Thoughts Behind Character Design


Easter Sunday was spent doing a bit of character concept design. I've got a script for a ten page comic strip by my friend Noel Hannan on my desk but before I set about doing layouts I want to get into the main character Chuffin' Billy (the author gives a little more over on Facebook).


There's a lot of well trodden paths I could go down with a steam driven war robot , a lot of them ending up at the door of 2000AD comic characters. Then there's Star Wars with their various robot like Stormtroopers and droid characters (K-2SO for example). A quick search for World War 1 armour brings up some wonderful and weird looking designs. In this age of CGI ultra realism I'm channelling DC Thompson characters Desperate Dan and Brassneck.




A selection of sketchbook doodles done while looking at the internet and thinking about where the character could go. I'm being vague about the nature of the comic strip in case I curse it before it's even started.




I used Photoshop to sketch out the basics. Its' a really good tool for scaling and moving components around when you're trying to work stuff out. When I was happy I printed off a copy to lightbox the drawings.



I drew the artwork in my big sketchbook using my 2.5 Parallel Pen and a watercolour wash. I've tried using my digital tools to create the artwork but always struggle with the sheer amount of choice. I think working with with limitations that come with pen and ink and watercolour force me to move on and I find the process a lot more enjoyable.

I scanned the drawings back into Photoshop and tweaked them a little to finish off. This process has got me all excited for doing the comic strip now I know how this part of the world looks and feels.



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