Just wanted to give you guys a glimpse into how I usually go about creating Characters:
1) I start with a concept in mind. Decide a few fixed parameters. Like here, my fixed parameters were, Earth Mage, Long Hair, Flowing Clothing, Floating Pose, Power Circles etc.
2) I always start with pencil sketches. I think it gives a very personal touch to characters than digital medium!! I scribble for as long as I want. Making small changes as I go. And at one point there is a “Eureka!” moment!! I pick that drawing and start developing it!
3) I take a photograph of the drawing (Never use Scan) and start developing different poses for it using thumbnails. Sometimes I directly jump onto finalizing!
4) Then I move onto my favourite part, which is creating variations for faces! This is purely playing with shapes and lines!! This part takes a lot of time. Sometimes I get carried away and spend days just on the face. But sometimes I hit the jackpot on the first try!!
5) If everything feels right, I move onto Coloring. Now this is a big process so I won’t go into details. But I always create a palette using various references. Like photographs, movie screenshots etc.
6) After a LOT of color adjustments, final touch ups and crazy amounts frustration and panic… Voila! My character is ready!!
LOL! This was a very short description of the process! Someday, I will write the whole thing in detail!!