body shape studies 3

some people get a lot more extreme with shapes than I do. I’m not necessarily sure that’s a negative for me, but I do want to get more confident in going ‘all out’ than I feel like I currently am. motion in particular can be hard to be to exaggerate proportions.

harder still is making zany bodies fit compositionally in comic panels. I can tweak and pose my ‘comfort zone’ figures a lot easier than some out there designs. i’m sure practice is all that can help this. always trying.

more studies to come in the future, I’m sure.

At a glance

I find silhouettes and shapes just as important as detail. Silhouettes can be tough for me to integrate into the background and still make it look good. always learning.

I find a lot of these have interesting shapes which can help differentiate characters. the types of clothes a character wears is just as important as their body shape and body language, since it helps the audience recognize them. it is their ‘brand’, if you will. it also makes certain poses more or less difficult to draw. 😉

what are half of these outfits? i have no idea. the story of my life: we can take it further.

The shape of your average boy

i said earlier that i was trying to be more intentional about body shapes in ch4.

there are a few reasons for this. first off, it helps differentiate the characters better. that has always been a challenge with any non-human character, and other facets like the tattoos (and of course, page-to-page context) are designed to help assist the reader in telling characters apart. i’m not really sure why i was so reserved with body exaggeration in the past, especially when i really go ham when I doodle and make some really crazy looking figures. since i value the characters’ silhouettes so much, exaggeration of the body will also be a huge boon to being able to tell who a character is just from an outline.

on a similar note, exaggerating the bodies also helps from a storytelling perspective because the shape of the character can better integrate with their personality. would a big beefy built boy be a grizzled bruiser? he sure would look it. or you could subvert expectations and make him a big teddy bear. stuff like that.

Of course, it’s not that I never thought about these factors until now, it’s just that now I have decided to be more intentional about it. which leads to the best part: it’s a lot of fun for me to play with body shapes. 🙂 and it’s always great to enjoy your work! God designed me to care about stuff like this, so I better invest in what I’ve been given.

We can take it further

some of these had specific design goals in mind, but most are just experimentation to see what I like and what I could potentially use. the colors are interesting, but I need to constantly keep in mind what they will look like in monochrome. silhouette and shape tend to play more to not only my strengths but the comic’s strengths more than patterns and colors. patterns especially can get really tedious for me (learn from toriyama and his regrets with those spots on cell’s design! goodness, what a pain). part of me is interested to see some real wild colors and patterns in scifi work, for the sake of having some design notions that are more alien to our current sensibilities. not everything should be ‘cool’. it’s the same principle why marketing is hesitant to be authentic to, say, some historical hairstyles. I say go for it. depending on your design goals, it is often more prudent to make something strange or alien than something cool. i think that is a huge reason why a lot of scifi design also feels so neutered and tame, because many products catering to those sensibilities often ends up forcing a homogeneous result (not to mention that it is difficult to inspire wonder with the familiar).

a few of these designs will most likely show up again in some form in the future. I won’t elaborate, but I am looking forward to what it entails. I still think i can take them much further 😉