Part 4: Character Development

Initial ideas, leading to character development 1

I think this activity is very challenging.  To create characters and personalities is going to be a challenge.  I started this activity by doing some rough sketches and ideas.  Toying with possibilities and different possible characters…

As I was sketching I started to develop in my mind a personality called Tony.  As I was drawing and developing the rough sketches, Tony started to form in my mind as a character:

Tony – a punky teenager who blunders through life in uncertainty mixed with a good dose of optimism.  A young man trying to find his identity and place in life.  I immediate saw his personality and stories coming through in comic book form.   On my sketchbook page I started to more fully develop the sketches.  I’ve snipped them out and put them into a rough comic book format that I imagined.   The sketches needed some tidying up digitally (in Autodesk Sketchbook).  Final piece:


Character development 2

I wanted to change direction and do something a little more experimental for the next character.

My intention was very simple – invent a personality and “pose them” for a portrait.  I  set out with the intention of using mixed media, experimenting and just seeing where things go.  A few quick sketches help me visualise the face I had in mind:

Then I produced a portrait of that woman in watercolour and water-soluble wax crayon.  I used no reference material and the image came directly from my subconscious.  It is interesting to note how much Modigliani influence was on show.  I wasn’t at all bothered about lack of ear, strange nose, etc.  I kept broadly true to my initial intentions.

I scanned the painting, and I then did a small amount of digital painting to enhance certain areas (principally the background where I wasn’t too happy with the dark patchy effect I had as an outcome with the watercolours) and worked on the eye digitally.

The final portrait seemed a little lost by itself, so I decided to play with colour fills and putting different colour combinations side-by-side. I initially considered a 4×4 arrangement, but a long sequence was a lot more visually interesting and more energetic than a block composition.  The final piece below:

I note that the handbook encouraged me to draw a character in different poses, but I felt that suggestion was a little dull and not what I wanted to do.  I was more fascinated by colour differences/experiments, plus the effect of horizontal flipping of the image.

Also, I know there is obvious Andy Warhol influence in what I’ve produced, but I’m relaxed about that.  I enjoyed the experiment and I’m interested in the collection of faces that I’ve made as an outcome.  If I were to attach meaning to what I’ve produced, I’d attach a thought-provoking title such as “the stages of womanhood”. Or, alternatively, say that the image is about the pointlessness of racism and judging by different skin colour.


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