Christmas character design challenge: a festive orc – part 3


In our previous chapters we created the character design of an orc and a sleigh as a prop. This time we want to do some adjustments to the orc so he looks more fitting for our Christmas topic, and then add a color pass to both of our concepts. In order to make our presentation a bit more interesting we will add an occlusion shadow pass and a few textures.

character design prop creation christmas illustration 2d design

Our final Christmas illustration

Refining the concept of our character

Before we do anything else, we go back and take a look at our character. He looks nice and his clothes already fit to our winter topic but it is not Christmassy enough yet. So we remove the spikes and add some holly instead. See how I also added some Christmas balls where you would usually probably find some skulls. Then I do a quick value pass, just as we did for the sleigh, creating distinct groups of values.

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Before I add values I spend a moment in order to add a few more Christmas related details.

Creating our composition

Usually when I work on a project I create a template for my concepts in order to be consistent in the presentation of my work. It will not only include the work but also descriptive notes and title of my project. This time is easier though as it is a concept I have only been doing for myself, and for you of course.

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Arrange your drawings in a neat way on your canvas.

Adding colors

When adding colors I try to stick to the values I chose in the previous steps. In order to get an elegant result I also limit my color palette. The most important color for Christmas of course is red, and so I make red my most dominant and vibrant color, while the green has a bit less saturation. This ways the two very opposite colors don‘t compete for attention. After choosing an even less saturated orange as my third color, all other hues is located in-between those three.

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A limited color palette will deliver an elegant result.

Adding textures

Once I‘m happy with the colors I use a couple of textures in order to get a bit more of an organic feel to my illustration. You will find these textures in the accompanied PSD. If you use your own texture, use the auto-contrast function in Photoshop in order to get a medium grey as the average color of the image. That‘s useful because now you can turn the texture to about 7% opacity and overlay and have the most impact without changing the overall brightness and contrast of your illustration. I also add a stroke and a drop shadow-effect in order to make my concepts look like a sticker.

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Adding textures adds a more organic feel to the illustration.

Occlusion and final adjustments

As I kept working on my illustration I noticed that the background color having a strange and hazy quality. So I exchanged it for a slightly cooler tone. Once everything else was completed I took some time and add a final occlusion shadow. I used the hard round brush, and painted in smaller strokes, in order to create just enough texture to make it blend well with the texture we added in the previous step.

Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic Christmas everyone!

colour full imagery character design model render 2d illustration orc design

You can create a full rendering of your concept but sometimes a neat occlusion pass is enough to sell your design.

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