Friday, 14 October 2011

The result of being reinspired

Recently I have been talking to Phil and Justin about the path I was going down for this character design project and have got some much needed feedback from the two. My main problems were that I was enjoying the character development and everything I tried lead to a dead end. I have been told to look at the animals of the western/ desert locations; so instantly I looked at Texas.

Texas is the home to some beautiful but deadly animals, ranging from Black Widows to Rattlesnakes, from Bulls to Scorpions. I've been advised to look at animals and species to be inspired for my alien race. My initial ideas are to look at venomous and dangerous creatures for the villain but also Justin has pointed out that birds are generally use in character design to show intelligence. Adding these two would mean looking at Vultures could be interesting.

My ideas for the hero is to look at Bulls, Wolves or Bears, mainly because of their build and power, but the nature of a Bull also could be used for the Villain because of the "Bull in a China shop" fiasco. However I had an idea of look at insects because the segments and multiple arms in their structure could be the clue into finding away to create a four armed hero.

For the sidekick I still have the idea for extreme speed, so I want to work around that, even if it doesn't resemble a horse. If I need to move on from that, then so be it. For a twist of ideas I could look at a flying animal, for example, bats are very common in Texas and they could be an interesting animals to work with. If I wanted to character to be agile then I could go with a snake form or a bobcat. Although if I wanted this character to be the hero's defence then perhaps an Armadillo could be something to intriguing.

As I don't want to create an alien that looks exactly like the animal I have on reference, I plan to unravel  the animal from inside out and find the ways it works and its characteristic to make my alien come alive.

Couple of animals I have been looking at:

Spiders - Black Widow

The Spherical body is very interesting and that red marking inspires me to create a logo for the characters to wear. A logo that shows exactly who each character is and acts like.

Lizards - Texas Horned Lizard

 Although the Horned Lizard looks tame and almost cute, the horns on this animal would work perfectly for the villain, their sharp, triangular shape is shouting out to be a bad guy.

Oxen, Bulls, Cows and Buffaloes


I have been looking at these animals because of their build and intense power. Plus the horns on their heads could be interesting for any of the characters.


I wanted to keep the scorpion in mind because I use it as a reminder that a character doesn't need hands or fingers to get a job done. Those pincers could be interesting for a weapon...?

New Designs

Villain 1

This drawing came from inspiration of the Alligator Snapping turtle, I found it a perfect starting point for my villain. The animal can grow very old, it is strong, dangerous looking, slow and covered in sharp spike, plus this thing looks like its from another planet as it is! Its just perfect. I also kept the multiple legs in for this design just to see how the two combined together. I'm very happy with the outcome and it has already allowed me to free up my mind and pencil to create a freer character.

Villain 2


For this design I took Justin's advice on the birds of intelligence and vultures. What I instantly liked about the vulture was the snake like neck and the way the shoulder points up, it looks like dominance and wisdom. I also like the amount of feathers on the body of a vulture but I didn't want a feathered character so I gave him a cloak that can be made of feathers. I'm impressed with my character design, my favourite part is the legs, I like the alien quality it gives the character. However what I don't like is the position and the length of the neck. The face could do with some worked but so far I think it is okay; the moustache may be turned into drooping skin/tentacles just for an added twist.

Hero Design


For my hero design I needed to find a way to have multiple arms and have it work inside out. The insects are perfect for inspiration, so I looked at the Sand Wasp and the Fire Ant. I really like my design and I think the arm are finally working. I thought I would add some wings on the character as well for a twist in design, however I don't like this idea because otherwise he steed is almost pointless, unless the sidekick character becomes something else entirely.

All in all these couple of days have been a lot calmer and enjoyable. I'm finally designing with a new found freedom and inspiration.


  1. Chris these drawings are fantastic! I love the deformity and strain of the villain, he looks a totally splice. I would say though he looks like a villain by force, not so much by will, due to his pain of being structured the way he is

  2. Chris, bloody well done - proud of you mate, these drawings are about a million times more speculative and interesting than previously. You should now work closely with Justin to refine, refine, refine...

  3. These seem to be getting somewhere Chris! I like your vulture villain - i think work needs to be done to make him less human though, so i would look at the face there. At the moment he seems more benign. For your hero, the insect design is very interesting - remember that unless you are going for a very cartoony image, you will need to make his facial features more human like. Keep `em coming!