Original Character Boris


  • Developing the character Boris for the 3D animated film Traces Retraced. I started using Sketchbook Pro on the Mac and switched multiple times to Pixelmator and other proprietary software at the time. This started before I decided to go all out on Open Source Software. Here you can see the beginning of Boris!
  • Here I start looking for an interesting pose for Boris. Since he is head of the council, I wanted to show him making decisions. So it took some visual "research" to find and like the pose I settled with.
  • After the pose is set, then comes blocking in and working proportions. A little detail here and there just to keep it interesting.
  • Here I settle with Sketchbook Pro and set more details on the chair. It needs to hover in place and I am using a bit of "steam punk" with futuristic details. Just to "jazz" things up!
  • I was thinking of starting using colors from the get go, but want to do the Black and White technique of other illustrators, and then color on top. It is good to solve the values and contrast early on and then think of colors. Or so they say... :) I am old school and do my values and contrast with the color from the get go, but heck, let's try the new wave! :)
  • Here I was trying to create a bit of ambience with a background. Went from Sketchbook Pro to Pixelmator to ArtRage and back and settle with a abstract background just for contrast. It is not finished, but it helps for depth.
  • Now to start detailing of the pants and metal bands below the knees. Then defining the chair surface. Finally start working on family crest.
  • Here I put more details and start defining the family crest of Boris.
  • Here I start the skin work. (sounds like a surgeon! :) ) But seriously, this is the part that I enjoy the most. Creating the volume of the body parts.
  • Working the feet and hands of my characters is always the most enjoyable. Hand and feet are the most "generally speaking," difficult part to create. It is probably that challenge what attracts me the most.
  • The time I spent at Pratt Institute library just sketching from the masters' journals was well spent. I only use references anymore when I get stuck with a part that doesn't quite make sense. It certainly helps to make sure my characters do not resemble any particular model. But it took a long time to get here! I encourage all my students to spend time just recreating the masters' works.
  • There is little particularly impressive on this one, but that head rest started looking good!
  • Process transferred to iPad. After rebuilding the layers I started working putting the details.
  • Process transferred to iPad. The pant folds started to feel more real after this session.