Page 1

The evil elf A Character Design process book by Kaly Davis

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The Archetype As soon as I drew the slip labeled “Evil Elf” from our class randomizer, I knew, without question, that I wanted to steer clear of the standard “pretty” mold which has become so popular in various fantasy genres. Taking a surreal approach to the design instead, I tried to not only embrace the standard trait of elven elongation, but push it to an unattractive and almost feral extreme. With this in mind, my initial sketch work produced a wiry looking creature verging on emaciated: hairless, partially digitigrade, and uncomfortably stretched.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The companion Given the nature of the character, I wanted his companion animal (in this case, a mount) to have a ferocious presence of its own, far removed from anything passive like a horse or deer. The design structure wound up rooted somewhere between a primitive canine (keeping breeds like the bulldog in mind for solid chest structure/�pigeoned� stance) and a rhinoceros, with scaly reptilian plating and insectoid compound eyes. Not terribly huggable.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Environment With my general direction established, I went on to create five different versions of the same “character� idea with environment in mind to see which one I most preferred. The first would be a nomadic plains dweller, while the second is conditioned to marsh or swampland. The third would be at home in a volcanic wasteland, the fourth in a temperate beach area, and the last is adapted for cold-- probably high altitude.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Final choices After a little debate and peer polling, I decided to pursue the volcanic wasteland design, as it presented the highest potential visual interest and technical challenge. I wanted to try and emulate the appearance of glowing magma across the evil elf’s skin to make him appear more sinister. For the piece itself, I planned to use a predominantly cool, deep blue color base to compliment those hot visual focal pops of orange-much like some of the reference material that inspired me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Rendering the piece After I hashed out the basic design specs and intended color scheme, the only thing left to do was start rendering my final piece. I chose a vertical composition to complement the bipedal (albeit slouched) stance of the elf himself, and placed him on his mount, weapon drawn and teeth bared, to emphasize how unwelcoming and dangerous he was. Clothing remained minimal due to his roaming survivalist tendencies, which primed the stage for some interesting flesh effects!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The final With some final adjusting and highlights, I completed the piece. Overall, I felt very satisfied with the results, and by including the elf’s mount in my image, I already hashed out the color design of my next piece featuring it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The beast I threw together a batch of roughly valueblocked thumbnails to test various compositions for the beast, but ultimately settled for the horizontal composition that is topmost and right, shown here, as I felt it was most flattering to show both the form and attitude I wanted to convey.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The final I was very satisfied with my final as a whole, which (as far as I can tell) managed to convey both the aggressive nature of the beast and the environment he and his rider live in. The dramatic lava lighting was very useful to help ultimately define his form.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Evil Elf Process Book  

The process book for my evil elf archetype character, and mount.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you