Now before we jump into the unknown I would like to point out a very salient point within the area of character creation: when you design the characters likeness you will have no doubt have already developed his or her personality; the things that make him or her tick.
Once you have that remember to always draw the likeness to suit the personality. For example: Brabbles is a ridiculously over confident mouse, so I always draw him bolt upright and puffed up; confidence simply oozes from him. In fact if I draw him in any other way, like down trodden, its all the more noticeable because its so out of character. Like wise with Boggitt. He is a dour, down in the mouth, worry-wort of a curmudgeon. So I always draw him slightly bent and defeated looking; any other pose or change in his stature would be as a reaction to something that has taken him outside of his comfort zone.
I say this purely to those of you who are looking for tips into character creation, which is a subject I will touch on in another tutorial soon.
Anyway, onto the drawing. Below are two separate tutorials, one for Brabbles and the other for Boggitt. First off I'm going to start with Boggitt---mainly because I enjoy drawing him the most.
1. The first thing I always do is create Boggitt's structure; this is achieved by placing three slightly squashed circles on top of one another.
The top and the bottom shapes should be the same size and the middle---his chest area--- should be slightly smaller. The top shape (the head) should have cross sections to help with the consistency in placing his eyes, nose and mouth.
Next: draw smaller circles for his hands and bread stick shapes for his feet; place a line or two for his arms and the two circles above his head for the antennae.
Lastly: do another circle for his travelling sack and the shape for the stick that carries it.
Using the guidelines in the head shape, start to put his nose and eyes in. The eye's are large and expressive so use up most of the top half for them and break the top of the circle with his eye-brows. Half cut his eyes to denote his down trodden personality. His nose should be another squashed circle and take up most of the bottom half.
3. Finally shape up the hands by putting his fingers in, (note: I only use three fingers and a thumb in my drawings. You do how ever many you are comfortable drawing) Then move onto the knotted handkerchief that he carries his worldly belonging in. Think how the weight of the contents would affect its shape, make it baggy at the bottom and tighter towards the top; the weight would also put a bow in the stick that carries it. Finally--- on the knotted handkerchief--- draw in the dots.
Now all that's left to do is his shoes: draw in the laces and a bit of ground around him and viola! You have yourself a Boggitt.
Next up we have Brabbles; the stupidly over confident Brabbles---but you've just gotta love him for it!
1. Once again, think of his character. Brabbles is confident... overly so. So think rigid, strong backbone and in-yer-face assertiveness.
Like Boggitt you have a squashed circle for a head, but his body differs in the respect that its more of a curved triangle. His feet are more elongated than Boggitt's, due to the fact that he's a mouse and mice have longer feet. His ears are about the same size as his head and are designed to move around to help show mood and emotion. (see samples at the bottom of the page)
Don't forget the guide lines for his features.
Finally show the strong hand on hips and upright, point making, stance of domination.
2. Brabbles' nose goes dead centre of where the lines cross. His eyes---usually denoted by two dots unless his expression requires it--- are on either side of the dividing line on the top half of his head. His smile is always full and is very expressive.
Next place his trousers up high on his body, remembering to curve the shape to give that 3-D look and shape up his hands and ears.
3. Now shape up his arms, draw in the details of his shoes---as you did with Boggitt---and squiggle in his tail.
Lastly, we move onto the three lines of hair on top of his head. When drawing these remember to shoot them out with as much confidence as you imagine Brabbles has himself.
That's it. That's how to draw Brabbles & Boggitt. If I can find the time I will do other tutorials on how other characters in the Brabbles & Boggitt series are drawn, but for now I have two final pieces of art for you.
Below are two pages of sketches showing the two main characters in a variety of poses.
These sheets act as a definitive illustration on how your character's body and expressions work together when reacting to the comments or situations thrust before them.
And finally: note how all the pictures have arced pencil lines through them. These are called 'lines of action' and I'll be talking about their relevance on another instructional post very soon...
...so stay tuned for that little gem!
But until then, get your pencils out and have some fun. Email me the results, if you like, I'd love to see them.
Notice how Brabbles' ears, tail and tuft of hair help to portray his mood and movement.
Note: As with Brabbles, Boggitt also has an aid to his action; his antennae. These fly off or droop all over the place in reaction to what's going on around him.
Brabbles & Boggitt are copyright Karl Dixon
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