Introduction to the Character JAM:
During the second week of the first semester of Year two, we were given a short task which involved venturing into the the Winchester Town Centre and making short quick drawings of people we saw that looked interesting. Fast drawing has never been a strong suit of mine as most drawings I do take a while to complete, not only this but drawing people is something I’ve always struggled with which meant that i was definitely out of my comfort zone. This would last for approximately an hour and we were instructed to do as many as we could out of the total 20 sheets but we had to draw one person per sheet of paper. While many took this opportunity to walk around drawing people as they went, myself and Sid decided to go to popular locations such as the cathedral and draw some of the people we saw there.
We were equipped with large broad tipped marker pens which meant adding detail would be difficult which encouraged us to incorporate the line thickness into our work rather than strive on detail. Due to the large amount of drawings that would need to be completed, they needed to be fast and quick to force us to finish and choose the next person. The freedom of being in Winchester town centre meant that it allowed us to choose from a wide array of people who were either visiting, talking or simply passing by. Doing it with Sid was interesting as occasionally we would draw the same person, however, the finished drawing would be vastly different due to the way we view people, along with having different drawing styles. We then went to a cafe due to the weather than continued to draw members of the public that we found interesting, which in a cafe was a large amount.
Drawing the Characters:
When the assigned task was over, out of the 20 sheets I only managed to drawing 10 people within the allocated time frame which wasn’t as much as I’d hoped to have gotten done but it’s what i had to work with. The main task was to use your imagination to design upon certain characteristics to, in many cases amplify them to come up with characters some of which may be entirely different to what they actually look like. This could be certain mannerisms such as how they walk and how they present themselves (i.e. clothes and accessories) as well as what they’re doing at that particular moment. Using all of this first hand information I could then start to create a unique character which to someone else viewing the same person would create a different outcome.
There was never a particular preference as to the gender, race or age and instead I focused on members of the public that stood out from the rest rather than use those options to choose. I also aimed to include anything that they were doing at the moment I was drawing them as to deepen the character profile, as opposed to simply drawing the character on their own. This could include reading a newspaper, using a tablet, talking on the phone or even reading a book, which would allow for inspiration when later choosing a drawing and creating a character profile. With certain drawings, I added certain aspects that I felt would fit the person if they were put into a different set of circumstances, including location and time of day etc.
The character that I decided to go with was one that I saw prior to actually drawing anyone, mostly because they gave a certain vibe that was different to every other person that I saw that day. This person wore a typical outfit that I would normally see among younger members of the public who usually ‘hang-out’ in small groups, all of which sometimes have their hoods up. It was a trait that i decided to add to my character design as it possesses an element of the unknown, as it prevents the onlooker from seeing the persons face, also adding to an element of intimidation. This was simply because i took what he was wearing, and associated it with the stereotype linked with that particular type of clothing, i.e. tracksuit bottoms, trainers and a hoodie.
Once I had chosen my character i began looking into ways that allowed me to draw the same character several times with accuracy, rather than having to painstakingly worry about tracing and downsizing it repeatedly. We were shown multiple illustration books one of which was called ‘The Simpsons handbook’, which details the paths that the artists used to create many of the beloved characters. The tutorials with many of the characters gave a good number of pointers with regards to drawing different sections such as: head, hands and emotions allowing which allows them to draw them continuously.
I first took my initial drawing from the day out in Winchester and applied many of the techniques that had been used in this book and found them to be extremely useful when drawing my character. After drawing it initially i then separated it into 3 parts: Hood, Torso followed by Legs and Feet, and used a base layer of several circles so map out how large I wanted each section to be. Once this was done I then went over again with the basic outline of before going over it again to show the permanent outline for that section of my character. Doing it this way enabled me to essentially practise drawing the main sections of my character meaning that when it came to later drawing the turnabout sheet, i was confident in the size and dimensions.
Character Questions and Backstory:
When it came to coming up with a background for my character I wanted to create something that was able to smoothly link in with the design, rather than seem out of place. Initially, I wanted to make a supernatural type character with abilities rather than being a ‘hoodlum’ or gangster, because it would be too intimidating and also confining later on such as locations. A supernatural being would also link in with the aspect of having an unknown element within the character design, and so a type of angelic or demonic character would allow me to do this. I looked into a few hooded characters who aim to be as mysterious as they could possibly be, and that lead me to Tyrael from Diablo, predominantly seen as a hooded figure with no face. Alongside assassins from Creed and of course Jedi Knights from the world famous franchise. So I decided upon an angelic character and therefore incorporated that into my answers for the 20 questions that were provided on the brief, along with some of my own on this.
1. Character Name: Azazel.
2. Character Age: UNKNOWN.
3. Personality: Calm, Methodical and Tempestuous.
4. Ambitions: Take revenge on the one who wronged him.
5. Voice: Low bass-like voice, but rarely speaks.
6. Parents: NONE.
7. Where do they live?: A conjured realm known as The Void.
8. Fears and Phobias: NONE.
9. Eye Colour: UNKNOWN.
10. Allergies: NONE.
11. Special Powers/ Abilities: Flight, Super Strength, Invulnerability, Matter Manipulation, Energy Absorbtion, Magic.
12. Typical Day: Meditation and Reflection within The Void.
13. Where they grew up: Heaven.
14. Pets: Phoenix called Norgadont.
15. Jobs: NONE.
16. What do they eat?: Angelic beings have no need for sustenance, however now fallen Azazel now needs limited amounts.
17. What do they drink?: Again Angelic beings have no need for sustenance, however no fallen Azazel needs limited amounts.
18. Partners: Liliel
19. Favourite colour: NONE.
20. Dimensions: Azazel stands at a height of 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing a total of 13 stone with a wingspan of 4-5 meters.
21: Features: Azazel is most notable for having his hood constantly raised disguising his face. He also has tainted grey wings and a now altered halo which can only be seen to other supernatural beings, to the every day citizen they remain hidden to keep his identity a secret.
After completing my questions i then used that information to create a backstory for my character which would then reflect the answers given. The story takes many elements from Christianity in terms of many of the biblical characters and also events such as the war in heaven and angels being exiled to earth. It also include other more non-religious areas such as fantasy and science fiction in relation to achievements as well as creatures that are present within the characters backstory. It covers the many of the main aspects of Azazels life before the present, somewhat covering his origin and later life before setting on how he ended up in The Void.
It starts with an introduction to the character informing that he was previously one of the first archangels alongside Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer during a time that predated the universe itself. Azazel was also apart of the war that took place between Heaven and Hell, ultimately aiding in the victory. Eons after he met a lesser angel known as Liliel and the two later became partners, spending much of history observing mankind without any outside guidance. However, this would soon become an issue when some of the accomplishments of men caused many to suspect that someone among the angels had given them this guidance, and evidence pointed at Azazel. Even though he was innocent, the allegations against him could not be disproved which ultimately resulted in his banishment to the mortal realm and he being referred to as a fallen angel. He now spends most of his time within a conjured world known as The Void, where he contemplates much of what has happened as well as further learning more about mankind’s behaviour. He does this in the hope he will find the ones truly responsible, allowing him to then return home to Liliel whilst being accompanied by his pet Phoenix, Norgadont.
Character Turn around sheet:
The turn about sheet was another area I was nervous about because I had only ever drawn characters facing the angle I was initially drawing them from, which makes this task somewhat new to me. I started looking into other types of turn around sheets to see how other artists and illustrators mapped out and organised the characters they would then later draw accurately. I initially split the page horizontally into sections that i believed would be in proportion to previous drawings of my character which involves using varying circle sizes which i made sure mirrored the angle. I followed the the same steps that i took to draw the character in previous iterations, however drawing the the character side on was something i found somewhat difficult. This was simply because i’d gotten the width looking head on, but not the depth looking side on, which meant that i had to decide on these dimensions whilst drawing the character.
Further design ideas:
Once the main sections of the character design had been complete i then moved onto broadening other areas of my character design in relation to many of the angelic aspects. This included the hood variations in terms to what other supernatural beings would see if they were to come across him, and i was torn between using horns and a halo, however i wanted to made some changes. I looked at different horn lengths and positions as well as possible halos which could be placed above the characters head, and finally went with using a full moon to signify fallen angels. This could then be altered easily in relation to other beings such as Angels who would have a star that would get slowly dimer with each corrupted deed until it would turn into a full moon. If this carried on the moon would go through its normal phases before eventually turning into a new moon showing that they are on the threshold to becoming a demonic entity. it would be shown by the phases going in reverse order but this time showing a blood moon or a lunar eclipse which clearly shows a difference from the normal fallen angel.
With this JAM starting off the first semester of the second year, i’m immediately looking forward to what the other JAMS will entail and how this might link back into the over arching target for the end of the semester. One of the reasons as to why I enjoyed this JAM was mainly due to the creative aspect with regards to taking members of the public and transforming their physical appearance to coincide with elements of our imagination. With the JAM being just a few days in length, i feel like there was so much more that i would’ve liked to do if not for time constraints. These would involve designing Azazel’s wings as well as his angelic armour, weapons, magic manifestations, various locations, residences and his pet phoenix Norgadont.
Header Image taken from: https://wallpapertag.com/angel-wallpaper on 15/01/2018