Some authors have notebooks and notebooks full of notes and random ideas for their works. Some authors write whole series without the need to produce a single piece of physical evidence as to their creative process. Me? Like an animator or comic book artist, I create loads of concept art and character sketches as I write to help bring my worlds to life. So, pull up a chair (or enhance the magnification on your mobile device) and get ready to enjoy a mini tour of the mountain of Star-Runner Chronicles concept art!
This simple sketch shows Wolfsbane Bendis with his wolf half sort of peeking out, illustrating the bond between them…or…something like that. Mostly, it’s just fun.
Falor Danek, in both true and human forms. These are just quick sketches to get the feel of the character, nothing fancy. My initial sketches of a character are often from the chest up, because to me the face is extremely important to get right from day one.
And here’s a full body sketch of Calvin Bendis, along with an example of another thing that I do with my concept art: Filling it with useful notes. Often times, I’ll grab any paper nearby to create a new sketch…this time, my victim turned out to be a yellow legal pad. Lined paper is helpful not only for making notes a little neater, but also for quickly blocking out a character’s proportions. You might want to click on the image above to see it a full size…you know, if you actually want to read my notes.
This little sketch of Inferno Bendis comes from a series of quick chibis of the characters I did a while back on a whim. Inferno is already cute and babyfaced, so maybe chibifying him was a little redundant…What do you think?
Concept art is not just for the look and feel of individual characters, but also can be used to feel out character dynamics. For instance, this pic of Wolfie and Calvin lost on a boat.
Have you ever tried to describe something in words that you could see clearly in your head but had a hard time bringing it to life in writing? I do, so I often draw a rough sketch of whatever it is to use a visual reference. Take Calvin’s gunblade, for instance. It was a very simple thing for me to visualize, but when I had to put it into words for the first time in Wolfie Star-Runner Plays with Hellfire…? Well, things didn’t go so hot until I actually drew it. Once I could see with my eyes what I was seeing in my mind, the whole description fell into place fairly easily.
Remember how I numbered the merfolk among the fae-beast races? Well, here’s a sketch of three different mermaids showing off their people’s three different forms: The traditional fish on the bottom, human on the top look; the fishman, Creature from the Black Lagoon look; and…a sea serpent?! Yes, all sea serpents in the world of The Star-Runner Chronicles are actually merfolk in their big, scary beast form. Fun times…
And, finally…a norgel? Why, yes! A member of that rare and heavily mythologized race of manbeasts who have been seldom seen since the end of The War of Destruction. Many legends speak of norgels possessing strange and incredible powers…but are they true? And is this guy a clue about the plot of the second book, or just a random doodle…?
Well, that’s it for this week, folks! I hope you enjoyed this little behind-the-scenes art exhibition. Join us next week for a special interview with the mysterious Hellfire Lord Goramesh! Until then, be sure to check out The Rebirth and Awakening of Wolfie Star-Runner and Wolfie Star-Runner Plays with Hellfire on Amazon.com (print and Kindle ebook editions available). You can also get to know me at a glance on Pintrest, check me out on Twitter for randomness and project updates, and check out my Fan Works Spot to read my special takes on some of my favorite characters and worlds (or for the Protoman sprites…whichever). And, it you like my books or my blog, don’t forget to spread the word to your friends and drop a rating or review on your favorite book review sites if you can! Thanks for reading, and have a great week!