Tuesday, February 14, 2006


This is a sketch I did of a bunch of sailors but with as much variety to them as possible. This was used as an illustration from my book "Creating Characters with Personality" (plug). It's based on an assignment that I got alot out of at Cal Arts. Mike Giamo was our character design teacher my freshmen year and I couldn't wait to go to his class every week! His was the assignment my brother and I would labor over, even sacrificing other class work. It's what we both loved- characters. Anyway, this assignment was to design a group of 5 to 6 characters that had as much variety as possible (and personality) but they all had to wear the same outfit or costume. The idea was that people were things differently depending upon their size, personality, or attitude even. Try it sometime, it's a fun exercise. I did this all on one sketch, no first sketches, then put it all together later kinda thing. What makes it fun doing it in a line up like this all on one sheet of paper is that you are constantly looking at the other characters and sizing noses to noses, heads to heads, etc. It forces you to put more variety into the shapes. The guy on the right is a version of Rob.


sushipajamas said...

Oooo, i had to do that last quarter in my character design and storyboarding class. But it was a four man team, and he had lots of specifics about it. But it was loads of fun. Then we had to build a hideout for them (but it could only be in one point perspective), then he wanted to know what the outside of it looked like, and then we had to choose a diferent room (infermary/lab/ there were others). And then our final, we had to write a story about then, and then illustrate it in a 70 panel storyboard (fully inked and valued).

It was soo much fun. I made my characters part of a resistance group, that were fighting against a govt that was forcing a city to dig in mines that were filled with this powerful resourse...it was fun. There hideout was deep in the mines. I'm still working with those characters for the fun of it.
Aah, I've started rambling. i'll end it here. ^_^


Randy said...

Good excersize idea. Maybe I'll try that when I go through your book, which should be arriving this week...

Loving the Mammoth City stuff, too, though I preferred the pencil rough to the finished image you first posted. There's more character stuff in it I guess.

In any case, keep up the great work. ...and keep posting it!


SteveLambe said...

Nice lineup, Tom. Great variety of shapes and personalities.

I picked up your book last week, and really enjoyed the delicious tidbits of knowledge in there.

I wanna grow up to be a blue sky designer someday!! ;)

UrbanBarbarian said...

Great work! You're tremendously talented! I love these characters and I really dig the art from the post below this one! I'll definately bookmark your site!

Smook said...

Very nice lineup! I am going to have to try this exercise one day. Thanks for sharing.

Ward Jenkins said...

I dig this, Tom. Very much. And I like the assignment -- very interesting concept and I think I might just try it some time.

Excellent work as always, Tom. I've always enjoyed your work at Disney and am excited for you and Rob in your current venture.