The Character-A-Fortnight Event : CAFÉ 002


    [b]CAFÉ 002[/b]
    [b]"The Grotesque"[/b]
    [b][i] “What is the meaning of these strange savage lions and monsters? To what purpose are here placed these creatures, half beast, half man? I see several bodies with one head and several heads with one body. Here is a quadruped with a serpent's head, there a fish with a quadruped's head, then again an animal half horse, half goat ... ”[/i][/b]
    [b][i]St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)[/i][/b]
  Using the above passage as your starting point, design your own Grotesque.  It can be a piece of sculpture, living tissue, or anything else you can think of – Just make it horrifying! (but tasteful.)
      Definition from Wikipedia of [i]Grotesque[/i] - [](
       Grotesque - When commonly used in conversation, [b]grotesque[/b] means strange, fantastic, ugly or bizarre, and thus is often used to describe weird shapes and distorted forms such as [Halloween]( masks or [gargoyles]( on churches. More specifically, the grotesque forms on [Gothic buildings](, when not used as drainspouts, should not be called [gargoyles](, but rather referred to simply as grotesques, or [chimeras](
    [b][i]Manifesto:  The anatomy forum CAFÉ - a place to meet, share your concepts, ideas and work for the set brief, and then discuss them with like minded individuals (Bring your own coffee though...)[/i][/b]
   The purpose of this ongoing workshop series is to develop original character artwork in both 2D and 3D. A theme or brief will be given at the inception point of the workshop, and the project will be executed by the participants during a 2 week period. To have your own idea from the set brief, develop it in 2 dimensions and then execute it in 3 dimensions is very challenging, (especially within the time period,) and helps the artist to understand form “in the round.” 
   If you are thinking of taking your ideas into 3 dimensions, please decide on a suitable polygon budget (for games/TV/film or as much as your computer can handle!) If you are unsure, please enquire on the workshop and others will try and help. The workshop is application independent, and so anyone can try it. For those of you who would like to try 3d but do not have a package, blender ([]( ) is a very high standard open source 3d application that is free to download and use. However, this will take time to learn.
   Duration of projects: 2 Weeks.
   Breakdown: (guidelines only – depends on the complexity of the idea and model.)
   Concept development and realization - 1 week.*
   Model development and texture art - 1 week.*
   * You can split up your time however you wish - to reflect the area that you want to work in the most, for example.
   The above guidelines are intensive and will require a lot of work. Please look at the amount of time you have available for each project before trying to take on too much. Quality artwork and developing your creative problem solving skills are key here, along with learning how others handled the same brief in conceptual and technical terms.
   [i]These are guidelines only. You can do all the sections or just choose the areas you feel most comfortable with.[/i] If you wish to use another persons concept art for a model, then please seek permission to do so from the user. If you just want to create the concept art and don’t mind others using your art work for a fully realized character, please state so in your post. If you are having trouble with an area, please shout up and others will try to help out as best they can.
   [b]WIP is encouraged[/b], and please help others by providing your thoughts on their solutions in a positive manner. Discouragement of others will not help anyone as we are all here to get better, and people bring different skills to the table.
   1. Concept art >>>

[li]Ideas[/li][li]Final presentation art (full body character pose, head and image plane orthographics.)[/li][/ul]2. Model >>> (high poly cinematic or lower poly real time games character)

[li]Base model (untextured)[/li][li]Final model (with textures)[/li][/ul]Learning outcomes:

[li]How to develop ideas and a final character from a written brief.[/li][li]Creative problem solving.[/li][li]How to demonstrate your ideas to others.[/li][li]Taking 2d artwork in to 3d artwork.[/li][li]Texture art.[/li][li]Visual communication skills.[/li][/ul]RULES FOR THE WORKSHOP:

   1. Work created here MUST be ORIGINAL TO THE CREATOR and for the purpose of serious study of character art and design. Those who post silly or off topic work will have their posts deleted immediately and will no longer be allowed to post on this thread. Rebecca Kimmel reserves the right to determine which pieces are considered to be in poor taste and / or disrespectful in the workshop.
   2. This Workshop will run in 2 WEEK slots.
   3. There is NO LIMIT to the NUMBER of posts an artist may make. However, we ask that you post only work which you feel best represents your ideas and important design points you feel others should know about during your character development, even if it is considered unfinished.
   4. Artists who post comments and critiques of other artists' work on this thread must be RESPECTFUL, POLITE, and offer CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. Flaming will be NOT be tolerated, and constitutes dismissal from this and other threads.
   5. Mike/default.rol and Rebecca Kimmel will be offering the occasional comments / critique ~ however, the main focus of the Workshop should be on Group Critique and interaction.
   6. ANY MEDIUM or STYLE may be used: Traditional or Digital Drawing or Painting, Sculpture, or 3D Model / Render for the initial stages. Development beyond the initial character idea (stage 2) should be done in a 3D application of your choice.
   7. Please limit the SIZE of your POSTS to 800 pixels WIDTH x Appropriate pixel LENGTH. No huge posts, please! (you are welcome to offer remote links to high resolution versions of your art work along side images that are of an appropriate size, if you so wish.)
   8. Have fun, enjoy, and create great art!


For those of you slightly confused by the terminology, a fortnight is 14 nights in duration. Here is a definition of it from Wikipedia.

A fortnight is a unit of time equal to two weeks: that is 14 days, or literally 14 nights. The term is common in the British Isles and many Commonwealth countries, but rarely used in the United States. It derives from the Old English feowertiene niht, meaning “fourteen nights”.


[/b][/u]Igor Sandman has posted this great link to all of Loomis’ books, if you haven’t got them then NOW is your chance! >>>


Oh my it would be blasphamy to deny participation in this one! i will contribute as much as possible, even complete this one if I can!

I will try to make something very disgusting without breaking forum rules :twisted:


I’m looking forward to seeing the creative concepts that come out of this one. Good luck everyone! :slight_smile:

 Thanks for the continued support of this series Rebecca - and for the opportunity to run it. :)
 Morning all,
 Here is my initial breakdown of the brief, as I see it.  Done in around 50 minutes while listening to The Aphex Twin.

 Initially, I decided on a [b]location[/b] for my "Grotesque."  I have decided on a Town Square.  I also made the decision that my piece would be a sculpture, in keeping with the original meaning of grotesques in the quote.
 When breaking down the brief, I decided to update it and make a grotesque for the modern age.   With this in mind, I chose a reason for the sculpture to be in existance - Namely, the square is in a dormitary town for a local genetic engineering plant. (1.)
 I wanted the sculpture to be something that we, as humans, could relate to - but fear (2.), (reflecting my psychological response to genetic engineering, I think.) I then looked at the positive reasons for genetic engineering and chose the metaphor of "flight" to best encompass man's aspirations, (3.)
 Finally, I took all of that into account, but added my negative feelings towards it - (and the fact that this thing is supposed to be a "grotesque") - and locked on to the scavanger mentality of genetic research as a means for making money, (and not so much making human life enriched.)  I decided on animals that best reflected these thoughts, a Vulture and a Jackal (4.), added it to the human being itself, and Voila! - I've got my idea!
 I hope that helps people a little bit, by understanding the reason behind my choice of creatures for my grotesque.  Next I will move on to composition for the sculpture itself.
 Cheers all
 MIKE :)


For this one I thought of the most grotesque thing to me without breaking rules, and I think I have something brewing. Here is a quick sketch I made to generate creativity:


Perhaps I should have wrote: “Just make it disgusting… but tasteful.” :wink: You’re sailing a bit close to “the pan” with that one mate.

Channel that creative energy into something more “grotesque” in the sense I wrote in the brief, and less “Mr. Hanky,” would be my advice. :thumbsup:


MIKE :slight_smile:


I will re-read the brief and see what others come up with.

Update: I have read the passage again, it was fun to sketch the poop monster though :scream:

So you want some kind of creature that has abnormal features, such as two children with one body, a cat and a dog stuck together (Catdog, the cartoon I recall), or possibly the Hydra from hercules, the one that doubles its head when the head has been chopped off.


I have always loved creature creation. These were concieved in the late 70’s and I am just now beginning to re-visit them. I would appreciate any crits. I tend to gravitate toward more “real” anatomy, in the sense that the form should follow function, but I will break my own rules. That’s why I need crit and community. I just wish I had the time. I am looking forward to watching this thread.

I hope I got the spirit of the forum. I don’t post much.

I’ve got a couple more too.


And this one. Thanks


Ou I’m definetly going to participate in this one! Although I don’t care for really ugly/nasty looking creatures…but I’ll do my best :slight_smile: This can become another monster for my game.

@Fl3wk: the shiter beast…lmao…that’s really funny!


Its meant to be grotesque! …and funny :twisted:

The above sketch is a ‘what not to do’ in this workshop :smiley:


Here is my idea, Owlman! He has no connections to the superhero in comics, I promise! I chose the silhuette on the right.


@ Fl3wk >>> You may have missed this in the initial section, but below please find a definition of “a grotesque” from wikipedia.

Definition from Wikipedia of Grotesque -

         Grotesque - When commonly used in conversation, [b]grotesque[/b] means strange, fantastic, ugly or bizarre, and thus is often used to describe weird shapes and distorted forms such as [Halloween]( masks or [gargoyles]( on churches. More specifically, the grotesque forms on [Gothic buildings](, when not used as drainspouts, should not be called [gargoyles](, but rather referred to simply as grotesques, or [chimeras](

While I accept that the brief could be used in the way you have used it, I don’t really want this thread to be locked up for “explicit and horrific content” in the bodily function sense of the word, as that would be no use to anyone. I think you get my drift. :wink: If you got the thread locked up for producing something so disturbing, evil and frightening that it will stop my old mothers heart upon viewing it, then my hat’s off to you! :scream:

@ BUK >>> Great to see you are posting work. Looking forward to seeing the stuff you produce from the brief. :thumbsup:

@ Roja >>> I look forward to seeing what you produce. :slight_smile:

good energy everyone.



Fl3wk, i think we need to submit something similar to the first picture in the following link, its pretty gross so don’t blame me if you throw up over your keyboard and monitor and anythig else thats in front of you.


Ok, I´m gonna give a try at this, here´s a fast sketch of what I´m thinking about doing for this contest


That has actually inspired me on my current creation. I may add the teeth atleast.

Here is an update:


Alright everyone,

Here is my update for tonight, and my workflow that got me to this stage.

I’m using Andrew Loomis’ method of informal composition to generate a pose for my grotesque statue. Here are the initial thumbnails I designed using his method.

The red border denotes the composition that I took forward. (In truth, I took 5 of these forward in all, but don’t want to bore anyone with all of my choices :scream: .)

From the composition I built this figurative comp >>>

[i][b]*The generic figure is a place holder for my final design. I am not working on character design at this stage, only the composition for the final sculpture I want to create, (hopefully in ZBrush.)

[/b][/i]In the comp, the branch represents the top of the tree of wisdom, with my grotesque pointing at the stars with wings about to take flight. (See my initial brief breakdown on page 1 to understand why that is, if you are so inclined.)

A Bit abstract to understand how I got my character composition? Well here is a .gif of how I “saw” a figure sculpture in a bunch of Loomis’ lines. If you haven’t guessed, I totally love Loomis, and his methods were magic! :thumbsup:

Hope that explains how I have come to my figure pose. I did do more poses, and would like to really explore the potential of my informal compositions, but time is not on our side in these 2 week workshops, so I have decided to move on.

Cheers - I will try to leave comment on specific works tomorrow.
MIKE :slight_smile:


Where can one read more about these Loomis compositions? Interesting technique, I’ve never seen it before and a google search yielded nothing.


nice sketch, i thought about something like this too, heads coming out of other heads:)