View Full Version : Western Character Development
06-07-2011, 02:54 PM
I am trying to develop some characters for a western short. I have limited time to work on these since it is all done in my free time. I have been waking up at 4:30 to find some time alone without the kids and wife so I can work on these. I usually get 2 or three hrs at a time to work on this so by the time I get the design going how I want I have to stop and go to work. I feel like I am just spinning my wheels on this and not really getting anywhere. Any suggestions on how to speed up process and workflow. I am a beginner so any advice is appreciated.
06-09-2011, 08:02 PM
It just takes time my friend. one of my favorite quotes from toy story 2 was when the toy repair man came and he said " you can't rush art." four little words but very powerful.
it looks like youre off to a fine start. you have all the basics rough sketches and a plan to develop them. my suggestions for speeding up a workflow, (i actually do this myself) is do one thing at a time. when time is running out and you have to depart for work, print your progress. that way you have a hard copy to glance at throughout the day and you can draw on it and make notes about what you would want to change etc. that way when you sit back down you have a plan as to what you want to change add and so on so your not wasting time and trying to cram all your ideas into a brief session. hope this helps.
06-10-2011, 07:07 PM
Absolutely. Thanks for the feedback. I will definitely try out your suggestions. I guess I'm impatient and I skip steps because of time but really it ends up wasting more time if I don't have a good plan or direction set. I think I need to focus more on the planning and character development before I start sculpting. I end up killing a lot of time sculpting when I dont have a finalized character design.
07-07-2011, 01:34 PM
Here are two more character concepts for this project. If any one has any critique please let me know there is anything I need to develop more with this.
08-04-2011, 11:25 PM
I like the personality of them, there is a definite charm to it. The short will be a 3d one correct? These drawings are for nailing the design before modeling right?
My first thought is you could up the hardness of your photoshop brushes a bit. I tend to think that a hard brush with low opacity gets a much better look than the airbrush, it still allows you to blend and be sketchy but with a more clear and pleasing result. If you want to soften up a bit later on just go in with the smudge tool in certain areas. Craig Mullins is a good artist to check out.
Since these are western characters I think they feel a bit too clean, like their clothes just came back from the dry cleaners :) once i have blocked in some color i pretty quick
Y start multiplying, overlaying and screening various images of grime and dirt on top, merge some layers down and then paint on top again. You can just keep doing this and build up a lot of texture, and some times you have nice happy accidents, allowing you to have a more organic and substantive image than you could have planned.
The last thought i have is on the proportions, are the characters meant to be more realistic or more stylized? Currently i think they are riding the line in an uneasy way. Personally i would push them more stylized. When you think about the great western heroes from movies, even the real actors were exagerated, and shot in a way to further the exageration. Clint Eastwood had these crazy long legs and super squinty eyes. John Wayne was all torso and talking out of the side of his mouth. So maybe think about their personalities and then exagerate their features to fit. Maybe your guy is a quick draw, so he's got long quick arms real close to his guns all the time, his head low to keep out of the way of bullets. There is a whole lot of room to explore. Try watching some of your favorite westerns, pause on characters as they come up and try and notice what makes each of them interesting, and incorporate the stuff you like.
It's a great start, so keep burning the early morning oil and post when you can!
09-03-2011, 04:10 PM
First off, I think you have a very good sense of color, which is hard to come by. Otherwise though, I honestly think you need to spend much, much more time going over some basic anatomy and proportions before trying this out again. Just keep it up, it's a long and hard road but persistence will get you there. I know how hard it is to start out from scratch.
To help illustrate some of the proportion issues I did a quick sketchover pointing out some of the most major issues I noticed. For the leg I drew what would be closer to the right proportions in green. Stuff like the seams in the shirt are also important things to take not of too, because they can totally break the shape of an object. I think I learned a lot by always having a sketchbook with me and sketching people and places when I get bored. It might be something you can do while you're around your wife and kid so that you're still practicing even while you're with them.
Anyhoo hope you find this helpful, and keep up the good work!
09-05-2011, 06:09 PM
Great feedback ryan.
09-27-2011, 04:43 PM
too bad it's a dead thread. artist is MIA.
09-27-2011, 04:44 PM
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