This commission was originally to be a personal homage to Wally Wood, but as I got more into the textures & mood I wanted, it became closer to resembling Al Williamson. This is what the late, great Bob Ross would've referred to as a "happy accident". This is total Saturday Morning goodness to myself & I can't help but think of the Thundercats here for some reason.
Another set of sketches for the children's book- I felt the kids were too cartoony but I was mostly trying to decide upon their hairstyles, whereas my daughter felt the Tokebas (little monkey men) weren't cartoony & silly enough. We both felt they look too much like small chimps with bad hair! The dragon is very straightforward as a monitor lizard at this point & will go through many alterations later on from this basic bodytype that I just had to nail down first.
Again- all my concept drawings are subject to the approval of an 8 year old, but I've had editors that give less direction & make less sense ;)
My first real go at designing the stars of the children's book, my kids. I've opted to age them from 8 & 6 to 11 & 9, which both clears my conscience from putting such young characters in danger & also puts them at a more capable age, a la the Bobsey Twins.
I also believe a story about little kids is less readable, i.e.: marketable, & it is far easier to draw slightly older youths for a long duration in many situations. This is the style that comes most naturally to me as well, sort of a cartoony minimalism thing with heavier lines.
More on the style choice later...