Thursday, 15 November 2007
Expressions: Dr. Jeckyll
Drawing expressions is probably my favourite part of the character design proces. Well, at least on par with the initial ideas stage. I suppose I enjoy these the most because I get to really explore the specific personality traits of a character. I'm also concerned with getting good rhythm, balance and a flow in my linework by this stage.
Thinking about it, in some ways it's sort of self-indelugent to lose myself in character exploration. Having distilled all my ideas into a design, to then explore the character's emotions is a real treat.
I turn out dozens of sketches for each emotion. You only see a small selection here, I'd imagine including them all would get quite boring.
I'm of the opinion that there should never be a stock "happy" expression or "sad" face. In the real-world, human expressions are rooted in emotions and are always governed by the context in which they are made. I'm probably stating the obvious here but this I have a range of drawings grouped under the 'umbrella' descriptions of "sad", "happy", angry etc.
These drawings serve as a guide to the character's emotional range, or at the very least, help illustrate what does and doesn't work for their personality. Just like a turnaround drawing, the intention is not to have them copied but used as reference in conjunction with scene layouts (for animation) or storyboard thumbnails (for a picture book or comic).
How do you show disgust? The answer depends on what he's disgusted with and how much it disgusts him.
Humans don't ever experience the exact same emotion twice and it shows, in how they express it. That concept is the foundation I like to work from when developing a character's emotional range.