Exercise 28 – Character Design – Part 1

For this exercise I had to design two contrasting characters.  I’m still in the process of this but while exploring it I went off on a tangent experimenting with watercolours and inks.  I really love the artwork of a game called The Bloody Inn.


The artwork in it is simply beautiful and I love the mixed media used.  So I wanted to experiment and see if I could achieve something close to it.

Firstly I used some acrylic ink and scratched out some marks on watercolour paper.  Next I used a wide brush and splashed some water onto it to try and make the ink bleed out.  The mess created was softened with a dry brush and as each stage was messed about with a photo was taken on my phone.

I then sketched out a character on the paper and used the ink to give shadow in sections.

I wanted to explore texture here and give the impression of a layered background using the ink marks.  I wasn’t sure how to do this exactly in PS but I wanted to try it out anyway.

Having emailed them to myself I proceeded to layer them in PS and adjust the levels so that the white was brighter and the blacks darker.  The photo had a lot of grey in it.  I then layered the various textures on one another and tried adjusting saturation and adding a coloured layer.

In the end I found that by simply darkening all the layers in a certain way I got the impression of scratches and a weathered background.  The image also has this impression of a scratching through layers.  I selected the sections that I felt were working well and layered them and adjusted the size of them too.


The character itself just emerged as I was making the marks on paper.  It felt very western and the scratchy wood and dried rust or blood ink spots lent to this feeling.


Overall I felt that coupled with the exercises completed in recent months and the assignments done recently, this was a successful merge of skills. It has more of an editorial image feel to it.  My Assignment 4 felt more like a book cover illustration than an editorial piece.  This image I feel revisits that and honours the editorial vibe rather than a book cover.


I also feel that having the inspiration from the game art helped a lot.  It gave me the inspiration to go and experiment and try out something new.  Based on the previous exercise where we had to research two artists and try and recreate an image in their style, I feel that the exercise helped me to achieve this image.


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