The brief was to research, develop and create a 360° drawing of a character.
Keywords from the brief:
- Collect as many different examples of different characters as possible
- Catalogue these
- Decide upon a character
- Begin to brainstorm
- Draw your character from the front, from the side and from the back
- Get into role and adopt their mood, expression and personality
- Try moving the facial features around to extremes
- Be conscious of the contribution clothing and costume makes
I like the atmosphere of Leadenhall Market at lunchtime where a lot of city traders have a drink; it’s a good place to find larger than life characters. So I took out my iPhone during my lunch break to photograph some reference material.
My character development was done in a A3 sketchbook using pencil, ink pen and pen and ink. The character I decided to develop was based on one of the lunchtime drinkers I’d photographed in the market.
All the images below are 2 x A3-pages.
I took the front, side and back illustrations and coloured them in Photoshop to see how they worked.
It then occurred to me that I could organise them into a sequence to form a short narrative.
What I learned from the exercise
What went well
- I like the character I developed. He makes me smile so I think there’s something there I can use to communicate.
- I enjoyed doing sketchbook development. I feel quite familiar with this character, and apart from drawing hands (which I still find tricky), I think I could reproduce it convincingly from most angles. What really helps are his distinctive features – big nose, bags under the eyes and beer gut.
- I used some interesting texture in the pen and ink drawings. This adds another dimension to the images.
- Putting the views of the character into a sequence works. It’d be nice to do another couple of images after he’d started on the whisky.
What I could have done differently/better
- I didn’t do the research in way suggested in the brief. I did start thumbing through magazines to find characters but wasn’t inspired. I thought it would be more productive and focused if I generated the reference myself.
- I need to practice drawing hands.