Thursday, 24 October 2013

Pre-Production: Main Characters - Head Tests

Hello Everyone,

Sorry for the delay but these heads took a bit of time to knock up. I wanted to make sure I wasn't repeating myself too much so I was trying a couple of different tactics to create them. That being said I gave myself some rules to follow when knocking up the young Barnabas as I wanted to keep it similar to the adult version of Barnabas. I also wanted to convey these curls of hair that could be optional for the adult Barnabas when he loses his strict "all work and no play" philosophy. I have to say I had fun knocking up the heads it was a good learning experience!

I have also been playing quite a bit with the father "Bernard Barnabas" mainly because he's the cause of such rigidity within Barnabas. The girls wanted me to shift an expression of Anger onto Bernard which is something I'm still refining, I accidentally keep making them look oriental. Suffice to say when I sit down to knock out expression sheets I will be looking constantly at my expressions book. You may also note that Barnabas and Benjamin start later in their alphabet, that's because there were earlier posts depicting facial possibilities... The links are here and here!

 Now lets get to the fun part of the post... THE HEAD TESTS!!
The image above shows the head tests I conducted for Benjamin. These basically continue from M and are a little jumbled but I figured as long as the letter is there it doesn't matter. The girls gave no opinions on these but I quite liked Q. S was a very close second mainly because I loved the curly locks. I wasn't sure if these curls were something we were showing on Benjamin before or after his Fathers adjusted personality but never the less I couldn't resist trying out lots of things with his hair. I also tried a few slight feature adaptations, I kept making the eyes progressively bigger with the forehead for example!
Next came Barnabas (image above) which stirred up a bit more interaction with Chrissie & Sammy. We all came to an agreement that face T was Barnabas . The empathy is simply in the eyes, the hair is also brilliant. I aged this face a little more by putting little bags under the eyes (something which I replicated in Young Barnabas - just a little tell). Bags under the eyes mostly happen from sleep depravation or boredom, two traits I felt were in Barnabas's character. He's lost his wife and he's just plodding along through the days... A part of me also liked U for the hard bored-ness of the face.
Next came Bernard a character which was a little more difficult. There was a debate going about whether or not Bernard should have hair. Sammy liked the idea of a massive old fashioned Beard. I liked the idea of a pipe. There was a bigger part of me that wanted the character bald or at least near it. I have been told not to tell which face I prefer so I will leave this by simply saying its on the third row down. I would say more but Sammy and Chrissie do not want me to sway the decision of these faces so I won't. Either way they are all there... Hopefully we can agree on one or features of another.
Last but not least we have Young Barnabas to briefly gaze at. In the earlier stages I found myself trying to adopt a strong chin more. As things began to progress I found myself trying to implement more of Benjamin's traits (chubby cheeks, bigger eyes, smaller chin, longer ears). I guess I was just trying to see what worked. I kept the eyebrows very similar to the older Barnabas. I also wanted to implement some child like curls which we could bring back in the older Barnabas when he has finally let loose. I also kept the bags under the eyes and tried to adopt the hair line for our adult version.

I know a lot of these faces are not perfect but the point of this experiment was just to explore what I thought the main characters could be. Sure I could pick a design and go with it but seeing as everything this far has been collaborative I wanted the provide options for my creative partners at Polydoodle. This has in my opinion actually improved my drawing ability for heads. I spent a good chunk of summer drawing faces so that helped also. I am gradually getting the hang of facial anatomy for a 3.5 view... I guess its better late then never ha-ha!

Anyway hope you enjoyed the post!


  1. You already got a face for Benjamin... I meant Bernard and Young Barnabas!

  2. lol sorry, didn't read it all again!