Originally posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012.
I am excited to introduce my new character to the world:
My frog without-a-name, for now, is dignified amphibian inspired by the book and stop-motion film, “The Wind in the Willows.” While researching species of frogs for this new character, I was drawn to the Amazon Horned Frog.
I took a screen capture of my source material:
I also viewed this blog with interesting designs that inspired me to exaggerate my frog’s features: http://melissavart.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2012-02-07T20:04:00-08:00&max-results=7&start=7&by-date=false
What I liked the most about the Amazon Horned Frog was that they have prominent “brows”, and I decided to highlight this distinct feature by enlarging the brow bone of my frog. I loved the Amazon Horned Frog’s knobby hands and feet, and decided with my frog to make them smaller for emphasis. Right away, it was clear to me that I wanted him to wear a steam punk-inspired costume. I think the warts reminded me of rivets in a machine, and his smooth skin had a metallic luster, so my mind instantly knew which aesthetic direction it wanted to go to. The character started to come alive once I began drawing him on my Wacom tablet, and he eventually took on a rather pompous, stylish persona. I enjoy experimenting with textures that I can paint over to get a sense of how the cloth lays over his form. I obviously need to work more on the folds of the cloth and add more information to other parts of his outfit like his boots and leather straps around the wrist, but so far, this has been great practice and a lot of fun.
I am half tempted to turn this design into a puppet. This would make for a fun trip to the fabric store.
*UPDATE, 1/5/2012:* I’m turning this illustration into a puppet, finally! Check out my process in this recent post by clicking here.