Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hands down, the coolest thing I have done to date, part 2

Shortly after Holmes Incorporated was announced as the subject for Toronto Cartoonists Workshop Fit to Print project, and after the character bible was provided to the participants, I was at the opera and the patron one row ahead of me and a few seats over bore a striking resemblance to what I saw in my mind when I read the description for one of the characters.
During the intermissions, I jotted down a few more quick sketches. Not the dude with the guitar, although he'll likely turn up at some point in future work. The other dude.

Not the mousy dude.

The other dude.

Yeah, that's right. I drew him three times and he didn't notice me, because I'm that fast. I love the character of the mousy dude, and I will definitely use him for something else. But this time around, I wanted the smiling, moustachio-ed, aquiline-nosed other dude as a model for the elder statesman at Holmes Incorporated. Technically, the opera patron had a beard as well as a moustache, and that is in the quick life sketches, but I dropped it at the character designing stage.

Based on these visual notes from my sketchbook, I worked up a more finished drawing to present at our weekly artists' meeting. This is Col-Erase light blue, touched up with Col-Erase blue and regular H pencil on regular photocopy paper. It was close enough to what Ty Templeton, our teacher, editor and the creator of the characters, had in mind for the character that I got to do the final designs.

The final character turnaround was based on my proposal and incorporated some elements that Rob Pincombe, one of the other contributors to Holmes Inc #1 (and the assistant editor of Holmes Inc #2), had initally proposed for "Old Edgar" (this character's father) but ended up fitting better with Sherlock II.

When I went to draw the head turnarounds, I wanted to do the full 360-degree rotation. On this copy, you can see the tickmarks between the drawings that I used to line up the major landmarks to make sure that the head size and feature placement stayed consistent. I started with the 3/4 view facing left, the lower left-hand side drawing. This was on 9x12 drawing paper. Then I cut the paper lengthwise in two strips and taped it together so I had one long strip, so it would be easier to line up the drawings for the back of the head.

Once I had the face figured out, I did a full-figure turnaround as well. This is also on 9x12 drawing paper.

I did the same thing on this set with the tickmarks and lines to make sure I was drawing the same dude at each stage of the rotation, but they didn't show on the scan because I made the lines in non-photo blue.

Handsome devil, isn't he?

He's all stylish and stuff what with being the public face of the agency, and the character who most closely physically resembles the master detective, even though he doesn't have the mystery-solving skill set so much. And you can tell not all of his days in action are behind him! He's fighting trim, and has a bit of muscle under that Armani suit.

I'm completely tickled that the first image I had in mind ended up making it into the project. And hey, Other Dude, I hope you don't mind that you're now a comic book character in a continuing series.

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