Friday, November 13, 2009

Creation of a villain ...

I thought it would be interesting to show my process on developing a character by posting some rough initial sketches and the finished, inked piece.

Introducing Baron Malvado, an evil knight, who will play a "major" role in my upcoming comic. Malvado has been in many battles for his king and country and at some point he snapped. Pressure of leading troops? Couldn't play castle politics? Somebody stole his betrothed? Ate some bad meat? Who knows. Whatever happened, he's no longer playing with a full deck.The initial design of Malvado went through several stages (above, sketches 1-12). After the first few sketches, I realized that he would look more sinister and powerful with more hair - a thick mustache or a big scruffy beard. Once I started to whittle down the features that I liked, I worked out a head shape that I could easily replicate. I really like his bugged-out eyes ... he looks like he doesn't sleep well. Disturbing visions of darkness that threatens to engulf the land? Plagued by all the innocents he has slain? Perhaps. Or maybe he's really just ...

While the face took a long time, the suit of armor and his frame came together quite quickly. He needed to look strong and powerful. I want readers to believe that he is a threat as soon as he appears. I love the look of big scaly chain mail and the few plates of armor that cover the chest, hands and legs.

I like the idea of him being dubbed the black knight - not because of the armor or his family crest, but because of his disheveled black beard and his overall savagery and lunacy.

The one thing that I still have to work out is the sword, which will receive a more memorable hilt and blade. The sword is evil and will be featured often in future issues.

Baron Malvado. Let me know what you think ...

- Jeff Tuffenstuff

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