Friday, July 18, 2014

Pepe and Lucas - Making the Clown Part 2

In my last post, I said that the below sketch was the design that was really our first solid step forwards for our short film. 
However, we still made a few tweaks to the design. Pepe seemed weak and small, but he'd lost a little bit of his "clown-ness." I brought back in the bowler hat and flower. Eventually, we lost the cutoff gloves in favor of what I now think of as "Mickey Mouse" gloves. It just added that extra level of cartoony, which was becoming increasingly important as the story was becoming more and more ridiculous (in a good way).
In my 1st round of sketches for any project, I don't always stick to a standard three quarters standing pose. It doesn't always describe the personality enough, plus it gets boring if you're doing several variations. However, I do end up doing some kind of standing pose eventually, so I can create a lineup to compare all my iterations and those of my artists in a lineup.

Before settling on the far right sketch, my director had me check out just how fat we could make our clown and still keep him appealing. Once we'd chosen a character with a scrawny neck, it became necessary to make his "fatness" match his natural physique from before his body went to crap -  a little pot belly became the solution.

Once I had an approved linework sketch, it was time to move on to color. I knew that I wanted red to be the dominant punch color, but I was less sure of the rest of the costume. It was kind of tricky, since clowns are so multi-colored, and mimes are made up entirely of black and white. No matter what color I picked, the clown would always dominate the screen over the mime.

For a little while, I worked with solid colors. I worked with variations of green compliments, but it didn't feel quite right.

Yellow, blue, and red. The primaries.

 Blue stripes and orange.

 Blue and white stripes and orange. I was testing out scarf colors too.

 I really wanted green to work...

By this time, I'd found that white stripes added a necessary level of complexity to the torso, but also broke up the power of whatever the shirt color was without adding a new color.

A clean and dirty version. We ended up going with the clean version since our beginning events were simplified to get the story moving, but also because excessive dirt and grime was distracting and dampened the colors a bit.

Eventually, I returned to primary colors. I think the reason that some of my earlier explorations didn't work was the addition of the secondary or tertiary colors. When I had worked with just primaries, the amount of each color was pretty even. I had thought that bringing in red to more than just the head would be too much and too monochromatic, but it felt just right, with blue being the second dominant color and a dash of yellow for the scarf. Easy right? In my next post, I'll upload the other clown option that we almost went with, but still kind of did.

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