Fun with character design

I’m busily working away on my next book, Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy: Time Trout. This time around, I’ve been doing more character design work than I usually do, so I thought I’d share some images here.

I’ve been more deliberate about understanding how the characters are put together, especially when it comes to their basic shapes and expressions. Not that I didn’t do that sort of thing before – here are some of my character design sketches for Cyborgupine’s disco battle suit from Disco Fever…

My early sketches for Cyborgupine's disco battle suit, and on the right is the final design in "Disco Fever". You can see that I was trying out different foot designs. And figuring out the proportions of the suit in relation to the characters.
My early sketches for Cyborgupine’s disco battle suit, and on the right is the final design in “Disco Fever”. You can see that I was trying out different foot designs. And figuring out the proportions of the suit in relation to the characters.

…but I’ve been a bit more exhaustive about it this time, drawing pages and pages of character reference drawings.

Here are a couple of new characters from Time Trout. First, there’s the titular Trout.

Trout, the time-traveling trout from "Time Trout". Fish characters are pretty fun to draw because of their bendy bodies.
Trout, the time-traveling trout from “Time Trout”.

I started, as I usually do, with reference photos. I’ve looked at so many Google Image pages of trout pictures! And another handy reference was James Prosek’s beautiful book, Trout: An Illustrated History.

Raccoons are adorable.
Raccoons are adorable.
And here’s a peek at my new raccoon character, who plays an important role in the new book. (She’s mentioned briefly in the first Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy book, but this is the first time we get to meet her!)

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