Process book Evil sorceress and Side kick
One of he most important steps when beginning a project is research. A designer can not simply just jump into their work without first understanding the assignment and what their solution/ goals are. The use of Google is usually a go to for some designers, but you have to be careful because it can often influence your creativity and thought process making it original. Here are just a few examples that I came across making it easier to expand on. Goals/ Ideas -Appear dark and evil. -Glow? -Male or Female? -Needs a power source. -Dark atmosphere. -Woods/ forest. -Snow?
After researching I then began to start sketching ideas. At this point in my process I try and get out as many of my ideas as possible. Allowing my final solution to be as creative as it can be. My first thought was that I wanted the character to be female, because drawing female forms is stranger than my attempts of males. This is where I started to toy with the idea of a creature with humanistic qualities. One idea was that of a creature that would live underwater and reassemble a snake or eel. Another possibility was for her to have characteristics of a scorpion. I wanted to think of an animal that was scary but not always thought of right away. After deciding against this I began to research action poses and muscle forms. Action poses can be challenging because of the anatomy of the figure being positioned in unique ways.
Costume design is probably my favorite part of my process. Here is where I think of all the different styles of clothing for my character as well as accessories. After I flush out as many ideas as possible by creating completely different styles of combining some. At this point I may go back and think of the best color palette while taking into account the atmosphere, light sources, and environment that my character will be in. I later decided that these costumes wouldnâ€™t allow the character to be able to move as much as her pose implied. However the branches did stay to fit the theme of her environment and evil qualities; this also helps the viewier identify her quickly.
Drawing possible facial features, accessories, or identifying marks can help your character stand out. I started to think of different facial features and accessories that would really make my character resemble an evil sorceress. I really wanted to emphasise that she lived in a dark forest that was filled with death. Some of these ideas consist of using dead branches for her hair. After applying this feature there was too much going on and would be hard to see where her shoulders started. Another idea was to make her a type of masquerade mask that looked like a dead tree stump but again I ran into the same problem. My end solution was to make her face normal and just emphasize her hair and make it glow or a unnatural color.
Now that I was at the rough stage I started really focusing on the body position of my character. I came up with a few different solutions and got opinions to help decided what the best one was. The first three roughs made her costume look awkward due to the lack of movement she would be able to have. The forth rough was out of perspective and made her look stocky and out of proportion. My final solution was a combination of a couple of these.
The final rough is where you can really see where I thought about applying all the ideas I had throughout my process. I left her facial features alone and made her hair purple because I knew I wanted to make it glow and be apart of her light/ power source. I also made her have a more athletic body to help imply she could fight and wasnâ€™t just a witch that cast spells. I still kept the dead branches as part or her costume to the imply that essence of death. Once I sketched everything out the line work is then created in illustrator. I like to block in all the color first then go back and add highlights and shadows later in both illustrator and Photoshop.
These are a couple of screen shots taken. You can see that I started out on illustrator first to do the initial line work. After all the line work was done I blocked in the objects. Creating this archway of trees and branches allowed my character to be the main focal point by framing her. I knew the background was going to be dark so I didnâ€™t worry too much about the coloring since they were going to appear almost as silhouettes.
Here are a few of the screen shots taken during the process. These help show how the shadows and highlights are gradually added. The most challenging part at this time was taking into consideration all the different light sources she had.
The first illustration appears to be flat so after going back into Photoshop highlight were added to the surrounding objects as well as her garments. I really enjoyed adding more of the detail to the second one and realized that I need to continue pushing my illustrations even further than I do. The subtle highlights on the trees and rocks really added more to the solution. Bringing out more of the highlights on her clothing allowed for a more realistic feel.
Pre Final & Final
Since my initial concept was to incorporate crows, branches, and a forest, I knew the side kid had to be some sort of bird like creature. I studied some of the pervious body positions was decided he need to be either about to take flight or crouching down like he had just landed. Having him crouch down would allow for the composition to be stronger. I started adding some of the details for where his muscles would be. Another detail that helped was making his hands and feet look more bird like. Making him crouch down it shows that he is the Sorceresses minion and doesnâ€™t hold as high of a ranking as she does.
Again working in illustrator first I made the outline of everything starting with what would be on the bottom layer. I knew I wanted him to have a snarl on his face because heâ€™s the minion for an evil sorceress. He is sent to do all of her dirty work so to speak. You can also see the drop shadow created to make his hair stand out more and create depth.
I started adding detail to the wings. I knew I wanted those to stand out a lot and could really add something to the piece. The background shape was created first so I would be able to tell where the feathers should begin and end. After that was complete there was a gradient placed over the wing to make it feel unified. Later different Photoshop filters where added to make them more visually interesting.
Once I finished with all his line work I then went in and added the background. Since he was created by the sorceress, I didnâ€™t want him to have any of the same glowing effects. I also wanted to keep in mind he should seem creepy,I made the background even darker then the first to bring that thought into play.
Once all of the background was completed, he was taken into Photoshop. This is where I began adding highlights and shadows. Using a soft round brush helped show that he was dirty and grungy. Each part of the illustration received some sort of drop shadow so the piece wouldnâ€™t look so flat.