My first go wasn’t too bad- but the night-time panel wasn’t dark enough. It seemed like early morning, and Josh would (should) be asleep by then 🙂 I wasn’t sure about the colours in the day-time panel either. But I liked the blur of colour from the left-hand panel across the gutter.
When I had tried colours for a few pages, I started to see that sometimes it looked good if just a few things were coloured in, and other parts were left white. So I tried that. And I darkened up the night-time panel.
At this point I had a meeting with Cate to show her my character design for Knut. She gave some great feedback-
The gap in the front of his teeth might need to go- kids usually only have those gaps when they’re younger, around 4-6 years old, and Knut was supposed to look a tiny bit older, around 6 to 7 years old.
The size of his head, arms and legs in proportion to his body made him look slightly too old- maybe 8 or 9.
Maybe reduce the pointiness of his chin, and make his cheeks rounder
Wolverine looked great and could stay as he was.
Based on that feedback, I revised the character design on my computer, fiddling with the body proportions.
From there I started resketching the character, making the face rounder and the chin less pointy. This version of Knut I call the ’round-cheek’ version.
The body proportions started to look better with this version, and his character was more closely aligned with the text- Knut is a very innocent, sweet and gentle boy. His hairstyle is more consistent now too, with the two little bits of fringe coming down on either side and the little curl at the end. It was a lucky design, because when Knut wears his Viking helmet, his fringe pops out from the front, making him still recognisable.
I had been working on Knut for a long while at this stage- my first sketch had been in June 2009, and the round-cheek sketches were from March 2010 onwards. Here’s how he progressed. Which is your favourite?
Next week- I show you how I made a clay model of the round-cheek version of Knut.
I started working on a new version of Knut, one without the big nose.
You can see here that I’m trying to draw the same face over and over again while keeping it consistent. Well, I’m trying at least! I’m also trying some profile sketches so I know what Knut looks like from different angles.
I was pretty happy with Knut at this point. I had a meeting coming up with Cate, our editor at Fremantle Press, and I needed to show a watercolour sample of Knut. I used one of the big-nose sketches as a guide, but made his face more pointy-chinned…
I do enjoy colouring on the computer for the ease of use, the speed, and the amount of control you get- but you can’t beat the feeling of using a real brush, real water, and real watercolour paint. I reckon the finished product looks a lot better too.
Next week I’ll tell you what Cate thought of the character design so far, and the improvements that were made after the meeting.