Now that Frederic S. Durbin's Crowd Sorcery story "The Girl Who Writes the Future" has begun and many of the character submissions have been published, I thought I'd share all of my sketches.
First up are the heroes and heroines. Brief summaries of their background or abilities can be found in the image of the Cricket spread at the bottom of this post. Many kids wrote fascinating paragraphs-long biographies describing their character's personality, background, talents, fears and hopes.
Any time I begin a character design I start with the face. If I don't get the face "right," meaning a look that matches the character's essence as I see it in my mind, I can't convince myself to move on with the design. Sometimes it took me a while to get a face or expression that felt correct to me, so given my time constraints some characters did not progress past portrait sketches.
Fionn Pierre Nelson was the last character I worked on in this set, so I only completed a few face sketches.
Listette takes on the familiar "raised by animals" theme. I wanted her to have somewhat sharp, angular features, and I carried that through to her hair. Her creator described her as wearing wolfskin, so I included a few very rough doodles of costume ideas. It was hard not to be influenced a little by San from Princess Mononoke, but I tried to avoid doing anything too similar.
|When I read Listette's description, I was reminded of this illustration by Arthur Rackham.|
Will Gust is a fun and lively character that I was sorry I didn't have time to develop further. I guess I actually felt that way about all of the characters. If I had my way, I would have liked to make something like a model sheet for all of them.
|I'll tell you a secret...the drawing at the upper right corner is actually of Detective Tim Bayliss.|
When I turned the drawings over to my art director, I indicated a couple of my favorites of each bunch and she picked from those for the print edition of the magazine.
|The spread as it appeared in the July/August issue of Cricket.|
Next up: Villains!
This post has been edited for clarity and to add a link.