Tumblr Tuesday – Turtle Golems process

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Sketchbook drawing by Red Herring Illustration

A lot of my sketchbook time lately has been taken up with generating ideas for a four page story I’m working on for the next Ink and Drink Anthology. I think I’ve finally gotten the story’s antagonist worked out (yay!) which is a really good thing because I really need to start getting the layouts going in order to make the deadline…plus, I have a ton of work yet to do before I’m ready to work on the upcoming Hobomancer novel. More on that later though.

Sketchbook drawing by Red Herring Illustration

I knew I wanted the bad guy to be a golem, sort of a robot made with magic and stone. There was a vague image in my head of a man made out of stone, with a crystal in his forehead. I knew I wanted him to be hulking, and that I wanted his shoulders to tower over his head. The initial sketches were based largely on natural shapes and rough rock or bark. I tried out circular heads, tree trunk shapes and rough cut stone, but none of them really had the feeling I was after. I wanted something that could look both intimidating and bemused.Sketchbook drawing by Red Herring Illustration

So I started looking at statues, and was really inspired by Aztec figures, especially their blending of animals and human warriors. Feeling that this fit with the themes that I’m exploring I started looking at birds and reptiles, finally working out some turtle armor for my warrior. His face was built totally around that nose and his gem is hidden under the front face of the turtle’s beak.