Closure with the Duke

Hello everyone!  Anyone ever start something and then never get around to finishing it?  Though I hate it, and things left unfinished, I definitely have my fair share of projects that I've just never got around to finishing *cough..Chuck Chance...cough*. Last month I did this:

screen-shot-2010-09-22-at-35442-pm

It started as a possible villain to the "dessert" princess I did shortly before that.  Maybe he was some sort of Sweet toothed Tyrant.  Anyways, a few other things came up and I've had him sitting on my desk smirking that smirk at me ever since, egging me on, daring me to finish him.  I wanted to a couple times, but he defeated me every time.

Finally, after a long week of (trying) to retool a story for a picture book, I decided enough was enough.  So yesterday afternoon I colored him up.

To sort of help with finishing off this "process" post, after my sketch (which I did on my cintiq), I tend to just block in my colors rather roughly over top - this is slightly after that:

screen-shot-2010-09-22-at-35433-pm

When I first started with my digital work a long time ago I used to have my sketches basically perfect and cleaned up and then I would just color them in.  Over the past few years I've started to stray from that (as you can tell from the roughness of the original sketch).  That way it feels less like a coloring book and allows me to sort of improvise as I go.  In my mind I the original had a big white beard.  However, as I started coloring it I moved on to a black beard as I think it makes him more "villainy" and less "Santa".  You will also see in the final I ditched the statue thingy on this helmet.  I wanted to emphasize the smallness of it more on his big melon and just didn't care for it anymore.

I don't really have a lot of steps to share with you on this post.  Sort of because I don't have many.  I don't tend to use a lot of layers like I used to, as I am still evolving my work flow to be more efficient and raw.  So this one had one layer for the background and one for the character.  And after I block in the character and sort of have all my colors sorted, I move on to just polishing it up to a place where I am happy with it.  Finally, I pop it into Photoshop (as I normally work in Corel Painter - it's amazing!) to add the trim and a couple last minute touch ups.  And I'm left with this:

Transient

I named him the Duke of Rotchestershireton.  He was going to be a Baron, but I found out a Baron is the lowest "rank" of those types and I wanted something closer to the tyrannical sweet tooth king types.  When you pronounce it remember to rrrrroll your "r"s.

If you have any questions please let me know.  I've tried to do process posts on here before but like this one, as I'm working on something I forget to document the process along the way...

Oh, and I've been getting a TON of spam through here lately, both posts and emails.  So if you know how to help tone that down please let me know!!!  And if you're a spammer - STEP OFF!!!

Take care everyone (except spammers)

-Mike

UPDATE: Since moving my blog to squarespace I've lost many of my old images that I published and uploaded. Sorry for the ones missing here, I have no idea where they have gone to.