Today I finally managed to finish the whole Concept Art project. I had some problems with my computer, so I had to format my computer on Monday. Good thing they invented disk partitions and external hard drives. It is now time to sum it up.
To begin with, I would like to explain my point of view when one talks about the term "gang member". It is very easy to have a general idea about gangs and gangsters, they are an active portion of today's society, coming up often on news papers and news reports.
For me, a gang member is someone that belongs to a group of people that live, and in some cases, die by the same ideals. It is someone that takes part of actions that usually benefit this group, in most cases being those actions illegal ones. Is someone that identifies him/herself with the other members of the group, and this is what makes gangs strong and to stick together. The one thing that probably makes it somewhat different is that my gang member belonged to a gang that was fighting for an ideological good, rather than a material or sentimental one.
This is also the case in my specific story. I tried to represent it by designing a common identification mark: the red stripe on his pants. It just had to be there.
On another subject, I would like to talk about the clothing style and the way I colored it. My gang member belongs to the low end of the social scale in the 1850's. The only way to reflect and represent this on the design of the character would be the dressing style. He has a regular cotton shirt, typical working trousers, a regular hat and the most common footwear possible for a poor guy (they were called Brogan's). Yes poor because at the time the difference between social classes was tremendous. His clothes are stained from his hard work, most definitely on a mine or possibly a production factory.
A quick remark about the drawing and painting process. I have always made some drawings and paintings for fun, but I have never learned how to draw or paint properly. I didn't know any techniques. But nowadays with the use of the internet it is possible to find resources for almost anything.
This was the case. I found a very good website about comic book drawings, http://www.idrawdigital.com/ and even though it is about a specific type of drawing, if one understands the basic flow and techniques, it can be used to any type of drawing. I applied some basic techniques to help me draw the different poses for this drawing.
As for the painting process, it was easier, because I already use Photoshop a lot. I scanned my drawing and then I clipped the front view by erasing the white paper and isolating the black lines:
After this it was just about creating several layers for the different clothes and accessories:
And this was how I colored my character.
I would also like to mention why did I chose the axe as his weapon. He is poor, and even belonging to a gang I don't see him having access to fire weapons, as powder was expensive and guns even more. A white weapon just fits and supports everything I want to transmit about my character.
With these choices in mind, I am expecting that when an audience looks at my character, they can identify exactly where he comes from and that they can understand the chronological and social factors he is inserted into. This is, from my understanding, what colors and clothing style should be allusive to in an animated film character design.
One last note on my character, that also has to do with the color's and clothing styles, is that in my story, my character is a "thug", the kind of guy that does the dirty job's, the one that takes the fall. The one that fights and would die to defend what he believes in, which in my story is the love for the Democratic ideology.
So here it is, my final character model sheet:
To conclude my work I will also leave you the final 3D models of the three accessories I chose to model for my character: the boots, the hat and his weapon, the axe.
This was a challenging project, as well as very entertaining and educational for me to go through. I enjoyed myself a lot. I should now go to sleep.