March contest. Feedback would BEE lovely thanks :)

  • Hi all, I'm having a go at the prompt this month because I like the format of creating a character and following it through to the other prompts. It's something I missed with the yeti as I joined on the house prompt and something I need to practice.

    I struggle with human-like characters so being more of a creature seems to help. If it was just a dog or a dolphin or a skiing penguin I would be fine 😂 I'm sticking to quite a simple design to start with. I'm hoping I can use this as a base to start attempting actual humans.

    I might be going a bit over the top but I'm really trying with this one to create a character that could support a narrative. I've been studying design principles, shapes, proportion and watched/listened to tutorials. I've drawn boxes big/med/small, though about silhouettes, I've drawn shapes in the boxes, I've drawn pages and pages of characters that look exactly the same and got frustrated!!

    I stopped and decided to create the story first:

    • His villages is a bee-like colony
    • The goblins will ransack and steal the honey and destroy the houses/hives/honey factories
    • He is a bee-like creature, with wings on his head and can fly (like a bee, not a bird so more of a hover and rather than long distances)
    • The hunt will find a queen bee-type hero EDIT: that’s a bit predictable, perhaps something unexpected, like a bear

    I would love to know if I am going in the right direction for a brief like this where the prompts may follow the style of the yeti ones?

    I have narrowed the character down to a few ideas and used a few refs to look at key features like his fluffy bee mane/collar thing and little bee hands and feet. Not sure if antennee are needed or are just an extra complication as he's not an actual bee.

    I normally wimp out with faces and tend to use black ovals but I'm forcing myself to use actual eyes. I'm trying a 'marvel-hero-looking-up-determined-small-stature-big-heart' kind of pose. I would love him to have a personality but would also like to keep the face simple and innocent looking. Mainly so I don't have a breakdown trying to create expressions! I'm not sure if I'm achieving this.

    I was thinking of giving him a little companion that is a firefly to help him in the dark.

    Please excuse how messy this is:

    I'm also trying to tweak the proportions. I think I like 2 best but it's a bit dull so wondering if 3 would be better? There isn't much difference between the big and medium proportions but I'm not sure I want him to have a head so big he can't hold it up 😲

    SVS_FTT_3 copy.jpg

    Any feedback would be really appreciated thank you. I still have to refine pose and add detail and traveller props but this is the general direction I am going in. I'm not really too knowledgable on all things D&D and I last played Zelda on a Nintendo 2DS so I'm a bit out of the loop.

    Thanks for reading

  • @lizardillo Love this unique idea. Im for nr. 3

  • @Julia-Hegetusch thank you. Yes the more I look at it, the more I think 3 may be best.

  • @lizardillo I am not at all familiar with D&D so my perspective is just something more like regular fairy tales, I guess.

    I like your character but am picturing him flying - when he flies his body hangs, right? I think that's kind of cool thing for a bee-like creature to do, but while he flies he can't move his head? it seems like he would fly in the direction he is looking, which is a little hard to grasp if i compare it to a dragonfly or hummingbird hover

  • @carolinebautista that’s a good point. I’ll think about how I could adapt that such as a joint. I would like to keep the silhouette on the head and avoid the wings on his back like an actual fairy. Definitely something I hadn’t thought about thanks 👍

  • @lizardillo He's great! I also like the proportions of 3.
    He reads like a maybe 8 year old kid in those proportions, which sounds great for a fairy tale. I'm in favor of giving him antennae- that could be great for expressive face with minimal features. I do love his head/wing silhouette, like you mentioned, though I'm interested to see how the wings meet on the back of his head- do they spring from one point, or is it 3 pairs of wings coming out of 3 points?

  • Loved your character, though I'm not sure if I prefer 3 to 2. I'd also vote for keeping the antennas.

    But in fact the only thing I'm really hesitant about is the wings on the head. Yes, I totally see you wanting to avoid them being on the back, but I don't know about them where they are now. Couldn't he then just fly without wings? Superman made a career flying and he had no wings... :o) Letting my mind wander now and not holding anything back, what if he had bee-style wings that worked more like a retractable helix?

    By the way, I think his face is perfect the way it is now, simple and innocent looking indeed.

    Nice work!

  • I'm in for three for the proportions to make the appearance younger but I like the round eyes, unless your looking for it to be an angry/frustrated bee. Love the companion.

  • Thanks everyone this feedback is great. I’ll have a good head/wing evaluation today.

  • i like 3

  • Thanks all, I though i would have one more attempt before I ditched the idea and have been doing a bit of wing research.

    I have made the base of the wings sit in a rotating ball-joint thing (technical term 😂) so he can rotate his head a bit when hovering about. In an ideal world it would be on a sort of gyroscope, but I think I'm going to have to have a bit of artistic licence between realism and make-believe. I have tried to show some examples. The sketching is quite loose so the position and sizes of the wing ball bases are a bit off. The hovering wings in green are just an example of the wings in motion. Please ignore the fact he looks like he is jumping.

    I've also tried another version but he's getting a bit moth-y (which may not be a bad thing).

    If this still isn't working I think I'll just make decorative headgear.

    I'm halfway between not letting this beat me and if I'm having to try so hard to make it work, it's probably not going to work!

    Thank you for your input.


  • @lizardillo I feel like I may have ruined your fun, so I'm hoping to encourage you to keep going with this! You write to ignore the pose of the flying green one but I love it as it is and think you can include it as the 3/4 front pose. I also love the idea of the moth more than the bee, partly because of the shearling thing you've got going that kind of connects a feathery moth covering to pilot gear.

    In my opinion you can use what you have and tweak the functionality later as you need.

    Bees, afaik, don't have the hover motion in their wings. There is a sort of rotation dragonfly and hummingbird wings do to achieve that. But bee or moth wings might work so much better for this because maybe turning his head IS the navigation, and I think that would be so cool. that's just to say I think the ball joint thingies work! Maybe he can have some sort of special goggles or periscope glasses that make up for the motion in his head so he can look anywhere he needs to. you wouldn't even have to include anything like that yet though. I think the character works as is.

  • @carolinebautista no you’ve not spoilt it at all, this is great. I’m enjoying the challenge as this is something out of my comfort zone. You’re not the only one who’s noticed the wing issue so it’s a valid point. I value people taking time from their day to give a critique so thank you.

  • @lizardillo It doesn't look to me like this thing has you beat! I think the ball joint/ aviator hat flaps are a great solution. I also really like that when you do the close up of his face for the character design page, his head might have a silhouette that's similar to a little bumble bee already. That said, I also really dig the moth variation, too. I think you're on a great track!

  • @lizardillo it is awesome, and so cute.

  • Well, he briefly turned into a moth (a moth and firefly seem a better partnership), but I had trouble making a moth character appealing, have a backstory and not just be a moth (lots of moth research going on and wow there are some amazing moths in the world). I'm sticking to the bee-like 'Honey Farmer' from a the village who's honey is going to get ransacked. Wings are now fully mobile (although slightly bending the rules of physics) and are being used as a form of expression like horses ears. He can curl up in them to sleep (in a flower).

    I know the wings were an issue to start with but I hope I can make this come across as not too far-fetched that it doesn't work as a concept.

    Now I have to refine all this so all of the limbs, wings and facial expressions are consistent and add the extra details. I've given myself far too much work here!! My comfort zone is a distant memory 😧

    Rough sketches:


  • @lizardillo I think this guy is really unique. The wings are a challenge, but I think you're doing a great job working with that. I like that they are so expressive in the facial expressions! I say just keep working through. The end results are going to be way cool; I can tell 🙂

  • This little guy is so cute!

  • More development, now with his bag and traveller items (including teddy bear strapped to his bag) and I have reduced the wing size on his 'flying hat'. Add things to his belt as bees carry pollen in pouches on their legs although I think it may be becoming a little overcomplicated now. He has drawn a smiley mouth on the back of his hat as the wing sockets look like eyes. I think I may have lost the original eye/body proportions in this new pass but I can redo that in the next round/redraw/cleanup.

    I'm having real trouble with the head and face as it's just not my style to use real eyes (I usually use small black ovals), the props I'm fine with. This is an absolute nightmare for me.

    Still not 100% comfortable with the entire concept because of the head and face. Any feedback would be appreciated, thank you.


  • @lizardillo Hello Liz!Love this character and love the props designing!!I think the eyes that present a problem to your view, can be a bit more cartoony.I took some time time to tweek with the eyes and facial features! i hope it helps in some way!! Cannot wait to see this finished!!!


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