Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
My one ever evolving project is Ellie on Planet X - kind of an internet comic/children's book thingy in the works. It's been an epic in the making, with its natal beginnings over ten years ago, still waiting to see the light of day. Ellie's character didn't even show up in the story until late in the brain storming process and has gone through many changes along the way. Partly because my style over the years has improved, but also because I can't make a decision on how I just want to do the art for the story. But the idea behind refining her character design has always been to simplify Ellie and come up with a formula to draw her the same every time.
Originally Ellie was going to be a little girl in a space suit, but for the practicality of the plot line it made more sense to make her a robot girl instead. The above drawing was the very first sketch I did of her. She already had antenna on her head to represent pony tails and a solar panel skirt. I went from drawing to 3D models, back to drawing, then to vector illustrations for simplicity (which only made it more complicated), then back to drawing, all the while trying to make her design more and more simple.
I found that having a permanent smile made it difficult to show different emotions on her face - having to cover it up with an arm or a shadow - so I dropped it. And I continued the simplification process by limiting the colors too.
I'll spend hours drawing Ellie over and over again just to work out problems I have with posing her or the kind of emotions I'm trying to portray.
And just when I thought I had it figured out I started at it again. I don't know if I like where it's going, but I thought I'd simplify her head some more and make it easier and quicker to draw. If ever the story makes it to the light of day I guess I'll have to choose.