I thought it would be fun to share with you how I try to develop a character from a reference photo. Bear in mind that I’m just a beginning artist (only seriously pursuing art since January 2009)
The first thing I did was to draw straight from observation. That didn’t turn out very well. The eye were too high in the face, and the mouth only a tad too low. The second sketch reflected that. In the next sketch I went back to the original, and tried to capture some of the features. The last sketch (which I inked) is a first attempt to stylize, make it more symbolic and less realistic. The goal is to develop a character to put in a comic strip.
All this took perhaps 45 minutes (I’m just guessing, because I didn’t time it). Now I have to let it sink all in, use some other reference material, and have the stylized character reflect some of John’s public persona as a “cranky geek”.
Guess who is going to be the second character? It certainly won’t be Buzz Kill, because he’s already in it.
That is all.