Visual art: Reflection on Digital Character Illustrations

Introduction:Β 

In Art class, we have been exploring Typefaces, Typography and looking at stereotypes and learning how we can incorporate them into our drawings to create a character which can be easily identified as to what kind of person the character is. We started of by choosing a font we wanted to make into a character. We then did a small research on the font- when it was created, in which country it was created, these were things we could also include in our character drawing.Β We then made a character profile plan and wrote down how we imagine the font to be, if it were to be a character. We wrote down the appearance, personality, mannerism, etc. Throughout the process of planning our character, we also practiced how to draw certain attitudes/feeling: Anger, Happiness, Embarrassment, etc. We also practiced the ‘lines of action’ and postures/pose. The line of action is a line that goes down the character’s spine. An emphasized and exaggerated curve can really add more to the character’s personality and behavior and is said to also add more movement to the drawing. After exploring all the bits to create a good character, we drew our final character in black and white. We then, used Adobe Illustrator to trace the character to make the thin lines more defined and used the feature ‘Live Paint’ to color in the character.
We created 3 examples of our colored characters, each using different colors. We then looked back at the 3 drawings, and chose the final/best drawing by comparing it to our character profile plan. We then justified the drawing on how the things written down in our character profile plans were showed in the drawing.

My Final Character:

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 2.23.35 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State your font, describe your character and how you attempted to design and create a character that personified your font. How did you β€œwrite with a picture?”

I decided to use the font ‘Brush Script’.
The first thing that came up to my mind when I looked at the font was a fashion designer. The font was so neat but still original and this is why I chose my character to be a fashion designer. First I imagined my character to be a very posh, neat women but then I realized that the font was really neat but also casual at the same time. And this is why I decided to change my character to a man.
I imagined the font to be a man in his 70s, French, being very wealthy from his successful career as a fashion designer, and highly educated.
For appearance, I imagined the font to be short than average for men (because I wanted the character to be unique), mix of black and grey hair- indicating that he’s old but still not too old so he would retire, tall nose- because French people usually have tall noses- going back to stereotypes, and dark circles/wrinkles- again to indicate that he’s old.
For mannerism and personality, I imagined the font to be very flamboyant and confident- full of pride.
For clothing and props, I imagined the font to have a walking stick- again to indicate that he’s old, and that he would be wearing very bright popping colors with a contrast of a very dark color to indicate his fun, confident and, i-love-experimenting attitude.

What are the strengths and weaknesses in your character design?

The strengths would probably be the way I showed the character’s confidence through both his posture and the clothes he was wearing.
I explored a lot of different postures that indicate confidence and I think that helped me a lot when I created my own character πŸ™‚
I also think I did well on indicating that the character was old. I was planning to make him look 72, or a little bit above and my character may look a little younger than that but still, it tells us that he’s not too young.

The weaknesses in my character was the use of different features to indicate that he was short. I was planning to make the character look like he was around 165~168cm but he kind of looks a little taller in the drawing.
I also feel like the legs look kind of weird looking back at the drawing again. I think it looks like one leg is longer than the other.

Identify effective strategies or goals to further develop and improve your artistic processes (this may include research, planning, your drawing skills as well as technical skills).

I could have done more research on how I could show height in a drawing. This way, I would have been able to show that the character was short πŸ™
I also could have looked back at the drawing carefully before I traced it with marker and used Adobe Illustrators’s Live Trace and Live Paint.
This way, I would have realized earlier that the legs looked a little bit weird.
I could have also practiced with the postures a bit more. I still think the posture’s too stiff and unnatural πŸ™

In your opinion, do you feel stereotypes aided or hindered your development when creating your character? Why or why not?

I think stereotypes really actually help when drawing a character. People are so used to the stereotypes that indicate a certain type of personality, attitude, nationality, etc. that it becomes something that we would NEED to add into make the character more easier to identify.
Especially with my character, it would have been really hard to create a character that’s a French fashion designer without incorporating the stereotypes of French people and fashion designers.
I don’t think stereotypes made it difficult to create my character at all.

Conclusion

I loved this unit so much! πŸ™‚ Not only was I able to learn more about character drawing and how to use technology to define our character, it also gave us the opportunity to explore stereotypes and how it affects art- especially with cartooning.
I also am so happy we got the chance to learn about posture drawings. I always drew my character as a stiff, unnatural, stick-like human and I’m glad I’ve learnt something to fix this problem!
I enjoyed this unit a lot πŸ™‚