Friday, September 25, 2009

Character Study-Singing Chef John

I have chosen Chef John to be the character that I will do continuity pieces of for my portfolio. And now that I have picked the three images I will focus on completing.(Thanks to everyone for their input!!) I need to make sure that the character is consistent from image to image. This is an exceedingly important aspect of your portfolio presentation. It's hard to follow the story of a character if you can't tell it's them from page to page of your book.

So, I thought I was done with the first image of Chef John and was almost done with the second.(see above) I was in the process of painting John when I decided to see how the characters compared to one another when I put them all in the same file and looked at them side by side. AAAAAAUUGGHHHH!!!!!

Well first of all, thank goodness I did it. But second of all, most of them looked either like completely different kids or older versions of the same kid. Which is not good. The ones that looked the most consistent were the latest sketches I'd done all at or around the same time (the last few images in this post). Problem is they looked very different from my original image(first image in this post). And the second image I was working on looked like the older brother of the character(above).

But this offered me a great opportunity to start figuring out how I would go about keeping my characters consistent. I decided to use Photoshop to my advantage. I used it to create the character sheet you see below. This week, I stopped and figured out the proportions and characteristics of Chef John from front, side, back and 3/4 angles. I used his bald head as a measuring tool for his proportions. And added his clothes and accessories on different layers as I moved forward. I looked up anatomy charts to see which parts should line up with what and used the guides in Photoshop to make sure everything lined up as I rotated him. And also did a number of expression studies to get a better feel for his personality. Some expressions suited him and others didn't feel at home. Which is good to know!

Please click on image above to enlarge.

I can only hope that I did it right! Since this is my first time making one I'm sure it's not 100 percent and I may have a lot more here than I need. Potentially not enough. But at the end of the day, I know what he looks like from a large number of angles and I have a resource as I move forward with completing and revising my previous images and sketches. This also gives me a chance to go back into the earlier images and make some of the suggested changes I got from other artists.

I feel that most of my sketches are on point as far as gesture and stance are concerned with John. I plan on copying the sketches of him into one Photoshop file, redrawing them based on my character sheet and coloring and painting them all at the same time. I think this will maximize the potential consistency of John and make sure that he always looks, feels and acts like himself throughout all the images. When I'm done painting the Johns, I'll copy them back into their original images and recolor or paint them to fit in there environments.

I hope it works!!

And if you folks have any other suggestions that you think may work, please feel free to comment them to me!!

Thanks and have a good weekend!!


Amy C said...

oh he is such a cute and interesting character, I love the composition, how he is looking down so lovingly at his fruits and vegetables.

Mighty Kwan said...

Thanks Amy!! Hopefully I can capture that same feeling when I redraw him to match the character sketch. Right now he's about 3 years older than he's supposed to be! LOL! But I'll get it fixed for sure! Thanks so much for you continued support!

Also, is it a problem that he's looking so lovingly at them knowing that he's getting ready to add them to a recipe?


tp said...

really awesome work!

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

I call you W2 he he he! Handsome Wilson, you are well on your way with this fine character. I really love the singing Chef. I really find your character work sheet very interesting and informative. It gives a lot of information about the character which helps me see what you already have in your head. I know it going to work!!! I dont' have a doubt. I love the expression on his face while talking to his veggies he he he! I WISH I could get my family to look at veggies like that he he he! This would be wonderful as an animation as well. Get work once again! Keep us posted about the Chef. Hey I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to come by. It means a lot. Have a great work!

sara b. said...

Awesome job on the character sheet. It takes time no? :) I am most definitely sure that it will all pay off. The colors are beautiful so far in your illos. That and the composition are what's holding my interest right now. I can't wait to see how the other illos turn out after all of this rework! The character development on your sheet rocks!

adrienne trafford said...

thank you so much for commenting on my work at my blog which (happily for me) led me to your blog and your AMAZING work!!! you're an inspiration - it's wonderful!

Kacey said...

I really liked your penguin avatar and had to see your blog:) It is nice to see you take the time to write about your process,post your critiques and see your portfolio evolve. It will most certainly prove helpful for others trying to break into the same field. Great work on your blog, I look forward to seeing your progress:)

Bella Sinclair said...

Hey, Wilson! I have to tell ya, you do EXCELLENT work! Really great style that would appeal to children and adults alike. I love this Chef John. He is adorable with his humongous toque.

And thanks for writing about your process. SO incredibly informative. Your character sheet shows just how much effort you put into your work. I find that incredibly admirable. Like Super-Vanessa said, you will go far!

Mighty Kwan said...

Thanks so much to everyone for there great posts!! I really appreciate it!! :)