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Character Design Tips

Some people have asked how I went about drawing the Overwatch cast, so I threw together a list of things I think about when designing characters: shapes, silhouettes, colors, and inspiration.


1. Shapes

There are three basic shapes in my toolbox: round, box, and triangle. If I follow my intuition, each shape conveys a personality. For example:

  • Round = charismatic, harmless, endearing
  • Box = reliable, uniform, traditional
  • Triangle = cunning, dynamic, competent (downward pointing more aggressive)
  • Shapes can also be combined for more complex characters


2. Silhouettes

Block in the character. If I can still recognize who it is, then it has a strong, readable silhouette.


3. Color

Sometimes less is more. Limit the palette for unity and impact. When working with three colors, keep the 60-30-10 rule in mind. Pick one color to make up about 60% of the character, a second color to make up about 30%, and the last color is about 10%.

When working with just two colors, use the 70-30 rule. One color is about 70%, the second is about 30%.


4. Inspiration

Designs come to mind easier when I’m listening to music, or when I have a mental image of something in mind. For example, I was listening to Klezmer music when drawing Reaper, and I was thinking of a chicken when I was drawing Lucio. It can take a while to warm up, so a good source of inspiration is important to stay motivated.

Beyond that, it’s up to you! 

[If you want to see the specific artists I drew influence from, click here to see my influence map.]

youtube

On this day in music history: June 26, 1961 - “Quarter To Three” by Gary “U.S.” Bonds hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Gene Barge, Frank Guida, Gary Anderson and Joe Royster, it is the biggest hit for the Norfolk, VA based R&B singer born Gary Anderson. The song originates as an instrumental titled “A Night With Daddy G” by the band The Church Street Five. Following the success of Gary “U.S.” Bonds first major hit “New Orleans”, the singer is partying and jamming in the studio with label mates The Church Street Five. Bonds begins improvising lyrics to the instrumental. Somewhere during the course of this jam session, the singer hits record on the studio tape machine, capturing the performance. Released on the small indie label LeGrand Records out of Norfolk, VA, the record becomes an immediate party anthem, thanks in part to the popularity of the dance “The Pony”. Entering the Hot 100 at #99 on May 22, 1961, it rockets to the top of the chart five weeks later. In the wake of “Quarter To Three”, Gary “U.S.” Bonds scores a string of hits including three more Top 10 singles (“School Is Out” (#5 Pop), “Dear Lady Twist” (#9 Pop), “Twist, Twist Senora” (#9 Pop) ) through 1962. After a two decade long dry spell, Bonds makes a surprise comeback when he reaches the Top 20 with the Bruce Springsteen penned and co-produced single “This Little Girl” (#11 Pop) on June 20, 1981, one week shy of twenty years after topping the Hot 100. “Quarter To Three” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Levels of kpop fans I’ve encountered

Level One: The super casual fans. Knows nothing about kpop besides it standing for korean pop. Will most likely say at some point while watching an MV, “Wow there’s so many of them (members).” Doesn’t bother remembering specific groups or names and is literally just there for the music.

Level Two: These fans are a step above casual. Is knowledgeable on basic kpop terminology such as idol, bias and comeback. Owns an album or two but nothing serious. They’re not super committed to that kpop life™, but can put names to faces for popular idols. You won’t catch them staying up late at night watching music shows or spending hours streaming. That’s too extreme for them. 

Level Three: Has 60% chill until you talk about their faves (in that case it dramatically goes down to -25%). Stans at least one group but knows a helluva lot more. They’re slowly acquiring a collection of kpop merch. Rarely has space on phone from downloading too many pics related to their bias. Their youtube history is filled with videos that start with [ENG SUB] or Try Not To Fangirl.

Level Four: Majors in kpop politics. Is probably a veteran of a fan war or two… or more. Knows everything like seriously EVERYTHING. If you want to know something go to them. They know about any drama happening with idols or their companies. They know about debuting groups before the groups even know it themselves. Can recite the most random ass facts about ANY idol and can quote shit from like 7 years ago. They also can identify each of their 10 billion biases by their knee caps in .05 seconds. For them kpop is not an interest, it’s a lifestyle.

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Okay! I’ve been improving a lot over the past couple years, so I figure it’s time to update my commission price/example list! I wrestled a lot with what I should set the new prices at, but I feel like these prices aren’t too bad of an increase, but still reflect my improvement. :’’’) If you’re currently waiting on a commission/sketch from me, then these prices won’t apply to you. 

  • Silver Star commissions aren’t finished pieces. They may or may not have color- please specify if you have a preference when telling me about your commission! Silver Star commissions without color get a discount depending on what else is going on in the drawing. Extra characters are + one half of the original price. Example: Two half figures are $45, but if I’m not coloring them, may be as low as $35.
  • Gold Star commissions are finished pieces. The lines are clean and colored. Additional figures are + one half of the single figure price! Example: Two half figures is $60, three half figures are $80.
  • Super Star commissions are shaded and get all fancy and detailed. As with the others, additional figures are half the single figure price! Example: Two half figures would be $75, two busts would be $60!

The way I handle commissions is to, after discussing the commission with you, send you a rough sketch of what your commission is going to look like before anything, even payment, happens. The first edit of this sketch is free, but additional edits add $5 onto the end price.

Once the sketch is approved, I’ll get started on finishing it right away, and ask that the payment be sent to my paypal. Then I’ll email you a finished product, and post a smaller, tumblr friendly version to my blog! I reserve the right to charge more for NSFW images. I will, if you are purchasing multiple images (like, say, three or four of something) apply a kind of ‘bulk discount’ that I will determine on a case by case basis.

If you’re interested in a commission, please contact me via email at jestari007@gmail.com! I don’t mind getting questions by ask, but I think it’s easier for everyone to use email.

If you’re not interested in a commission right now, consider reblogging! This will look super cute on your blog. I promise.

  • George: Okay, so if we wanna go to the arcade this weekend, that means that the two of us have to stay in perfect shape from now until Friday.
  • Harold: Gotcha.
  • Melvin: *overheard them* Say, Harold, I have a proposition for you.
  • Harold: Yeah?
  • Melvin: *waves around three twenties* I have 60 dollars for you if you'll do just one thing for me.
  • Harold: What?
  • Melvin: Lick the kindergarten playground structure.
  • Harold: ....Okay!
  • George: Harold no, what did I just say?
  • Harold: Dude, it's sixty bucks, that's a lot of quarters!
  • George: Kindeygarteners are gross, you'll get sick, which is what I just said can't happen.
  • Harold: Please, that's just a myth, the only cold I'm about to get is cold hard ca$h, just you watch.
  • ...Saturday Arrives...
  • *George is standing next to a sick Harold and shaking his head in dismay*
  • George: I told you not to lick the swing set
  • Harold: Don't....fuckin....judge me...I still won sixty dollars
  • George: That we can't use, because you aren't allowed to go to the arcade now.
  • Harold: *cries*
  • George: This is why you listen to me, and, you know, maybe not lick random swing sets for money??
ok but consider this: destiel pokémon go au
  • dean bumping into cas while walking around the street looking for pokémon
  • dean and cas meeting for the first time at a poké stop and they end up getting along well so they decide to continue looking for pokémon together
  • dean being in team valor and cas in team mystic and cas keeps taking over dean’s gyms and dean is pissed as hell
  • cas using a lure and dean being able to catch a high CP pokémon because of the lure so dean comes up to thank cas personally
  • dean and cas as best friends who are competing against each other to see who can hatch their eggs the fastest (cas winning in the end is technically unfair cause he’s a goddamn runner)
  • sam accidentally hearing dean and cas groaning in the same room and sprinting away because he thought dean and cas were having sex but they actually just got cut off from pokémon go’s server
  • dean and cas as best friends hunting for pokémon together and dean keeps yelling ridiculous poké stop names out loud while cas rolls his eyes affectionately
  • “dean i thought you told me that you were going to actually jog with me for real this time” “no but cas listen there’s a pikachu just right over there
  • dean blushing violently when cas finds out that dean names all of his pokémon after classic rock bands
  • dean as a cop who has to pull cas over for driving too slow and turns out it’s because he was driving while playing pokémon go
  • cas wanting to come into a coffee shop because there’s a pokémon inside and dean is the coffee shop owner who has a “pokémon are for paying customers only” sign on his door
  • cas stubbornly sitting outside the coffee shop and using a lure to attract other trainers who eventually come just to hang around outside of dean’s shop
  • dean glaring at cas through the glass door of the coffee shop and cas smiling smugly at him

just. DESTIEL POKÉMON GO AU

Okay are you guys ready for this I’m gonna do some in depth analysis of Gaston’s character and what I think about him, introducing my own headcanons, so this isn’t 10/10 the only reading of Gaston’s character of course. I want to believe in a Gaston redemption arc, so if you hate Gaston (and rightfully so!) you might not be super interested or agree with much of what I’m gonna say. (well, maybe this post you’ll agree with, it’s pretty much all Gaston bashing lol)

Midway through writing this I realized I have SO much more to say than I realized so I’m actually going to make three separate posts. 

  1. Gaston and how/why he’s a villain
  2. Gaston and Lefou’s Relationship
  3. Gaston and The Beast: Why Gaston should get a redemption arc

This one is:

Gaston and how/why he’s a villain

Originally posted by talesasoldastime29

Gaston headcanons include, he isn’t narcissistic as much as he is simply confident. He’s headstrong, in it for his own purposes and gains, and is sort of an anti-hero. By no means is he the “good guy” of anything. I just think he’s a really interesting and complex character, a lot of fun to analyse, watch, and write about!

Alright so I’m going to break this up into Pre-movie, movie (three parts in this one)

Pre-movie

So for this part, I’m going to be referencing Luke Evan’s comments on Gaston’s backstory! So Luke Evan’s said that Gaston is ex-army captain, and saved the village from some Portuguese mauraders, which is why everyone respects him so much, and Lefou fought alongside with him which explains his loyalty. 

Movie

So! Gaston is a pretty okay dude so far, right? Saved the town from some bad guys. I like to think there are three turning points in Gaston’s character, sort of like three 60 degree turns until he goes 180. 

  • 1. He sees Belle.

Originally posted by luuuuuke-evans

Gaston is obsessed with Belle for one reason: her beauty. To him, nothing else matters. Up until this point he was working in military standards, helping further society in that way, contributing to the town as he may, and he was as likable as anyone else in the town. He’s not a bad guy right now. (This is starkly contrast with the 1991 version where Gaston is just an awful dude all the way around and has zero redeemable qualities.) 

But suddenly, he sees a girl, and his goals change from contributing to society to taking her as his wife. 

  • 2. Belle refuses him

Originally posted by iamobsessedwiththings

Gaston has likely never encountered this, not being able to have what he wants. Everywhere he goes, he’s glorified, and now when he finally wants a girl to like him, she doesn’t? This is where he starts to go sour. 

You can see he wasn’t already a bad person because he doesn’t immediately get upset when she says no. He just goes, “Busy?” and then goes whoops oh well I’ll try again. This doesn’t exactly scream “villain” imo. 

The thing that does start to hint villain is when he approaches her again, and again, is turned down. This time he grabs her dress and tries to follow her into her home- this is creepy just gotta say. 

And after this, everything he does is centered around her and his obsession with taking her- this isn’t good guys, like this is creepy and bad and just not okay. You shouldn’t want a girl to the point where you want to own her. That’s what Gaston wants. That’s why he’s bad. 

  • 3. Maurice refuses him

And finally the serious turning point is Maurice refusing him. He tells Gaston he will never marry Belle, and this is important because in the time period, you couldn’t marry a girl without her father’s say-so. It’s not just a silly “oh well father doesn’t want it but i’ll do it anyway” nah son it just can’t be done

At this point, Gaston doesn’t know how to deal with rejection (having never been rejected to such an extent before) he relapses to the last thing he does remember dealing with: war. 

Now Gaston is pretty delusional at this point, they’ve been traveling through the forest probably for days, Maurice has been ranting about the castle and magic and all this stuff Gaston doesn’t give a shit about- he’s already short-tempered. And on top of it all, Maurice poses a threat to the one thing he wants: possession of Belle. And so, he seeks to eliminate the threat.

Even Lefou notices it at this point (and we’ll talk about that in the next post I make) and tries to talk Gaston out of it. This is when Gaston sets himself apart from everyone else. It’s the final point in his character arc where he’s full-out villain.

And the rest just goes downhill from there.

From there he betrays his dearest and oldest friend, turns the entire village against someone that isn’t a threat, and tries to commit murder and for what? A blind grasp for a woman that explicitly doesn’t want him. This is why he’s a villain, he doesn’t listen to what other people have to say, doesn’t value their opinions, has no sense of loyalty, and acts impulsively for his own wants and desires. 

But as I’ll talk about in a different post, I think he can learn to be better.

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okay a couple people asked so here’s some more stuff about my maternal grandmother!

  • she insists me and my brother alone out of all her grand and great grandchildren call her by her first name, confusing everyone
  • she used to tell me dirty jokes when I was in elementary school. i did not understand them at all but I did find how horrified my parents were extremely hilarious
  • for her 60th birthday someone brought her a life-sized cardboard cutout of a shirtless cowboy, she insisted we take multiple photos of her standing with it (it is still just chilling in her mudroom ten years later)
  • she got her first tattoo at sixty-five
  • she left her abusive, cheating, alcoholic husband (my grandfather), left her abusive boyfriend, lived in a woman’s shelter, and outlived both of those motherfuckers
  • she named her only son, my uncle, after herself
  • she still lives up in the old farm by herself, gets snowed in at least once a winter, and just dgaf
  • I once stopped by her house while driving to my cousin’s farm and she told me all about her day aka how she’d been down at the bar for lunch and when she’d left there was a guy sitting outside with a motorcycle who’d offered her a ride, so she’d been on a bike ride with a stranger that afternoon (”such a nice young man”)
  • one of the bars in town permanently banned her because she refused to stop dancing on top of the tables and they were worried she was going to break a hip and sue them 
  • the other bar in town has a portrait of her hanging on the wall
  • she goes on more dates than I do
  • she is a Scotch Mint Grandmother™
  • she wakes up at the crack of dawn every day to gossip on the phone with her friends for at least two hours while her like, three hairs, set in their curlers (she just bought her first wig, she’s very excited)
  • she has had multiple back surgeries since she turned 60, has three rods in her spine and a plate on her skull and still tends her massive garden all by herself (she provides, I swear, our entire extended family with all the carrots we could possibly eat all year long)
  • she is a hoarder, most of the rooms in her trailer are either unusable or uncomfortably packed full of stuff, I had a twenty minute argument with her once about culling her collection of empty yogurt containers, there’s a cabinet full of porcelain dolls in the basement that are probably cursed
  • her personal, invented rules of capitalization are absolutely amazing, she capitalizes any word referring to a person ex: “hope You had a wonderful day I look forward to seeing You and Her later”
  • emails a yearly christmas newsletter to our whole family that’s basically a summary of the year’s best family gossip
  • will sit in santa’s lap at any and all christmas functions involving a santa