Finally, a well needed update for my Character Design project. Everything has been piling up lately, and blogging has had to be put on the back burner as of late. But this doesn't mean I haven't been doing Character Design work!
Over the last couple of weeks, I've mainly been focusing on finalising the physical structure of my characters, as well as shifting the narrative element around a bit to give me some more opportunities to really diversify these characters.
I had a chat with Justin, and he suggested that what my character was lacking was any actual structure behind my drawings. It just didn't really feel like a Mongoose, because it wasn't really built like one. So, I've attempted to redesign the general construction of the character, using Mongoose skeletons as reference. It more or less came down to repositioning joints, where the limbs were concerned.
Reconfiguring the Mongoose's Limb Structure
In regards to the Mongoose's clothing, I've altered his background so that, A) I've got a little bit more of a direction to head in, which helps open up my options and hopefully, makes the chosen appearance a little less generic and B) it provides an incentive for the Hero to be in Louisiana, other than being there by chance alone.
Seeing as the narrative is set around the period of the American Civil War, I've made the Mongoose an ex-soldier, who went AWOL after deciding that he didn't want to fight, and instead, help the world in a less violent manner. He is still a rogue-like character, but not because of violence. Instead, the Mongoose travels the lands, playing cards with various tycoons and business men, taking their money and using it to by the freedom of people sold into slavery.
As he is an ex-soldier, his attire is partly ex-military uniform and part lone wanderer. His conscientious objector past leads him to solve these problems without weapons, using his wits and intelligence over brute force, unlike the Alligator.
I'm pretty much settled on how the Alligator is going to appear now, at this point, its more a case of finessing his construction. Which pretty much means, how can I make this guy look fat in just the right way? I've used a lot of reference of both Alligators and overweight and obese human beings, relating where fat appears on both examples and pushing it further. Also, as with the Mongoose, the head construction needed more attention to the source material, as I was pretty much bolting on a weird triangle as opposed to an actual, believable head (I appear to have a habit of giving these characters generic blocks as heads...).
As Justin pointed out, this portrayal makes the character appear too jolly. I need to introduce a bit more 'sleaze' into the character.
Comparing Fat Distribution
These are more along the lines of what I'm looking for. I'm considering keeping the Alligator wedged in a large chair of sorts, as he is acting as 'king' of the ship he inhabits and runs, and by his appearance, he won't be going anywhere soon, so it seems fitting.
I've attempted to make the Snake a bit more visually interesting by breaking his structure up into a mash-up of straight edges and curves, although I feel that I am getting dangerously close to plagiarising some of the reference I've been using, so I need to discover a way of making the character more unique in its presentation.
In regards to colour scheme, I found a variety of snake that is particularly suited to this character; the Carolina Swamp Snake.
The red and black colour scheme fits the villainous bill well. The snake also inhabits Louisiana, which ties it nicely to the setting of the scenario, and it is small enough to be handled by the Alligator in the ways that the scenario requires. Perfect!