Friday, September 12, 2008

Raccoon Man

It’s one thing to give some human traits to an animal character, but it’s another to create a whole new being that is halfway between a human and something else. Mythology is full of invented creatures like centaurs and minotaurs that combine elements from humans and animals.

The pencil sketches above were the first steps in developing a design for a creature that is halfway between a human and a raccoon. I surrounded myself with photos and drawings of both and experimented with different ways to draw the mask and to place the ears. Each sketch is a little different, and it takes a lot of variations until one jumps out as the winner.

The final painting was used on a paperback cover for a science fiction novel called The Architect of Sleep by Steven R. Boyett

Related posts on “Apophenia and Pariedolia, and Animal Characters.


craigstephens said...

That's a cool sequence of drawings. The character has a lot of pathos. It makes me want to draw comic books again!

Unknown said...

Awesome job on the Raccoon Man. You really did choose the best solution. I might show this to my fifth graders. I was telling them why we sketch -- because our first idea is not usually the best idea.

I am a big fan of anthropomorphic drawing. One of my favorite comics is Usagi Yojimbo (Rabbit Bodyguard) by Stan Sakai.

Anonymous said...

That was very interesting to see this series and how much differences a few changes make.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of covers I recently had a bit of a "revelation" when I realised you did the cover for one of my all time favourite books!
"The Stress of Her Regard" by Tim Powers.

It's a small world really! I had been talking to Tim and wanted to illustrate a scene from this book, but I had misplaced my copy and he sent me that hardcover with your art on it!

By the way, I am now getting excited about the 4th of Oct! I hope we can get to chat for a few minutes!