This is what's great about the sketchbook phase; you have the opportunity to whittle away in your mind's eye, a three dimensional character and the more you draw the character, the better you get to know them. You begin to understand the spacial relationship between the eyes, the nose and ears etc. and recognise that there are parameters which must be adhered to, to prevent the character from straying 'off model'.
The Unpleasant Pheasant's character is now becoming more apparent, and with each new sketch he is becoming more dynamic. The actual bird's dark plummage around the eyes, has been useful to create a sort of villains' mask, while the tufts on his head denote speed.
As for Tommy, I'm not wholly sold on the character yet, but we'll see what happens in the next sketch session....
By the kind invitation of a family friend, I spent last wednesday in Hampshire photographing a group of gentlemen known as the 'Muzzle Loaders'. Their 'Black Powder Day' was enormous fun and we were blessed with warm autumn sunshine throughout the day.
In the past I have always traced over the development sketch to create a clean, final version of the character. I've always felt that in doing so, that I lost the organic quality of the initial sketch.
So this time, I'm toying with the idea of using the cut outs from the sketchbook, that I will then drop into a similarly styled background. I will add shadows to the characters to to lift them from the page, in turn pulling them forward and separating them from the landscape behind. I will also add a touch of blur on characters in the background to enhance the depth of field.
The end result should be an organic, three dimensional cartoon that has the qualities of a mini theatrical production.
Last night I had a chance to sit down for a couple of hours and begin developing some initial characters for the TTB & the UP cartoon strip.
The first thing I had in mind was proportion. I've always liked my characters to have their head 1/3 of the size of their body as it brings attention to the face a lends a child-like quality to the character.
I want the character Tommy to be likeable, presentable, eccentric and perhaps ex-military. As for the Unpleasant Pheasant, I'm keen to capture an accurate portrayal of the bird in terms of shape, while giving him a wild and menacing demeanour.
Having worked as a character developer and 2d animator for children's television for ten years in Bristol, I'm keen not to abandon the skills I developed. So I've decided to develop a cartoon strip for this website, tentatively entitled 'Tommy Two Barrels & The Unpleasant Pheasant.'
Digging into a cobweb-covered sketchbook, I've pulled out a few characters to get the show in the road...