Monday, October 3, 2011

SKETCHBOOK POST October 7th, 2008, 6:05 AM
aka "Behind the Scenes"


I'm in the middle of a visual development class in the mentoring section - mentored by jason01 - and I've been working on silhouettes. Since this is my first time doing them I decided to document my progress, so below is a rather large image taking you through my stages of development to create my Alice in Wonderland/Alice in Space-themed characters. 

When I first heard that we had to choose our own theme I was totally thrilled and immediately started developing a crazy pseudo-victorian theatrical troupe. With the queen as the prima donna, king as leading man, cheshire as mysterious writer/producer, hatter as the costumer and alice as a street child. Alice would be wandering the street when she sees a discarded rabbit marionette. She would eventually come across the traveling troupe and join their world of a never ending rehearsal. I thought it would be a cool way have the characters be able to use real lines from the book in a totally natural way.
However, as I was working on the silhouettes, I felt that I was falling too easily into my costume designing ways, and since I wanted to challenge myself in this assignment I started looking for alternative themes. 

While I was searching for a new theme, I decided to work on poses and try and establish an overall style I wanted to use. I found a great site:, and started plugging away. After a ton of these (more than are shown) I found a proportion I liked and started refining it. 
Once I had a good sense of how I was going to draw them, I played around with them a bit and realized that I loved how little alice's head looked with a space helmet/orb on it and began researching space as an option. 

With my reference found, I took the pose pages I had made previously and made copies to draw over. I used these to find pleasant shapes and poses that I believed would be appropriate to the theme and developed those further. It was around this point that I abandoned the hatter so that could focus more on the required characters. 
With the first set submitted, I received some great constructive criticism from jason01 advising me to push the poses further and explore different silhouettes.

In response to this critique I set out making grids for body types. Since I wanted to keep some reality to the main human characters I used these as guides for "human" exaggeration. By the time I had these finished I had pretty much decided on what shapes I wanted to pursue further for each character and began modifying the silhouettes accordingly. 

At the same time I began modifying the shapes I looked at way to push the poses. Since the character's outfits were mostly form fitting, I thought it was important that their poses strongly expressed their personalities. With my style a little more established at this point it became easier but it still took awhile to find something for each of the six variations that satisfied me. I definitely happy that I abandoned the hatter so early on, I think I would have gone crazy if I had to do another character at this point ;)

So voila! Like magic the lineups appear! As you can see, I further modified the silhouettes, details mostly, but I'm a little happier with them at this point - at least I don't get sick of them immediately, j/k. 
I don't think we had to but I used all the variations in my lineups, I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could get a decent set out of each of them. I don't know how well I succeeded but it was good practice. Anyway, feel free to critique (this is after all) or give me any suggestions on ways to improve my silhouettes in the future, I appreciate any help I can get ^^

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