Making Of 'Fluffy Pup'
I drew this character design because of a Wacom contest where the brief was to design a monster as your own pet. This contest attracted me not because of the prize, but because I like using my imagination especially when doing character design.
Normally, at a glance, a monster looks cruel, evil and horrific, but I wanted my monster to look cute and friendly - like a puppy. I did a lot of research before I started and finally settled on a cross between a husky and corgi because the husky has a cool face (Fig.01), the corgi looks short and cute (Fig.02) and both of these are dogs I like. To make it original and special I made its ears long like a rabbit's (Fig.03), and I added two small eyes on the forehead (Fig.04). Some might say it still looks a little disturbing, but I hope it adds a sense of mystery. To make it prettier, I tried to add a goldfish's tail because I think that the floating look of a fish's tail looks beautiful (Fig.05). For me fishes floating in the air are unique and amazing, and at the time I thought it would suit my little monster. You may notice that I have drawn a small mole on the right-hand side of its face. This is to add a little humor because it reflects my characteristics too.
Another reason for this design is I wanted to draw something with fur. Looking cute was my first aim, but I actually also wanted to add to my portfolio a drawing which shows my skills when drawing fur. Fur is hard to handle and it is hard to make it look smooth and beautiful. Fur is harder to handle than drawing a woman's hair!
I chose to light the image from behind as I think this helps to show off the character and its characteristics, particularly the fur. This also enhanced the translucent ears. All of these are important to enhance the mood of this simple design. I made the tail a bit transparent to help enhance the material and lighting. I used a blue color to paint the fur and chose a cold color range for the base because I wanted to make the dog look like it could be aquatic, and it contrasted with the color of the tail.
For the painting I basically used the Airbrush tool to paint the puppy and a Wet brush tool for the background. Sometime I will do adjustments to the brushes like the blending modes, Opacity, Shape dynamics, other dynamics etc. For the body I used photographs of puppies, merging them together and modifying them with the Transform and Liquify tools until I had created the shape I wanted. When I had the base for my character I used paint and the Smudge tool to paint the fur.
Due to the fact that the character is the main focus of the image, I decided that I would put the main focus directly in the middle of the page. I chose the pose because it made the dog look friendly. To hold the viewer's eye, I finished off the background with some simple brush work and lighting, added the reflection of my puppy on the background and made it look like it was standing on the water (Fig.06). I also added some splash, ripples, and water dropping from its paw to enhance the feeling. It gave my illustration more life and made it more interesting (Fig.07).
In conclusion, even though I didn't win any prizes in the competition I did get a lot of praise, support and consolation from my friends and that was enough for me. But it was a pity because I had used pictures of real dogs to do this art work, and due to some personal problems I started to draw with just a few days left before deadline. I am very glad to feature in this magazine, so thanks to 3DTotal!