Bruno already told you in the last update, I’ve just finished the character concepts arts. I’ve done around 100 concepts since the start of the project, and I think that, having finished the entire set, it’s a good time to start telling you the making of those characterss, back from the first week of April 2009.
At that stage of the project we’re working in the Tsar Project for a month, basically developing the idea, researching and searching for plots that would express our goals. And then came the question: how to translate all this visually?
To answer this I’ve first worked in the characters graphic style. Interestingly, after those 8 months, and all the researches I’ve done along with Ingrid for our graduation project, we’ve developed a methodology of creating visual worlds focused exactly in the characters style.
Some of our first references were illustrations by Vladmir Semenov
This creative process started with the selection of a character that could be both generic enough so it won’t need many individual features and could carry as many cultural and contextual elements as possible. A soldier was a natural choice at the time: we’ll have plenty of them in the Kremlin and they seemed the more neutral characters in the cast. Upon that, Muscovy armors and arms from the period were some of our major visual references in the beginning of the project.
Set the character, a Muscovy soldier wearing a heavy armor and wielding a spear-axe, I’ve done a set of sketches during the first two weeks of April. What I had in mind was to see all the possibilities, from realism to pure geometric abstraction, from childish cartoons to the complex frenchphonic comics. The result was the next image, that we now call the Father of all Tsar Art. He’s a hand drawn lad 2 and a half inches high, made of indian ink and markers.
The next step was choosing a direction to go and explore it deeper, testing other characters in the same style. I’ve done that with another soldier, lighter and faster, and with a nobleman. A very synthesized style turn to coherent and flexible, allowing good consistency for the characters without needing too much visual complexity, just what we’re looking for.
And how the character creation continued I’ll tell you on my next post! See you soon!