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Christmas character design challenge: a festive orc – part 1 · 3dtotal · Learn | Create

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In this tutorial we will look at the process of creating a character. We‘ll start by coming up with a concept for the orc, then we‘ll give him a sleigh, and in the third chapter we‘ll put the two next to one another and add colors and some extra effects. As usual my path is very straight forward and easy to apply to your own ideas.

sleigh ogre christmas fantasy themes 2d illustration drawing digital art

Our final result

Pose sketches

If you already have in your mind what you want your character to be and know exactly where to start, that‘s great. You may be very familiar with the subject you want to draw, or you have already spent hours thinking about this while working on another project. But if the subject is unfamiliar to you or you don‘t know where to start that‘s no problem either. You can choose a pose that you think would be good as a reference. It doesn‘t have to look like the character you are about to design yet. In the reference that I chose I liked the way the character slouched to one side. On the right, I did a rough sketch of how my orc’s proportions will be different from that of a person.

pose sketching human reference sheet imagery sketch 2d

Draw a sketch of your desired proportions based on a pose that you find appealing.

Constructing the shape of the body

In our next step we simply draw our pose while transforming its proportions so we get something that resembles the proportions of our orc sketch. Note how I adjusted the proportions for the main masses (hips and chest) and the head. As you can see I removed the sideways tilt of the chest and adjusted the pose as I didn‘t find the slouching element suited for an orc. The arm muscles are a little too bulky. I will change this in the next step.

constructing body parts 2d illustrations ogre christmas fantasy themes 2d illustration drawing digital art

We build the body using the two references that we obtained in the previous step.

Tweaking the shapes and designing the head

Once I‘m happy with the overall design of the body I redraw it and see where I can improve it. If you want to challenge yourself and are like me, you can use a new pose. We then look at how the head will look. We already chose the basic shape in our previous step, but we can now move the features around to get a result we like. It is helpful to compare your results by putting a few versions of the face next to each other. I thought a long chin would be cool at first, but noticed that a lower lip made it look more like an orc’s face.

ogre facial expression sketches designs ogre christmas fantasy themes 2d illustration drawing digital art

Try a few different faces and compare them until you find the one that‘s perfect.

Cleaning up our drawing

Once we are happy with the design of our head it‘s time to transfer the proportions to the head of our character. The lines of the character should be cleaned up until only the muscle shapes can be seen. Their shapes should be clearly defined and readable, but not too attention-grabbing. Once I‘m happy I start adding a first layer of clothing. You can draw your clothes in one step, but I like to think of them in layers.

drawing clean up armour sketch ogre christmas fantasy themes 2d illustration drawing digital art

Cleaning up the lines is a rewarding experience when you have carefully considered each element.

Designing the armor

We are going to add Christmas-themed elements later, but for now we will focus on the important aspects of his clothes. We will give him fur to help him deal with the cold winter temperatures. We will also add leather, buckles, and stitches to create the right feel for orc armor. I design a lot with lines, so I check the silhouette at the end of the process by filling in the character with black and making sure that the shapes can be read.

Next time, we’ll look at the sleigh.

ogre christmas fantasy themes 2d illustration drawing digital art

If you design with lines don‘t forget to check the silhouette.

Check out Gregor Kari‘s previous 3dtotal tutorials:


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