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Glasgow, United Kingdom
An illustrator and games artist living and working in Scotland. I have various hobbies: coding, travel, art and games; and I enjoy writing about them.

23 March 2013

The Witch Baby Development Sketches

Once all the cobwebs and cliches are successfully purged from the mind some interesting concepts start to develop. I am not too worried about making it look uniquely Russian just yet, because as we established time and time again the true character lies in the small details. At the moment I am concentrating most on the general shape and interesting design.

A note on structure of these blog posts. In my process the first step is always to look for inspiration and reference first. This is extremely important because designing without knowing your topic will result in mediocre and cliche designs. However, because blogger displays the first uploaded image as a thumbnail I always post the most recent work first, thus making it seem like I'm doing things in the wrong order. I hope this helps.

Anyway, let's have a look at the final sketch of the Witch.


Which is an extremely quick (20minutes max) painting of this image.


The round shape suggests a friendly and positive character, however the scary details and graphic content creates a stark contrast. More on the nuances of character design and the meaning behind shapes can be found in Tom Bancroft's book "Creating Characters with Personality". Do not be put off by the simplistic design and cheap price. The book is a collection of work by the top industry professionals ranging from Mark Hem from Disney to Peter de Seve from Pixar. It also has some helpful insights into the world of character design and the theory behind it.

Anyway, here are some of the designs that look cool but were unsuccessful due to reasons I will describe later.


There is really no great theoretical and academic reason why I discarded this design. It all comes down to knowing what has been done and what won't work. The main piece on the page above looked a lot like this character from Studio Ghibli's Howl's Moving Castle. The Witch of the Waste.

The Witch of the Wastes, Howls Moving Castle, Studio Ghibli (2004)

The other drawing reminded me too much of this character from Left 4 Dead 2. The Spitter.

Spitter Special Infected, Left 4 Dead 2, Valve and Turtle Rock Studios (2008)
All in all I am fairly happy with the design. However, more work needs to be done in adding those little details that will make her unique and add a Slavic feel to the character.