I have to partly agree and disagree with HitsuSan.
Of course there are multiple ways to get a good character design and it totally depends on what you prefer. However, you will not be able to find that way you like or even come up with your own workflow if you don't try out a ton of them.
So first things first: Before you start thumbnailing, think about what you are designing. What type of character is he, what time period is he from, what is his professions,...
You need some sort of direction before you start. And since (i believe) you do not have to do this for a game or movie where somebody else already thought of all that, it is your job to come up with that.
This is a good example of where artists part ways, because unlike HitsuSan I would completely scrap those silhouettes in pure black.
The silhouette is super important when it comes to a character design. However, if you start only with that outline first I find that I come up with a ton of really cool shapes, but i don't really know what those shapes are. So i have to go in and think of actually working things that make up the silhouette. I'm basically doing all the work twice. Another thing is that in the industry you will most likely have to present your progress to at least your art director or even worse someone that doesn't know anything about art and they will have no clue what to do with these silhouettes.
Instead I prefer designing a character with a pretty thick brush and high opacity.
Now I'm not saying do not do thumbnails, in fact, do a ton of them but do them really small and actually think of what you are drawing. Focus on a good silhouette but also think of what the character is wearing, like belts, straps, shoulder plates, hats whatever it is you are designing. Cause the thumbnail phase is where you think the most.
If you prefer to do rough versions and your art director is cool with it, then do it! It will help you get the juices flowing and narrow your design down slowly until you can present a detailed line drawing and rendering.
I'm citing Jon Tucci: "Good design is all about the process. Designers today often forget about its importance."
No one goes from nothing straight to a finished detailed line drawing. (Although sometimes you might get lucky).
But HitsuSan is right, try to make it as clear as possible, especially if this character is going to be modeled, everywhere you cheat or bullshit something is going to cost you time later because you are gonna have an angry modeler and more work since you probably have to fix it.
Cool Silhouettes and I think you have some cool ideas, keep em coming!
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When I see that hat with those eyes I immediately think of this.
@Davver: I've never said to not do thumbnails to research a design in fact that's the first thing we talked about at the beginnings of the topic, we where talking about how to move a design from thumbs into something more elaborate.
@HitsuSan: Oh, sorry man I might've not been clear in that point that wasn't meant to confirm your point of doing thumbnails and not opposing you. I just wanted to emphasize doing thumbnails with details instead of just solid silhouette thumbs.
@hitsuSan&Davver:thank you guys for your GREAT advices and tips!!!(...helps a lot)
I´ll internalize them
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