Sunday, July 30, 2017

Uniformity Required

We had a meeting earlier in the month. Everyone was present; Chad, Steven, Keith, and I. This meeting started with me previewing for the others a digital mock up of the book. All the images that we felt the book required were used in the PDF I shared. There are a lot of new images and this was the first time the rest of the group had seem many of them. They were well received, some with great enthusiasm. However, there was a general problem with the images.
I've had my nose to the grindstone so closely - had my blinders fixed to block out extra work until I finished all the "pages" - that I was taken aback when it was brought up and discussed how the Toddler's appearance has not been consistent throughout the book. I had been keenly aware of this but had accidentally erased it from my mind. You see, his face and head was much more rounded when I began drawing him and had acquired a block structure somewhere along the way. And his nose became bigger and more block like. I simply forgot this looming issue, how fixing it was a necessity.

As you see in the top image, created a few years ago, the Toddler's face is quite rounded and his nose is smaller and less square. The second image has a completely different color palette, too, but that was just an experiment and final coloring is a later step. But yes, the difference is clear and there were other less obvious features that changed like the teeth (the gap developed later), and rounded hair ends. 
Don't expect a highly uniform appearance with any of the characters in the book, but Toddler is such a central one that special attention will be given to him by the reader and so I must get it right. Nevertheless, I enjoy giving his face some flexibility based on its expression and forces acting on it such as his own nubby little hands.


It is always difficult to take criticism, artist or not, and this meeting was no exception, but I have some new tools to deal with this difficulty.

(Continued in the next post...)

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