Fantasy Worlds ~ Character Development

With so many options out there for how your characters could look, how on Earth do you choose the right ones without making an image over the top?

I’ve been designing characters for my stories for years now but I never took the time to study what makes a character.

Below is the basic process I go through to create a character, this isn’t the way I always create them. Sometimes I will do this differently based on the character and the world they are in.

I believe there is a few things to think about when forming a world of characters. First of which is the world, second is a basic profile and then from that a few other things during the design process including colour and stage.

When I first start creating a new character, the world must be formed before I get to know who they are and what events may have happened to make them that way. In this case, Tyden, a vase universe of planets filled with a mix of magic and non-magic beings, creatures and technology-there is more to it but I won’t reveal that just yet.

Dark Forest

Dark Forest

For the profile, I like to get some basic information down to begin understanding them. Continue reading

Who Am I?

Griffen Illustration

Griffen Illustration

Well it’s a bit obvious a title of a blog entry to be anything more than an introduction to who I am. So here goes!

Since I have been online now for over 2 years I figured it was high time to properly say hello world!

How are you all doing?

Over the past few years i have been developing my skills as both a web developer and an illustrator doing the odd bit of work here and there whilst working in various jobs before settling down for a web developer position which gave me the opportunity to help so many people. Now, i would like to help you.

Below is 2 sections from my About page as a brief idea of what I do exactly. My talents do not end here as i am constantly being pulled into new things in the world of web and illustration.

What services do you offer?

I offer services in web design and development, illustration and occasionally animation. I also offer other services that include but are not limited to:

  • Website Design and Development
  • Graphics
  • Illustration
  • Site Maintenance
  • Logo Design
  • Branding
  • Copy-writing
  • SEO(Search Engine Optimization)

I also offer traditional medium paintings, sketches and artwork. My photos and selected illustrations are available to purchase as prints or use for personal and commercial purposes for a fee. I design characters, creatures and fantasy environments in an ever changing world.

What tools do you use for both design/development and illustration?

I use a range of different tools for different things in my workflow.

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • Pens, pencils, paints etc.
  • Canvas, printer and printer paper, sketch books/pads etc
  • Dreamweaver
  • Notepad++
  • Photoshop
  • Major Browsers: Chrome, Firefow, Opera, Internet Explorer and Safari

I also use other things for personal projects which can be used in a professional capacity. Programs such as InDesign, Flash and After Effects from the Adobe Creative Cloud Applications.

You can contact me here if you have a new idea or project we can work together with.

I look forward to working with you! And thank you for taking the time to read my post(s).

Onward to more design adventures!

The Sense of ‘New’

sunset church horizon

I always love new things, which is why i have updated the site using this beautifully dark template designed by Cryout Creations; Parabola.

Although i could have designed a template for my blog myself, i chose one that has been made already which serves as everything i need and nothing more – it’s not that i’m lazy or anything; my creative flair chooses to take over and tries to give me more than i need in a design! I hope you enjoy this design as much as i do.

Along the lines of new things, i have also decided to add Photography as a new page as well as a Sketchbook page for all the illustrations that aren’t quite finished but look good enough as they are.

The site has had a major face lift, at long last i actually feel comfortable with it. Be sure to have a look around and thank you for visiting.

Well best get back to painting!

A Short Tale of the ‘Mum’ Fish

Captain, Speedy and Guardian : The Mum Fish.


It was their first journey under the sea. Although it worked, their submarine was falling apart under the pressure. The hull was holding so far and the captain had no intention of turning back now.

‘Not much further captain!’ shouted Speedy over the clanking of the engine and the creaking of the submarine’s metal body. A sudden thud echoed through the whole vessel as they hit the bottom.

‘Speedy!!’ both Captain and Guardian shouted. ‘Sorry sir..’ Speedy replied and looked at the floor ashamed. ‘I forgot to check for current changes.’

‘No matter. We have some exploring to do!’ Captain patted Speedy on the back, ‘You did your best.’ she smiled.

Outside their submarine they saw so many different colours of fish swimming past, some were even brave enough to come and investigate. They soon swam away when the ground shook.

In the distance they could see a shadow of a creature hidden behind lots of tiny bubbles. They peered through the shrouded mist unaware of what was lurking behind it.

‘What is it speedy?’ Captain asked wearily.

‘i-i don’t know captain. I’ve never been under the fishtan-i mean sea before’ Speedy answered confused and  scared.

‘i know what that is’ Guardian said proudly, ‘it’s a giant octopus’ he smile triumphantly.

‘A what? An octopus, in a tank- umm i mean in the deep sea, yes quite right Guardian..’ Captain blushed in embarrassment and looked further into the murky water. ‘A mum fish..’ Captain said. All three backed away from the mum fish slowly as it opened its mouth, they stood trembling in fear.

‘Dinner’ it said happily.

They looked at one another ‘Yay!’ they screamed and rushed for the dinner table awaiting their next adventure into mash mountain.

Sketching Peacock

The photo reference i chose to use here was one from the wonderful photos taken by Wendy. A link to her page can be found at the bottom of this post.

A male peacock has such beautiful colours. As stupid as i sound right now, i actually didn’t realise that the female is actually a peahen, i use to refer to them as female peacocks. Thanks to my in-laws the other day i now know the correct term is peahen.

PeacockFor this sketch i created a video of the process. You can view it here.

I wonder what other animals i have realised are referred to by different names.

Wendy’s photos

Have an awesome day/night xx

Sketching Keela

Although i didn’t have the chance to hold her, Keela was a magnificent bird of prey. A tawny eagle to be exact. Hopefully, if we ever venture out to Exmoor again, i will have a chance to fly such a beautiful bird.

Keela the Tawny EagleAh, how much i would have loved to get a great photo of her in flight.

Keela the Tawny EagleThis was also my first attempt at drawing an eagle from a photo reference-so no laughing!

Keela the Tawny EagleThat’s all for now.

Have a lovely day/night xx

Drawing a Dragon

So i decided to create a recording of my screen as i sketched a random dragon. In all it took 21 minutes to create and if i had the time i would have cleaned up the sketch more, however, this is just a test of YouCam which came installed on my laptop, perhaps standard to HP laptops. I had to install a trial in order to record my screen which was quite disappointing as it will cost me a further £30 to upgrade the program and after spending a small fortune on the laptop itself i’d rather not as it doesn’t have an option to edit the captures before posting to youtube that i have found so far.

I was curious about the best software for creating screen recordings as i wanted to use my youtube channel as a way to improve my own sketching and painting; I believe seeing yourself creating something is that best way to point out your own mistakes. I will continue the same painting using the same software to get a better idea of what it’s like.

If you know of any great screen recorders please let me know in the comments below!

Anatomy of the Human Body ~Bones, Muscles and Fat

It is said that before we can draw something to look natural we must first understand how it works. If we don’t, we would end up with awkward poses and angles that haven’t been thought through well. The dreaded human body is one of the hardest to master, but that’s just my opinion others may feel differently. Our bodies are so complicated, be prepared for many mistakes along the way of learning to draw humans in your own way. Everyone has different ways.

Continue reading