the idea of giving the character a name, and as this fellah is clearly so beautiful I decided on the name 'Handsome Herb'... very suitable I think! Other things like a missing eye, lank hair that only covers the rear of his head and visible veins and liver spots all add to Herbs charm :D
This is the final character design..... which I think turned out not bad! I was especially happy with how the pose turned out, as it gives him that ungainly posture, that combined with his scowling, lopsided face give him a combination of threatening and comedic vibes. I made sure to add lots of little details to enhance his appearance as a red-neck without being as obvious as a cowboy hat and some straw in his mouth: Things like, visible under-arm hair (the first character I've EVER designed with that...it's such a proud moment), veins, dirty long nails, and plenty of filth and mud on his bottom half, where he walks about in the mud but refuses to bathe more than at least 2 times a year. One thing I was worried about with thus final, is that it was kind of starting to look a bit 'Wild West', and I didn't want it to be confused with that... the font used for his name in the above sheet kind of has that vibe to it, but i think the overall character design is kind of timeless in that respect, so I'm happy with that.
This is the Final Piece I did of my Character of Handsome Herb in an environment. Obviously the focus of the project was to create something that reflected the activities of the illegal Moonshine Creators of the 20's, so I showed Herb with his secret stash of buried Moonshine in the woods near his ranch, testing out a new batch he's concocted. I'm quite happy with the progression of my digital skills and I think it shows in this piece, with my use of shadows and lighting.... which is pretty much what the whole piece relies on, I decided against adding full colour, just because it took away from the atmospheric feel to it.