Feb 1, 2015


Out of nowhere I'd gotten the urge to sketch some tertiary Star Wars characters. A lot of them have such fun designs, and thanks to the popularity of the franchise, reference materials are really easy to get.

The character that interested me the most was Greedo.

I think it was his teal/orange color scheme and his giant bug eyes. I'd never given him much thought as a character but the more I sketched him, the more fun it became to push his design elements. He's got a lot to work with: His antennas, his giant elf ears, the mohawk,the long, skinny fingers, etc. I really enjoyed pushing those elements to create something cartoony.

Greedo's only scene has him pointing and (allegedly) shooting his laser. I thought it'd be fun to play with that idea since that's what he's always associated with. The idea of him in a shooting pose with nothing but his hands in a pistol shape made me chuckle, so I sketched that out.

At first it was just some line art that I cleaned up, but I liked it enough to paint it.

Even though this essentially looked how I wanted in my head, when reached this stage, I had the impulse to polish it even more. I ditched the final line art and painted in some more details.

And, of course, now it felt like it needed a background. This is a problem I run into a little too often, where I always want to push a piece until it really feels 'finished'. This means I end up making important decisions much later in the process. For example, with this piece I now needed to build a full composition around a character. This is something that should have been figured out from the initial sketch, but the impulse to add a background wasn't there at the time.

Because of this, the background was tough to design and it took a lot of fine-tuning to get it to feel right. On top of that, it's easy to create and polish a background to such a degree that it overwhelms the initial character painting. Then it feels like the whole original purpose of the drawing is lost. So working out that balance was really tough. Also, I couldn't have done it without some excellent advice from Bob Rissetto who, as always, helped me persevere through the most frustrating parts. Sometimes the best solution for a roadblock is a second set of eyes.

I'm happy with the final piece, but it was teetering on the edge of being over-worked. In the past I've had pieces that I over-worked to the point where I didn't even like them anymore. They just felt like random pieces and colors, not a coherent whole. With Greedo I felt like I was able to avoid that pitfall and end up with something appealing.

Until Next Time.

1 comment:

Diana Avila said...

Hola Graham!!! Hope you are doing well. I had a random question to ask you as a fabulous artist. I am not sure if you do free-lance stuff or maybe you know someone who can assist me. I’m getting married in July and am planning to have growlers for centerpieces…and I thought it would be pretty rad to have us drawn cartoonish to slap that on the growlers. Thanks for your help.
-Diana Avila
My email is saydiana@gmail.com