Not long ago I was fishing around to find artists for Playthings. I got a number of responses and to those people I say a hearty thank you and I hope to have my act together soon so we can get this party started.
In the meantime my lovely wife, Beth, asked me why I couldn’t just do the art myself. I scoffed at the idea originally thinking that she gave me way too much credit in the art department, but as my knee-jerk reaction slowly gave way to curiosity I decided to give it a go. To the artists that responded to my prior query, fear not, for in the end I want professionals handling the art, but I was surprised to find that my work came out better than I expected.
Just for funsies (and because I have the image versions to do it) I’ll take you through my process. I opted to try out an image editing app on my tablet, SketchBookX, to do the work. I started out using a stylus, but eventually I ditched that and just used my finger. That’s right, I was finger painting. Deal with it. Anyway, I began by doing a rough body position in blue.
This just served to give me a basic frame from which to work. To be honest, up to this point I didn’t know what I was drawing, I just started out with a human figure because I know how to do that, and the position is a weird one because I just wanted to try something out of the ordinary. Having sketched this much I decided to draw a doll. I was originally was thinking of a Barbie type doll, but the design morphed over time. You’ll see what I mean. Using this framework I soon fleshed out the rest of the body, making sure to add where the joints of the doll would be. I even experimented a bit with shading, but soon decided that it was way too soon for that.
I made the choice to try to make a lanky, somewhat awkward character. I think the pose works all right for that, but with the human-like proportions it still seemed too graceful. I needed it to feel more off-kilter It was at this point that I decided a more exaggerated proportion would be better.
It didn’t take much, just a larger head and feet did the trick, but I was tired of the poor girl being naked, so I started sketching out some clothes. Also, her head was a bit too disturbing without hair. I wanted it to be vaguely creepy, but the bald head was too much, so I started to work on a hair style as well. After toying around with a few different hair styles I had the basic look I wanted.
I experimented with giving her some striped tights ala Sally in Nightmare Before Christmas, but I didn’t feel it was working, so I ditched it. Overall I was happy with it, I just needed to take care of some small details. I eventually ended up with this:
This is the finished (as much as these things ever are) picture. (I haven’t given her a name yet. Maybe you can help me out with that.) The last item, I admit, was not done on my tablet. Due to the limitations of the app I couldn’t put a shadow behind her, so I exported the image and finished it in PhotoShop. But everything else, even the shading on the doll, was done on my tablet.
As I said, the artists I spoke with are in no danger of losing my business. However, having done this I may be confident enough to include a few of my own images in the game. And who knows, maybe having this might give my artists a better idea of the feel I’m going for.