Thursday, January 16, 2014

Creating Characters...

I really identify with Leonardo da Vinci.  Not that I'm an artistic genius - I wouldn't claim that title at all - but I once read a biography about him that described his love for the process of creating.  He sometimes left projects unfinished because he lost interest.  His light shone most bright while working through his ideas and the bringing of work to completion was more tedious.

I do like to finish work.  In fact, I can't wait to see how things end up.  But, I totally understand the energy that comes from the invention part of the process.  I think that's my favorite part as well.

Anyway, this brings me to the characters that I've been working on.  In a video by Will Terry on developing characters, he talks about identifying the characteristics of an animal (or whatever your subject is) and then using those points to create various characters.  It reminded me of how I used to take field guides into the breakroom when I worked at the bookstore and would sit drawing various animals (on my lunch break, of course).  I've posted many of them here in the past.

So, I thought that would be a wonderful thing to return to, but then turn those animals into characters.

My daughter had a "Koalas" Zoobooks from the library and I found them quite interesting - especially the TWO opposable thumbs!  They were also pretty easy to draw - all rounded and fuzzy.

On the other hand, anteaters where much more complicated.  They just popped into my head, so I went with it.  Then, in my online research, I discovered that there are several types with some stark differences.  That meant, I did several studies...

And, while their long faces and noses are very unique, their tiny mouths make some facial expressions difficult - I had to consider the eyes/eyebrows and body language to tell more of the story.

So, what animal is next...don't know yet.  Or, maybe I'll do something else...

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