I got a cool job recently redesigning some characters for a client. The characters had good ideas, but the design of them wasn’t very good – too computer-y and technical for my tastes. I did not post them because I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to, but this is the first of the redesigns and I think it came out pretty well. A couple of interesting things about this design:
1. I really tried to apply John K.’s principles of design with Ralph to make sure he had good construction and a deisgn I could manipulate and replicate. You will see that Raplh’s head is basically a circle with a jaw added (following Preston Blair’s idea that the top of the head should be stationary and the jaw is where all the action is) and I created a line of action through the middle that I followed with construction. Ralph is three heads tall; his mid section is evenly divided between the lower two “heads”.
2. I abandoned my Walt Kelly influences a little bit and not only applied some stuff from the Blair book but also some inspiration from a little known Gene Hazleton strip called “Angel Face”. Here’s an example of one of those strips:
Hazelton did a lot of work for Hanna Barbera, but I think this looks more like Hank Ketcham to me. Anyway, I love his eyes and the proportions on the faces and I tried to capture some of that.