Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Three Faces of Jacques

Hello and welcome to another installment of The Three Faces of Jacques!

From last week, I added color to them as well as added human-Jacques in his jester attire and gave demon-Jacques another option for clothing. Mr. Thing's only other option is a cloak... sad, but even he doesn't think he deserves anything but the scraps on his body and his cloak. 

Anyways, I believe I am going to keep the style of which the characters are drawn in. I've found I can create a lot more expressions and give the characters a certain liveliness that I couldn't with just my usual style of drawing. I'll have more test expressions posted later, at the moment I was more occupied with finalizing the overall looks of the characters and possibly what they would wear.

Of course, during the coloring process I was listening to The Hunchback of Notre Dame soundtrack. Specifically the opening song:

The Hunchback does take place in France, however it's in the wrong time period- more of the 15th century I believe, but still set the overall essence of what I was feeling for.

In his early life, his first stage of life, I wanted to represent his whimsy and relative innocence of heart with his palette; brights on the jester's uniform for his fun-loving nature, and softer colors for his more casual outfit. Of course, some sense of accuracy had to be fit in; a jester, as an entertainer, was to wear brights to grab the attention of the nobles he was pleasing. His peasant clothes had to be faded, however, as dyed clothes cost a lot of money, especially if you wanted them to go through the process of trying to have the dye stay and not bleed.  

The middle period of Jacques' life is his bleakest period; he loses all semblance of humanity and becomes a demon of Hell after learning his true heritage and must struggle to accept himself and his new role. Since he's sort of a gloomy shadow of his old self, here I toned things down and washed them out, with a splash of black to help really embolden his depression during this time.

And, finally, Jacques' third stage is when he pulls through his depression, finds love, and makes a new body- yes, in that order. He actually finds love while he's in his "Mr. Thing" form, but more on that later... anyways, by this time, the innocence is long, long gone, but his former sense of whimsy and fun has returned as he finds joy in living again. he also gains a confidence he didn't have quite as much of in his human life, and perhaps a bit of an attitude.

As I stated before, his favorite color is yellow. Since he now has fairly unlimited access to color, he makes use of it! I wanted to bring out the fun in him with color, but represent some of his maturation and higher self esteem by adding some refinement; pastels and darks to make the brights pop and feel less obnoxious, as though he carefully considered every outfit and palette... which, of course, he does.

Story is what drives me. Scratch that, characters are what drive me. I'm attached to this one in particular because I've never heard anything quite like it; Jacques BĂȘte is, to sum it up too quickly, the Anti-Christ that could've been but never was. Had his father, Lucifer, known of his existence, he would have become a pawn in a game for power and revenge. But, as it is, he got to grow up with only a few hints to his identity, with both him and Daddy dearest only learning about the truth until after his death.

I know a very important element in story-telling is theme; what do people take away from this? If I wanted anyone to take anything away from "Mr. Thing", it'd be that life isn't all that it seems, and that you shouldn't always trust what you've been brought up to believe; sometimes you have to find the truth for yourself, be it about who you are, the afterlife, or something else.

Now, thinking ahead here, Jacques is a small part in a big project, which I've mentioned before. a while back I was looking for inspiration for a separate project -namely branding myself- and I found this:

(Branding layout done by Pavel Emelyanov)

It looks both clean and sort of organic, modern yet vintage-inspired, and definitely timeless. I know branding is pretty far off form character design, but if these ideas really blossom into a comic, we'd need some sort of identity, some sort of logo and typeface, something visual for people to remember us by.

 I think whatever we do for the comic would not be exactly like this, but I find the ink-like style to be highly inspirational to me because it's just so timeless. 

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