Monday, May 31, 2010

120 [m ] : Ben 10 Art

Part of the function of the Illustration group at Cartoon Network is to create posed character art to be used on licensed product. While there are times art is created especially for specific product items (a.k.a. SKUs), most of the art for licensing business is created prior to the decision of what and at what quantities of product will be made. That art along with logos, color palettes, patterns and more go into a "Style Guide", kind of like an album of assets.

Character poses in rough pencil, "Ben 10 Alien Force"
Color pencil and black roller ball pen ink on copier paper.

Gwen poses in rough pencil, "Ben 10"
Color pencil and black roller ball pen ink on copier paper.

With such a schedule, there is a sizable amount of guessing done with these pieces, but generally the artists try to mix up the static with the dynamic, the left-facing with the right facing, and the ones towards the consumer with the ones off-stage interacting.

With Ben, who wears the ever important Omnitrix only on his left wrist, most of his poses have that arm coming forwards to the consumer. It's become kind of iconic. It's also, arguably, become a little boring.

With the alien heroes, and really most action characters, you get a lot of running and jumping. Hitting and kicking are good too, as long as you keep any swish lines and bursts under control.

Making a set of poses of Gwen, Ben's cousin, is a relatively rare assignment, since most of the network's programs are aimed more to boys. Here Gwen from the first "Ben 10" series is a ten-year old girl with magic powers. What she is not is a princess, a sexy video-game heroine or moody vampire. As such, it was actually fun drawing these.

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