I like designing characters. After all, that’s basically what fills my sketchbooks. I’ll start to doodle a face, then soon enough a whole page will be full of variations of that first drawing. You’ve already seen the results of that with my previous posts of bear sketches and Frankenstein head sketches.
Last year I started to sketch an old dude in a deep sea suit. It was just some random guy, but he kinda looked like he needed some young charges. So the sketch grew to include the chunky kid and the little blonde girl, and on the page next to it were a few octopus designs. The sketchbook continued to be filled with mental musings on other topics, but my mind would often go back to that underwater trio.
Recently I decided to do something about it. Already well into another sketchbook, I created more sketches of octopi looking for that one that would go well with the kids. It was kind of like drawing a balloon with personality. A few more kids and fish were added to the mix. It started to look like a cohesive idea.
After deciding on a few poses for a group portrait, I transferred the characters to Bristol board and inked them individually (I’m a brush and bottle kinda guy, with the occasional Rapidograph and Micron pen stuck in there). Scan ’em, color ’em in Photoshop, composite them together – and there you have the Aqua Kids!