Character Development

This was a scattered week, so I didn’t get to post very often. But I did make some advances in my character studies for my graphic novel, Sydney Arthur. What you’re seeing above is a wall full of brainstorms for Sydney’s mother. She will be clothed in the story (at least most of the time) unlike Sydney (who rarely wears more than a pair of water wings or gum boots), but these images portray her nude until I understand her basic shape. It was a fun process to begin from a series of gesture drawings (pictured on the left and top) that would evolve on their own from my imagination. The gestures gave me hints of how to portray her hair and what the profile of her face would be. The goal was to see if I could get her to “emerge” rather than try to “borrow” her image from somewhere else. Here is a better finished shot:

The wonderful thing about this approach to a character study is that I feel a greater connection to the result. More ownership of it. She really has to live in the story, so if I don’t pay close attention to my own attitude toward how she looks, then it might come across somehow that I don’t quite believe her myself. 

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the process of writing the story quite a bit. I’ll try to post an excerpt sometime so you can get a teaser of what’s to come. I’m getting a lot of it written and am feeling a growing sense of possibility. Here are some studies of punk kids I stole from photos below. A few more characters that might appear in the story as a group of musicians and tricksters. These are just raw tracings, not developed into my particular style yet:


There will be probably about 6 different kids in the scene that I’m imagining, and they will be an amalgamation of these kinds of images as well as others.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Character Development

  1. tim, your illustration work is godly.

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