Hi this is my first character design, which will be used for a cinematography assignment and made into a maquette
The character is based on a nigerian godess called 'Ala' She is the godess of the dead and the earth (so I will be colouring her in muddy reds, browns, yellows e.t.c)and takes deceased spirits into her womb. However I have adapted this in my character design- the dead spirits go into the sack on her back, whilst she holds the new spirits in her womb, ready to be birthed back into the world, hence the pregnant state of her belly (she is also the godess of fertility)
Initially in the early concepts she is more of a warrior character, however I decided his was not too origional. Instead she is more of a wanderer and 'mother' character- inspired by the B.F.G by Roald Dahl, however rather than collecting dreams she collects the souls of the dead.
Here are my concept sketches so far from intial ideas to current- they are only sketches so my anatomy is not correct (I just wanted to put some ideas down) I would really appreciate any comments on how to push the idea further, what people think e.t.c be as harsh as you like
The current final concept is her staff looks like a tree, with a light on top (as in the cinematography she will be wandering at night and the only lit object) her sack is covered in pelts of animals, and sweeps along the ground so it wiped her footsteps as she walks so no-one knows shes there. Traditionally in the tribe the legend is from they only cover their private parts, hence why her breasts are exposed. They also would cover themselves in bodypaint- hence the markings.
td'r im looking for advice on how to improve the current final concept and push it further. Im also struggling with ideas on poses for the model as I have to do a pose and character expressions sheet.
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Well, I think the main question you need to answer for yourself is: do I want to learn how to draw, or just finish this assignment and never grab a pencil again?
If your goal is to continue doing concepts and drawings - you have to scrap all this, and learn about anatomy, proportions, shapes, perspective - things that it is obvious you have not studied properly yet. This is why you find it difficult to recreate the characters in different poses and to be more free in your creativity - you lack critical knowledge on how things work, thus you can't recreate them on paper.
Now, the main thing about your character is that she seems caucasian to me - I'd expect a Nigerian godess to be african. Look for references, try to see the structural racial differences.
Also, I don't know much about this godess, but your concept is very human. Try to go crazy for a bit - make her with a few arms or with wings or something - just very quick sketches (5 mins at most), just to experiment with wilder ideas.
Otherwise I like the sketch where she's topless and very tattooed - looks very african to me, I prefer that to most other. Also maybe have a look at Diablo III's female Witch doctor concepts for inspiration
Thanks so much for the feedback. Ideally yes I would like to learn how to draw, humans especially as they are always something I have struggled with. However with the deadline I dont really have the time to - my career goal is to become a compositor, modeller or texture artist. This is just a part of the course. For the final hand in they are expecting front/side/quarter views and a pose sheet so I dont have to do concept art as such.
Thanks for pointing that out! Im so used to drawing caucasian style characters so I had completly overlooked this. Do you think the new concepts look a bit more african? With regards to the wilder ideas, its a good point however im just trying to think along the lines of why would she have wings e.t.c? I dont want to make her too wild just for the sake of it, and most african deity statues i've seen seem human with slightly wilder proportions. I will try out some thumbnails just to see if anything pops out at me though
Yeah thats my favourite one too & that character is really cool, im going to look at some more voodo/witchy ideas Thanks again for the input
Changed the character quite a bit and tries something a tad more cartoony which I think works better. Made her more of a mother figure rather than a warrior or superpowered god. Quite influenced by the mama odie character in princess and the frog, do you think however it looks a bit too much like her , or too sterotypical?
Also colourwise I wasn't sure about sticking to either the oranges/reds of the african plains or something a bit wilder, any input on that would be great
Im aware that my anatomy needs some work, especially as the head seems to be turned too far in comparision with her body. Id appreciate some pointers, im not particually used to drawing in this style
I just want to say I really love these drawings...there's a tremendous amount of power and imagination and originality going on here.
That said, it's not just that your "anatomy needs some work," it's more that if you want to work in a more traditional "realistic" style you should really enroll in some figure-drawing classes with a good teacher. Achieving more "realism" is going to entail a lot of re-training your brain to see and depict forms in a more analytical way than anything you've posted here. Expecting to improve by asking people to "correct" these drawings is not, in my opinion, likely to produce useful results.
Thank you, I was just worried as I was told last year I did too much of a sterotypical design for a smaller project we did so I dont want to fall into the same trap.
Yeah i've gone off the more realitic style for now and am thinking the cartoony colour version as I dont have the time with this project to learn it properly along with the other assignments I have. I do have classes at uni, however they are all about 'capturing the pose' for animation our teacher says dont worry about anatomy, which is a pain as I have never really had any practice drawing people before, and would really like to learn! I dont expect people to correct anything, just a general, her bum looks too big or something like that as after working on it for a while I find it hard to spot things.
Thanks for the feedback, im going to look to see if there's any local lifedrawing lessons in my area to improve
You're welcome. One other thing I forgot to mention is that, whenever possible, you really should scan your drawings on a flatbed scanner rather than photographing them. The low quality of the photos you posted feels very unprofessional and really distracts from the excellence of the drawing.
I think this is the design im going to stick with, looking back at it today she seemed slightly off balance so I have extended her stomach a bit, do you think this is better?
Im also struggling with what colour's to go for, although the yellow/red one ties in more with the landscape and typical clothing, I slightly prefer the aqua one as it stands out more (especially as she is a godess so I guess can waer slightly more out there things) any thoughts?
The drawing's good, but the line quality's a bit iffy--I'd strongly recommend you scan in your pencil sketch and paint over that, at least until you get a bit more confident with the tablet/stylus. Also, regarding the scanner: Don't wait for Christmas. If you're studying art at the university level, there's GOT to be a scanner somewhere you can use. Find it, use it.