Character design – Sigurd

Between now and the launch of The Last Viking Returns (Sept 1st, 2014), I’m doing a series of posts showing my rough sketches for all the characters in the book.

I’ve covered Josh’s family already and I’ve just started on the Viking characters.

Today I’ll show you my sketches of Sigurd.


Sigurd was a Viking hero, not a Norse god. He was renowned for his feats of bravery, including the slaying of the dragon Fafnir. (More on that later).

In The Last Viking Returns, Thor sneaks out of Asgard to have a holiday. Sigurd is left to defend Asgard against Fafnir.

Sigurd needed to look different enough to Thor to provide a counterpoint; he needed to look more responsible and down to earth. That’s why he doesn’t have the fanciest clothes or the shiniest sword. His appearance is also based on his original occupation – Sigurd was a blacksmith. He wears a leather cap, similar to what a Viking blacksmith would have worn, and this also helps him stand out all the other Asgardians (who all have horned helmets).

There is in fact an earlier version of Sigurd that almost appeared in The Last Viking, but he looked completely different back then- I’ll show those sketches another time.

These are my reference sketches and notes for Sigurd.






I made a standard colour version of each character too, so that I could keep their colours consistent. Here’s the colour sheet for Sigurd:


Next week I’ll talk about Thor’s father, Odin.


Author: James Foley

James makes books for courageous kids. He’s the author/illustrator of the S.Tinker Inc graphic novel series for middle primary: Brobot (2016), Dungzilla (2017) and Gastronauts (2018) star Sally Tinker, the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, and Joe Tinker, her stinky baby brother. The fourth in the series, Chickensaurus, is out in late 2020. He is also the illustrator of the Toffle Towers series written by Tim Harris. James’ earlier books My Dead Bunny (2015), In The Lion (2012), The Last Viking (2011) and The Last Viking Returns (2014) have all scored several honours, including children’s choice awards, shortlistings in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year awards, and selection to the International Youth Library’s White Raven list. The sequel to My dead Bunny - There's Something Weird About Lena - is out in late 2020. James comes from a long line of queuing enthusiasts. Follow him on FB/twitter/insta/youtube @jamesfoleybooks, or at .

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