Character Design – More Heads (part 2)

Before the mid-term break, we were tasked to look more into head designs and how we might be able to emulate the things we learned in class by sketching out a page of heads of our own design. I’m finding this sort of task more complicated than any that we’ve done before, if only because it’s drawing something organic rather than the robots or vehicles we’ve done so far. There are certain rules and methods that should be followed when drawing characters; the head is a focal point for this task, so it’s important I feel comfortable with designing my own.

This is why I decided to look into a lot of other peoples’ work, including some of the names that were mentioned in class. Doing a simple Google search certainly brought up enough sources of inspiration, but I also looked at some famous faces – photography of heads was mentioned during our introduction to character design, after all. Finally, I also looked at some breakdowns of how to draw different types of heads, to see if I could find inspiration for my own unique design.

Photography of Heads

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I simply did a couple of searches with a combination of words such as “head,” “portrait,” “photography,” and “celebrity” to see what would come up. I especially like the photo of the woman with the cat, since it appeals to the request that we “mix elements” of what we’d learned. Outside of that, I took a couple of coloured photographs and some black/white ones.

Others’ Work

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I found A LOT of inspiration simply looking at so many other talented artists who have posted their work online. There are so many different styles and techniques out there, which is nice to see, however I did see a lot of either Disney-like or Manga-like art work. This shouldn’t be surprising, as the two styles are extremely popular and have been for a long time.

One person I thought who had an excellent grasp on a variety of character heads was Kevin Richter, who I just stumbled upon during my web surfing. While he isn’t famous (sorry, but at least here’s a link to his ArtStation page), I do really like his drawings and think he’s very good at what he does.

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Another artist of note (who I think was mentioned in class?) is Ian McQue. I think his artwork is staggeringly good and his character design is exceptional. There is something very appealing about his black ink sketches; although it seems like he primarily focuses on vehicles, he posts a lot of his artwork on his Twitter. I can see McQue being an artist I will regularly revisit long after this task is complete, if only because he could be a constant source of creative inspiration.

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Construction Techniques

When I first came onto this course, Marc and I went out to purchase some art books along with the other various supplies we would be needing. I felt rather inept in my drawing abilities, so anything to make understanding basic drawing techniques easier to understand seemed like a good investment to me. One such book we bought was called “Figure It Out! Human Proportions” by Christopher Hart. It lays out a lot of simple rules and I think it’ll come in very useful for our character designing endeavours.

Outside of that, I also thought it would be good to track down a couple of illustrative examples online that might help me draw up any heads with the correct proportions, keeping in mind the things we learned in class.

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