Character Revisited

Whilst looking back on previous work I had realised that there was more potential lurking within my character work. Whilst I had created my own ideas for ‘Tree people’, I had not had much of a focus on character. After looking t some studies by famous surrealist artist Salvador Dali (I have a previous blog post dedicated to his involvement within my work), I realised how his artistic technique could come into play within my own work; this lead me to create some surrealist tonal studies.

Alongside looking at Dali’s work, I also took reference from shadow-like creatures within film and TV, such as the demontors in ‘Harry Potter’. These references highlighted potential for my shadow creatures, but also others interpretation. Below are the reference images in question.


Before I had produced sketches in which I was happy with for this task, I decided to take my own reference photos of shadows; I thought this may have helped with coming up with a more unique design. After taking these photos whilst using a friend as a subject, I decided to create studies using conte to try and explore how I could depict the texture of the creature. Two examples of my very own reference images can be viewed below.


I did not like the outcome of my conte studies as I believed they were’t visually pleasing; this is what lead me to pencil and other artistic references. However, one positive outcome that I found from these conte studies was could they had accidentally smudged; the outcome of this was quite effective. Below are the images in question.


Below are my pencil studies for my characters design. Whilst designing these characters, I took quite a circular approach to the built of their bodies. Similarly to the reference photos in which I had fond whilst researching, I managed to incorporate tentacle-like shapes to their bodies; I felt this gangling characteristic as to the ominous characterisation.



Additionally, whilst approaching my character designs, I did some research into the definition of what a shadow is to further understand the possibilities for character design. The source and definitions can be viewed below.

“partial darkness or obscurity within a part of space from which rays from a source of light are cut off by an interposed opaque body”

“a reflected image”

“shelter from danger or observation”

“a :  an imperfect and faint representation b :  an imitation of something”

“the dark figure cast upon a surface by a body intercepting the rays from a source of light”



“A shaded or darker portion of a picture”


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