How can I make my elf character fit in with her environment?
Jessica Ballston, England
Start by considering the environment you want to depict. For my character design, I chose to move away from the typical forest elf theme and draw an elf who lives in a snowy environment.
Then I research existing cultures and tribes who living in a similar environment to the fantasy character I want to picture, such as the North American Inuit. I gather references for clothing, weaponry and other relevant details, then analyse how the tribes use natural resources such as fur, leather and bones.
The next step is to sketch a typical and dynamic gesture that will fit the environment you want to put your character in. Make sure that you don’t copy your reference sources wholesale.
During the painting process, I consider suitable lighting schemes and how the environment and the profession of the characters might affect the colours of her design. I use bluish colours to indicate the cold temperatures, and fair colours to merge the character with the background because I imagine that she’s a hunter. Then I make a tight drawing to check if my idea of the design works, before adding colours.
When painting an elf, always make sure to show the ears, even if headgear would make better sense! Inspire yourself by looking at fashion collections or your favourite fantasy art. Think about interesting
shapes and patterns.