Recently I feel that’s Shen’s current design, which plants his giant head right on top of his torso, has been detrimental to his expressiveness. It interrupts the flow of the arms and is overall hard to make sense of visually, not to mention that there is so much good stuff that happens with the neck and shoulders that I’m always tempted to draw.
I mean, how does Shen even wear shirts? Have you ever thought about that? Even ignoring how he puts them on over that gigantic head, in order for the head hole to be smaller than the head (to appear “under” the head), there has to be an implicit neck. It’s almost hard not to draw it.
That design choice was originally inspired by Shmorky and Cyanide & Happiness, who both execute it well, but because my humor is hella reliant on expression, I feel like drawing more human-looking characters would really help me.
So that being said, I will start changing Shen’s design and developing him in various ways that make him more than just a conduit to my thoughts and feelings. I have two main goals.
1. Start taking advantage of Shen’s fluidity to show movement and expression. I feel like I always draw Shen too rigidly, like some sort of statue that just gets moved around. Gotta change that.
2. Solidify Shen’s look. Right now he basically wears jeans and a t-shirt that changes color every time he is drawn, not because I intend it to be that way, but just because I forgot / don’t care what color it was last time. He doesn’t have to always wear the same clothing, but I think giving him some sort of symbol would be a good idea, similarly to how Gabe from Penny Arcade has that Pacman symbol on his shirt.
I won’t start drawing him differently quite yet because I want to think about it more and come up with a good symbol to give him.