Character design, development and final art for Californian-based Wonderland Bakery (through agency 3-0 and The Drawing Book).
The brief was to create characters from a storyline and descriptions provided. They wanted a contemporary look with strong character design and linework. The characters, from L-R are: Coco-Mac - Cheeky companion to Ally; The Pastry Chef - The villian; Ally - Baker extraordinaire and heroine; Biscuit Bear - Ally's toy since childhood and wise sage.
Development was a little hard, as I was given very little reference to work from. As the job progressed I received more imagery, but I was stabbing in the dark for a lot of the initial roughs. In the end, I think we arrived at a good place - it just took a little time to get there.
The initial brief was for just three characters. The Pastry Chef came later. The characters needed to work well individually, as well as in a group pose.
These are quick rough sketches with varying poses and styles designed to focus the client and help me understand what they are after.
Out of these, Biscuit was the only one they liked, so back to the old drawing board for the rest. Biscuit remains pretty much unchanged from incarnation "C".
Round 1 Sketches
Ally and Coco still weren't hitting it. At this point I finally started receiving reference images from the client.
Round 2 Sketches
There were a lot more roughs and sketches here, but I think I'll streamline it a little. Characters are getting a little closer, but I'm still not really feeling it, and neither is the client.
Round 3 Sketches
After a few phone calls I felt pretty confident that these new poses and attitudes were what the client was after, so I went in for another sketch... and whaddaya know? Approval!
The Pastry Chef - Initial pose roughs
I was pretty confident we'd get this character quickly, so I sent some rough poses through. I thought that if we had his stance from the get-go, it would make things go more smoothly... and it did.
More roughs and variations
I drew him with the other characters to make sure they looked good as a family of characters. I just altered him slightly over the series and sent them all over.
They chose number 7 - good choice, I thought. I was expecting to polish up the sketch, but they gave me the go-ahead to go to ink.
Ink and Colour
I then inked the lines and coloured in Photoshop. The client wanted these as vector art, so once colour was approved I went ahead and exported all the lines and colour areas to Illustrator and rebuilt them as vector art. There is almost no difference between my raster version and the vector version, which I like. The final image below (and at the top) is my original inked/photoshop version. Click for a closer look.
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