A comic based character designs in development that include The Dirty Fishhead Gang and company. Character’s that were designed to be weird and goofy but have a different look or theme that made them feel unique and alive. The cartoonish and absurd characters are playfully put in absurd violent gangs and some have tragic post WW1 trauma that lead them into prohibition gang culture.
The idea came up out the desire to draw weirdos in unique themed settings. I wanted design both people in masks or pop/political figures (Steve Bannon in the Dirty Fishheads…) along side minotaurs and other animal headed individuals. The style is also influenced by older classic Disney and Betty Boop era cartoons. I also like drawing cartoon knives and guns. A lot of the color and material (texture) is more experimental, trying to keep it simple and not a color explosion, with simple ink drawings or ink washes.
All the illustrations start out as pencil drawings on paper, then are inked with brushes, ball point pens, or micron pens. In some cases I add value washes with ink as well or layer ink textures I’ve scanned an saved in photoshop, so they keep a traditional texture and aren’t too digitally flat. From there on its a digital nightmare of color testing and photoshop layer effects to find a look that satisfies my special eyes.
I’ve learned from these projects that I am not quite at the level of character design that I want to be and that I need to create more and more to keep my skills sharp. I also learned I enjoy coming up with character backstories and short narratives for the whole gang of weirdos.
Try ink washes. Ink washes with the addition of halftones is a great combination of textures.