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    Exploring a character one step at a time. This project started as a live demo on the subject on thumbnailing I did for my students in the charact… Read More
    Exploring a character one step at a time. This project started as a live demo on the subject on thumbnailing I did for my students in the character design class at cgzen.com. Read Less
This project started as a live demo for the class I'm teaching at cgzen.com, but I decided to spend a bit more time and finish it up with color. I guess I enjoyed the time working on this simple turtle character, since I even come up with a short story about it. So here is the "Tortuga" that stole all the colors of the animals, all of their stripes and spots.
 I had the idea about Tortuga in my head all the time while I was drawing, but couldn't find the right words as well as my friend Petar Petrov, who wrote the story in English for you. Petar is a great guy and story teller and he is currently working on his first ios game Dash Legends.

Here is how the story goes:

   "Tortuga was born with a peculiar power: with his presence alone, he could drain the colors of other animals, leaving only a grey monochrome where their stripes and spots and colorful patterns used to be. Frightened by this, his own kind cast him out and left him to fare on his own.

     For years, little Tortuga made alone his way in the world, searching for a kindred spirits, but everywhere he went, he was shunned and met with disdain. In time, the turtle grew up to be bitter and  gruff, resolved to his fate.

     One day, however, Tortuga met Swallowtail – a color-blind butterfly, who wasn't scared of him and who was eager befriend him, despite his faults. As their friendship grew and Tortuga knew kindness and affection for the first time, he grew more joyful and kind. And then, slowly, color was seeping back into his world. Where once he was draining away other animals' colors, his presence was now enhancing them, making them more radiant and vivid than ever. Each day, more creatures sought to be in Tortuga's company, while he and Swallowtail, his first and truest friend, are travelling the world to bring friendship and joy to other outcasts like themselves. "

Starting from a black silhouette I first explored the shapes and forms by rendering the character in grayscale. At this point I'm only concerned with form and value and leave out the colors for the next stage.
The next step is to try few color schemes and patterns. I've picked the two I like the most and combined them into the final color design. This stage is about 2d patterns and colors and I almost completely ignore the light and form. Once I figure the colors I'll combine the previous grayscale rendering and the color design and use them as a starting point for the final rendering.

The final step was to bring everything together. I've added specular highlights, some sense of reflected light and in general - tightened the whole piece and accentuated the colors. At this point all that was left was to design the title and add the leaves on the ground to finalize the illustration.
Thanks for stopping by and I really hope you like Tortuga. Let me know what you think of him in the comments. :)
If you want to say Hi or ask something feel free to contact me over vertexbee@gmail.com or find me on facebook or instagram.

~ Martin