Sunday, August 21, 2011

Development of a character

© 2011 Outhouse Ink Publishing and Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

For this post, I thought I would share a character that is in development for a children's book. The book is called Major Manners from Outhouse Ink Publishing. I know most people will not show anything until the project is completed but they want me to post things as it progresses. All the images are copyrighted including the story.

The overall concept is that the main character teaches children to do basic things like brush their teeth before bed, cleanup their room, etc. Major Manners is a big rugged military looking, but very friendly guy who has a real soft spot for children. We started off by doing a series of head studies to find a direction. After previewing the samples to many people for feedback, a head study was selected. From there, I did a full body sketch

© 2011 Outhouse Ink Publishing and Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

After a few tweaks to the body we moved onto doing some various facial expressions to see how the character will work in the various moods. I tried to keep that in mind as I design a character, especially for a book. One must think like a director (thanks Sheri) when developing the visuals for a story.

© 2011 Outhouse Ink Publishing and Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

We are now working on a sample spread and cover design so the promotions can begin. Most of the work from here on in will be kept secret until the book is published. I can you that it has been a lot of fun so far and I am excited for the finish book. There are already talks of more books so fingers crossed.

© 2011 Outhouse Ink Publishing and Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

Speaking of more books, I just learned a few weeks ago that Molly Kite's Big Dream has been picked up by a publisher and will be available nationally in the next few months. They have also ordered two more books so it will be a very busy next few months. Stay tuned for more details!

With all of these books projects, I am hoping that some more doors open up in the publishing world and maybe find a rep by early next year. I also need to get back to my story that is in development. As I work on other things, I keep working and reworking it in my head. It is soon time to get some of the changes back onto paper and get some feedback. Once the story is to my liking, I will then create a dummy which will be used for submitting to agents and publishers. But first, the story needs to work.

"Practise what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know." ~ Rembrandt

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bad Hair Day - A New Profile Image

©2011 Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

A quick post for this week. I figure it was time to update my profile image so I did a quick sketch last week and came up with "Bad Hair Day". I was not happy with the original gremlins so I redid them which where then dropped into place in Photoshop. Once they were placed, I then painted the image in Photoshop this afternoon with custom brushes that I had created. The main goal was to treat it like a traditional painting so there was an underpainting. The colors were built up in layers from dark to light with the highlights the last thing I added. The overall color stayed bright so I did not have to tweak the hue and saturation. The other goal was to let the original sketch show through which helps keep the image loose.

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary" ~ Pablo Picasso

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