I’ve started writing sample dialogues to prepare myself for writing the comic’s dialogue. It’s good practice for finding my characters’ voices and personalities. They also help pass the time on my walk to and from work each day. I installed Evernote on my phone and I tap out stories, plot info, and dialogues with my thumbs the whole way. If you see any bizarre typos, that’s probably because of a bad autocorrect that I didn’t catch in my edits.
One of these days, all this typing while walking is going to be the death of me!
Since I need to make a blog post, I thought I’d share one of these dialogues with you.
This story takes place after Osoron has become Caliph. He quickly learns that life as a nation’s ruler is a lot different from life as a skyship captain.
Not really a study so much as a test for myself. I sketched out each of my five main characters in roughly the same angle and expression. I wanted to see if I could make them all look distinct, with their own facial structures and their own way to express those emotions. What do you think?
From the top left, we have Osoron, Mevar, Naskos (in the middle), Kollan, and the still-unnamed Musian
Click to enlarge!
On the left is a quick figure sketch of Naskos that I never finished.
Today on Osoron Week we’re going to take a look at a couple places where Osoron dwells.
Here’s a shot of Osoron’s cabin on his skyship. It’s a little cozy and cramped, which is contrary to Aremite architectural preference. However, skyships only have so much space, so Osy has a much smaller room than he would on land. Still, he has the largest cabin on the ship.
I decided on a mix between mostly Ropoldi and Aremite clothes here. Since the Aremites and the Ropoldi are on good terms and since Osoron travels the world regularly, I figured this would be a good mix. He has the Aremite open shirt with extra sleeves. The vest marks him as nobility — most middle and lower class men don’t wear vests. The skirt/kilt is Ropoldi, as are the sandals and the armbands. Both Ropoldi and Aremites wear sandals, but Ropoldi tend to wear heavier, sturdier sandals because of the harsher climate.
Aremite men of all classes wear a necklace with glass beads most of the time. Given the prominence of glassblowers in Aremshah, it’s rare to see two men with the same necklaces. Most men only have a couple different necklaces, so you won’t see men with a necklace for every occasion, for example.
Once I got some of the other cultures’ clothing more developed, it became easier to come up with a cosmopolitan outfit for this prince. The one thing I didn’t add yet was his Musian tattoo. Musian men have symbols tattooed on their upper arms that display their rank and unit affiliations. Osoron was given one during his time studying in Musia that displays his status as prince. Of course, since he wears sleeves, it’s rarely seen (most Musians men don’t wear sleeves).
What do you think? I’ve debated whether the longer pants or the sandals are the better look. I’m leaning toward the pants, but I could still go either way.
Took me long enough but I finally got the expressions chart complete!
The expressions challenge is an exercise in consistency as much as it is learning to draw expressions. It’s always been kind of hard for me to draw my characters the same each time, though I feel like I’ve gotten better recently. The overall structure of the faces flows better for me and feels more natural.
Been working on practicing expressions because expressions are hard! Know what else is hard? Drawing with consistency. Sure, my main characters all look different enough that readers will be able to tell them apart. But there’s something to be said for visual consistency. There’s a difference between making characters stand out because of colors and clothing, and making them recognizable when you remove those kinds of visual cues.
It’s amazing how much of consistency just comes down to basics. A lot of artists subconsciously know the basics, but it helps to be reminded once in a while. Consistent character drawing is not a magic trick only certain people can accomplish. It’s just understanding applications of the basics.
Sometimes it really just takes a refresher course or a new perspective to drive something home. A friend of mine showed me a post from Lackadaisy that refreshed some of the basics for me and made it easier for me to understand how to create consistency in my character art.
So I present you some Osoron expressions!
I’ll be practicing with him as part of his redesign, but I’ve found it’s easier to capture the features I want him to have. I won’t say he’s perfect on all of these, but I feel things falling into place better.
Since it’s time to revisit and reimagine Osy’s design a little bit, I decided to tackle the expressions. I’m sure many of you have seen the 25 Essential Expressions chart that was running around deviantART for a while. I’ll be filling this out for each character. Osy is the first on my list.
Also, I have plans to include a Musian character as part of the main cast. Keep an eye out for him soon!
Moving is complete! I’m not completely settled, but I’m getting there. It’s nice having a place all to myself again. I can do a lot more that I’ve been wanting to do but felt too constrained to deal with. Now that I’m all moved in, I’ll make some more art. I definitely need to get more posted here anyway.
Since I don’t have any artwork ready just yet, I decided I’d share my updated cast list for the Upper Aremshah story. Some of you might remember that I plan to run two stories. One story is Osoron’s story and shows the life of the newly-crowned sorcerer-caliph. The other story is Drachmir’s story and shows Aremshah life from the lower tiers. So far, all the characters I’ve shown are for Osoron’s story. He’s the one starting the webcomic off so it seemed natural to design his crew first.
Before I get further off track, let me post that cast list!
Hope you all had a great weekend! Mine included a trip to the zoo, delicious food at a couple different delicious restaurants, and some fantastic company. Then I played in the finale of a Mutants and Masterminds game and we totally kicked bad guy butt. Now I’m back and ready to put up some more world and character development.
Now that I’ve got some characters a little more developed, I figured I’d draw them side-by-side.
Here we’ve got Mevar, Osoron, and Naskos, three of the main characters in the story.
My goal in posting this is to show off some of the similarities and differences between the three. These designs will probably get refined and refurbished over the next few months but I figure this is a good start.
I am due for some updates so here are some sketches for you to look at!
Some concepts of Osoron and Naskos
This is just a little bit of doodling I did of Osoron and his right-hand-man, Naskos. Osy’s sleeping in a hammock in his cabin. He’s got a bed that befits a prince’s cabin but he likes the hammock better usually.
Naskos and other sundry things
Ignore the skateboarder! That was random doodling!
Here we have Naskos ideas! Again, just more doodling. Naskos is a half-Krekonian Aremite. That means he looks like an Aremite with some Krekonian features. Because of this, Naskos’s upper body strength and musculature are significantly greater than any full-blood Aremite. His hair is short more by choice than by race. His ears taper just a bit, but are rounded at the ends instead of pointed like a full-blood Krekonian. Also, he lacks wings.
In the center and on the middle right you can see some of my brainstorming for his casual outfit. Since Naxan is a half-Krekonian Aremite, I wanted to give him clothing that mixed Krekonian fashion with Aremite fashion. He wears the waist sash/scarf that Aremite men wear (though Naskos wears two, each a different color) and he has the long, loose Aremite-style pants. He typically forgoes a top. Krekonian men rarely wear tops because there isn’t much that they can wear comfortably given their wings. So Naskos often wears the armbands and fingerless gloves Krekonian men are fond of.
The top right is a vague concept for what he looks like in dress armor.
The bottom left is my early concept of Krekonian architecture. Since the Krekonians can glide, soften falls, and climb better than most other races, I envisioned an upward look to their buildings. It’s not a perfect incarnation of my thoughts (still trying to translate the words to images) but it’s a start. I also like the idea of them having dozens and dozens of loose bridges and ladders strewn across their cities. It’s almost like a treetop village, but in the mountains.
Maybe in my next culture/life of the world update I’ll write about hybrid djinnborn. It’ll be awesome!