Aug 16, 2011

The Marmot King + process

This is my entry for Laguna College's Dressed 2 Kill contest.

The goal of the competition was basically to design a masked character. My inspiration came a few weeks ago when I came across this picture while proving to my girlfriend that a "marmot" is in fact a real animal and therefore a real word. If you just look at his snout as a standalone head, you will shit bricks.

This is my original sketch. Instead of copying from the photo, although a great mask in itself, I wanted to turn it into something a little more innocent and charming. You can see that I am using the marmot's nose as the "face" which I was really excited about.

This is my first iteration. It has some redeeming qualities but it just wasn't turning out how I'd have liked. It's all around too goofy, and I wasn't thrilled about the colors I was using.

If I would have stuck with that one it probably would have turned out alright in its own way, but instead I just decided to start from scratch. I have a hard time working on something if I'm not excited about it, and this sketch gave me much more of that feeling than the previous one. Since it is a mask after all, the character's real head is sitting behind the teeth.

Mysterious, noble, wild, dangerous, animal? man? This guy had the feel and character that I was looking for. I started in black and white because it's easier for me to understand the lighting, and it allows me to think solely about the color when I add it later.

And here's the final. I basically painted this all in one sitting, and it was rough, but I'm fairly certain that I submitted it in time (roughly 30 seconds before the deadline).

This is the story that accompanied it:

"The great Marmot of the West has not been seen for many years. Some 
say that it returned to the earth to be with its ancient companions once 
more. Others paint a much more disturbing picture... They say there is something 
new that roams, neither animal nor man, but somewhere in between. His great head
is fashioned from the snout of the creature, with horns larger than any sheep or elk. 
They advise to keep hearty company when traveling these woods... the new 
Marmot King is much more viscious than his predecessor."

Thanks for reading. Fingers crossed for the contest!