After being stuck in work training for a long twelve days, I started sketching a lot while I listened. I tend to find myself more creatively motivated when I'm learning new things. Plus! Deciding to participate in a discord competition gives me a deadline and a proverbial fire under my butt to finish this.
To begin with, I started playing around with hairstyles. I've been trying my best to stay super loose and not let myself get sucked into polishing too early which is a huge problem for me since I do enjoy painting a lot. After sketching a bunch of these I asked my usual discord groups for feedback.
A lot of the feedback I received was about how they liked one or two of the designs so I did some quick sketches merging the two.
1 & 6
1, 3 & 6
1, 3 & 6
I ended up going with the longer version of 1, 3 & 6 since I was really enjoying the mohawk mullet combo. It also felt a lot like something you'd see in Final Fantasy, which I am a huge fan of.
After I figured out what I wanted to do with the hair, I went forward to work on the clothes and style of the character.
I really just wanted to focus on having fun with the character, let loose a little and just focus on making something 'cool' that was also a joy to make. It was around here I started to like the idea of making him a little crazy and flamboyant and getting him to feel like that character in a RPG that you have in your party but you know for sure is going to betray you.
Out of these 7 thumbnail sketches I lent towards 3, 5 & 7 as my top three favourites. From here, I'm one step closer to figuring the character out by getting to add some colour!
Starting with number 3, the more casual outfit of the ones I picked. (after all there's nothing more villainous than socks and flip flops.) I wanted this outfit to look like he's stylish but also doesn't really care all too much about trends. I definitely prefer #3 of these since the pink stands out against the black and avoids falling into the ' mad scientist' vibe that #2 has or the touristy feeling of #1.
For thumbnail #5, I decided to try something a little different with the colour schemes. I love gold accents on outfits so I first began playing around with those with 1 & 2, neither of these really took my fancy, however. Number 3 was a step in the right direction with the bright bits of red popping out against the dark blacks that was reminiscent of Joker from Persona 5.
After taking a small break from this concept, I joined in a google hangout to work on it with other people to keep motivated and get instant feedback. From that hangout I changed a few things around, starting with the colour scheme.
I decided that the bright pink was the way to go. It's such a fun and bright colour that I rarely get to use and it would add to the flamboyant feeling of the character.
#1: (Hands down my favourite design of the three) Taking the idea of high contrast colour to a dark outfit, I adjusted it to be pink rather than red and added back in all the fun gold touches. While I enjoyed the coloured gloves, I felt that having the bright pink on the hands would pull the focus away from the face and divide the attention too much. To compensate for this I have added the circle rimmed glasses from the casual concept to keep a secondary touch of colour and keep the focus on the face area. Pink highlights in his hair were also added to aid this.
#2: For this more casual concept, I got a bunch of really good advice from the hangout. The main feedback is that they liked the white jacket but preferred the patterns from the black and pink. So in this updated idea, I inverted the black jacket and adjusted the patterns on the pants to feel like they're more similar to each other. More gold will need to be added to fit with the other two costume designs.
#3: Number three was a weird one in how I hadn't actually coloured this one before now. Originally I was happy with just the 2 designs but the idea of a more 'big bad endgame villain' outfit seemed so fun to me. For this concept, I really wanted to play around with different fabrics and materials with the shiny latex of the suit contrasted with the pure white fur of the jacket. Since it would be a fun challenge for me once I got around to polishing the concept.
From here I picked an outfit to finalise and got additional feedback, they were kind enough to do a quick paint over and brought up some pretty great points about shape language and where to push the concept.
"I like the collar but the double collar was a little distracting so I merged it into one. I extended the cape because villains look cool in capes. I liked the high collar and made it look like an arrow pointing up towards his face. Basically I wanted to simplify the shapes more and make them a bit more dramatic."
This was super good feedback and I decided to try to find a middle ground between the two options and I feel like I managed it by giving him a half coat and adjusting the collar to be one piece while also keeping the same silhouette.
From here its just a matter of polishing the design.