One Out of Three Ain't Bad

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I'm trying to get into the habit of practicing character design in my spare time. I enjoy drawing people, the human figure and faces, so the motivation isn't a problem. But I need to find the discipline to create designs that might be appealing to the fans and consumers of video games, cartoons or comics. The characters I come up with should fit into the mainstream, commercial sensibilities of the existing styles of characters that populate those mediums. Oops.

Obviously, without adult supervision, I have a hard time sticking to that. I like plain, quirky, odd characters. In a sci-fi/fantasy illustration, I would rather see a giant robot in battle with a frumpy, pale little old man than a giant robot in battle with a bronze, near-nude, ultra-fit, super-hot blonde amazon. I am, however, brutally aware I'm alone in this. I'm trying to get in line.

The lady on the right was a drawing that I started a few weeks ago. I blocked in her body shape and knew immediately that I was straying. Okay, I said to myself, finish this one and then do a hot-chick for a sword & sorcery video game. No joking around.

The lady in the middle is what happened when I focused. It was hard. The temptation to get silly was enormous. I almost turned her into a Playboy bunny style cartoon character -- with more wildly exaggerated proportions -- but I reigned that impulse in. Okay, we'll let the little green glasses stay, but that's it. Stop. She's done.

Then, the woman on the left erupted into that empty spot. Couldn't stop her. Poof! There she was. Phew. Much better. For some reason, painting conventionally beautiful people does not appeal to me.

Boris Vallejo has been one of my favorite fantasy artists since I was 10 years old. The background here is based on lingering impressions of his work. He paints fabulously beautiful people in fabulously beautiful fantasy settings, and I've always particularly admired the dreamy landscapes in the backgrounds of many of his works. He paints snow-capped mountains or craggy peaks in the distance, strange colors blending in a cloudy haze, and it all looks so lovely. I didn't quite get what I wanted here, but it was fun trying. Dang! That shapeless lump of rock behind them could easily have been re-worked into the head of a slain dragon! Boris would've caught that...

Painted/drawn in photoshop.

The End.


  1. Looks great , some masterful digital painting chops ya got there.

  2. Aw, shucks. Thanks! I'm practicing when I can. Sure is fun!