Manaus is Rudy’s son and as such has been through many of the trials she has.

There is something very interesting about the ‘relationship’ between a writer or artist and their characters. It’s possible to be very cruel to them to serve a story. I don’t remember thinking much of it at the time, but looking back now I feel very sorry for Rudy.

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Rudy is a very old character of mine, but this is the first time I’ve draw her. In her world centaurs are considered like animals and are hunted for sport (though not to be eaten). As such the stories I’ve made up about her are often quite grim. I’ve heard that many peoples’ first stories can be dark. Her stories will likely never see the light of day …

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For today’s character design I’ve drawn Esther from the Book of Esther in the Old Testament and Tanakh. A Jewish orphan, she became queen of Persia. I enjoyed researching Persian clothing and hairstyles around 500 BC, though I haven’t had time to research in great detail! For Esther’s face and figure I’ve heavily referenced Meg from Hercules.

 

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I meant to post these last weekend, but forgot. I drew them last month, using the Bodies in Motion site, beginning with 30 second poses and gradually giving myself more time. The site is excellent for capturing poses that a model would never be able to hold.

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Bree (or Breehy-hinny-brinny-hoohy-hah, to give his full name) is the titular horse of The Horse and His Boy. Shasta is the boy. I had wondered about drawing Aravis and Hwin, the other main characters, but there are so many other characters I want to draw I initially decided against it. Now I’m two weeks through the list I made I’m starting to wonder about some of the characters I initially scheduled, so Aravis may appear later in the month …

Like yesterday, I’m looking at The Secret of Kells for design inspiration. Several of the animals like wolves and deer have legs that come to a point. Though it’s quite elegant I think, if I were designing for a real film, I would rework Bree to have hooves.

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Shasta is the main character in The Horse and His Boy, my favourite of C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia books. I would love to see it on screen as I think this story has so much scope – adventure, horses, battles, an escape across a desert. Now Netflix will be developing new films and series (see here for more information) it’s possible my dream will come true!

For design I’ve followed Cartoon Saloon‘s style quite closely, particularly their film The Secret of Kells. If you haven’t heard of them, check them out – their work is beautiful, especially Song of the Sea which is one of my favourite films.09_Shasta

At the end of a bitter battle with a dragon, a knight searched its layer and discovered its egg among the treasures. Feeling its warmth he found himself unwilling to kill an innocent, unknowing creature. Instead the knight wrapped it carefully in his cloak and cradled it on his saddle as he rode all the way home.

This is the opening of a story I wrote a few years ago about what happens when a knight tries to raise a dragon. In short, nothing good. Today’s drawing is of the young dragon the knight keeps chained, and drugged with herbs.

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These next characters come from Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword, a fantasy novel I adore. As it’s set in the desert land of Damar I took inspiration from The Prince of Egypt for design. Harry (full name Angharad) is the heroine, and I show her here near the beginning of the story when she has been kidnapped by the hill folk.

Though I took time to colour her I really like the pencil lines, so I’ve uploaded them on their own too.

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Captain Frederick Wentworth, for those who haven’t read (or watched) Persuasion, is the love interest of Anne.

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Persuasion is one of my favourite Jane Austen novels (I find it hard to choose between it and Pride and Prejudice) so I thought I’d draw Anne Elliot for day four. I wanted to draw her in a style similar to some of the cartoons of that time – lots of lines and hatching.

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Fraser was enjoying a walk on the beach with his dog when he came across something extraordinary …

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Inktober is an annual drawing challenge which I’ve taken part in before, but this year I’ve decided to do it a little differently. As the name suggests the drawings are supposed to be in ink, but this year I’m going to cheat and draw digitally. My aim with this challenge is to develop my character design skills, so I want to focus on that and not on my inking skills. I will also be taking the weekends off as I think it’s important to have a couple of days to rest or catch up, depending! To that end I’ve created a list of 23 characters (some mine and some from favourite books), many of which I’ve been meaning to draw for a long time.

Elsa is the first – not wholly a character, but certainly caricatured for my Selkie storyboard.01_Elsa

I was in Edinburgh yesterday for an animation event, so I spent some time drawing in the museum on Chambers Street. I sketched a sperm whale skull and a haughty-looking llama as well as some of the visitors. The sketches are pen on paper, but the tone was added digitally.01b

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I’ve been busy with work and a family wedding, so it’s taken me a while to post anything new! Here’s a group of studies from one of Muybridge‘s wonderful sequences.

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These drawings are from last week, but it took me until now to cherry-pick the best to upload. They’re all studies from Bodies in Motion; most of them are of neutral expressions but some of the short poses (between 30 seconds and 2 minutes) were of a variety of emotions. With the longer studies I really focused in on the eyes, nose and mouth to get to grips with the structure and form.

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More studies from the Bodies in Motion website! I began with some 30 second sketches, all of which were very rough so I haven’t uploaded any of them. Next I went through one of the motions spending a minute on every drawing. Finally I spent quite a long time on a study of one image.

The gif below is a bit jumpy because I was only drawing every third photo, but I think there’s still a good sense of the overall movement.Ballet_0101

Last week I went to a show of students’ work where Katrina Ellis, a weaver and life model, modelled with some of her fabric. It was fun, and challenging, to draw.

Recently I signed up to Scott Eaton’s Bodies in Motion website, which is stuffed to the gills with stunning figure references. The ‘Motions’ feature sequences of photographs of people dancing, leaping, and fighting. What’s lovely about it is that moments of action can be studied which could never be held by a life model.

Today I began by studying a sequence, playing each frame for 30 seconds. Getting all the information down was a challenge (I’m a bit rusty).

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After drawing the gestures I took a bit more time to study one of the images.

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I’m looking forward to exploring this site more. It’s possible to used the randomised ‘Quickdraw’ feature for free (as long as you register) and you can also view thumbnail images, but the plans, which give you various levels of access, are currently on sale.

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