To maintain interest in this new MARDEK IV thing - my own as much as anyone's - I'm going to post about any developments as they happen, rather than writing a Weekly Update every not-exactly-a-week summarising things. In particular, I'd like to post CONCEPT ART as I draw it.
I've been into drawing all my life, but I never really started taking it seriously
until after MARDEK 3 was released. I dabbled with digital art - drawing dragons on deviantART and such - while I was a teenager, and I made all the graphics for the original three MARDEK games, but I never really designed
anything. I never sat down and went through many possibilities or really thought
about how things should look and why.
But now that I do know how to do all of that stuff, I'm hoping to create proper designs for everything in this project!
I started my designs with Enki, of all people... Rather than simply sitting down and slowly and carefully drawing a single face that I hoped would turn out to suit him, I began by using photo references and quickly, roughly sketching designs based on them:
I did those to warm up, and to remind myself of how faces look! It's frustrating how even though I've studied face proportions and anatomy at great length multiple times and have drawn literally hundreds of faces over the last couple of years, every time I sit down to draw on a new day, I find myself forgetting little things, or drawing faces that look just a bit off and worse than the day before's... Warm-up sketches using references help alleviate that annoying amnesia.
They took about 10 to 15 minutes each, and I'm rather happy with them because I feel that I couldn't have drawn anything like this just a single year ago. I've been working hard at teaching myself art, though, and practising a lot, so I'm glad it's paying off.
With that done, I drew a face that i thought might suit Enki, using Google photos of black men and the original portrait of Enki (from the Fig Hunter Wiki!!1) as indirect references:
Ideally I'd sketch out a bunch of different faces and either choose my favourite or combine my favourite features until I had something that I liked, but I was fairly happy with this first attempt and, uh, feeling lazy, so I just left it at this for today. Maybe I'll do different alternatives tomorrow and see where that goes.
I haven't decided on his outfit yet, though; that's a whole different issue. I tried, though! First I planned out some designs:
These weren't random; I used several things as references:
- Traditional African clothing
- Steampunk (though there are basically no traces of this left)
- Stereotypical 'explorer' costumes
- An outfit that Carl Sagan wore in his series Cosmos
When I envisioned this rebooted version of the character, an image appeared fully-formed in my mind, and the leftmost outfit mostly matches it. The others were more based on the references. I'm still attached to the first one because it's closer to my original instantaneous idea, but I'll have to play around with these and other designs tomorrow until I decide on something that I like!
I'm not presenting these for critque, by the way; I'll come to a decision when something feels
right to me, and getting to that point will be a matter of experimentation.
Anyway, I spent roughly half of today writing plot ideas and a big chunk drawing; I'll probably spend several days like this and get as much done as I can as fast as I can before the initial buzz wears off!