Monday, December 5, 2011

Character Design: Migwi

Ciao! TJ here!  

So the journey regarding the drawing element shall start with this post! I'm still at the beginning phase of the character design and I'm learning a lot and probably will learn a lot more the upcoming weeks. But if you stick around, you will see and read about it all.

First thing that I did? Lots and lots of research and I am still in the middle of this. As you know, the setting of the story is Africa as Migwi lives there. Africa is known for beautiful landscapes and many animals, but before I even look at this, I have to tackle the main character and capture his essence as a believable and fun character.
When Susanna first told me about the Colobus monkey, I didn’t know what type of monkey it was.  The fur is what struck me the most, so pretty. After googling a bit more, I fell in love with this little monkey, simply because it's not your typical monkey for a story (you can read a bit more about the Colobus monkey in the previous post).

However, creating a stable character to draw many times in different poses, isn't something I have done a lot so far, so it's a challenge. A fun one though. The drawings you see here, they have been drawn very quickly and normally I'd never show these to a big audience as they are just for myself to see to what extent I could capture what I had in my mind back then. Also to see what I find difficult and how detailed I want to go.
You know, the header monkey is the very first Migwi I drew and so far the favorite amongst many I know. The Migwi you see know, seems a bit older, but I didn't pay that much attention to the monkey in general.

I have to keep this in mind as baby Colobus monkeys are white and Miwgi isn't that young, but not that old either. Plus, I have to keep his parents in mind as well and...he has a baby sister.

So my tricky points so far are as following:
- The fur as the color palette is very limited, only black and white. For the monkey anyway.
- Making sure it doesn’t look like a skunk. Seriously.

Do enlarge the picture for a better view.

You will see the character change over time as I still haven't found my perfect Migwi. However I'll keep in mind how most people like the header Migwi! I probably ask you for advice as well ^_^

Till next post, everyone!


  1. I am so identifying with the striving to find a perfect migwi, I am at the same stage with my wee dog character!

    Oh the limited colours in fur is also something that is tricky too!

    But Migwi is adorable and I can see many many kids (big ones and little ones) falling in love with him.

  2. Oh man. I can only imagine how hard it will be to make him NOT look like a skunk! I just read the post before this too and love that you are bringing light to an endangered animal through your story. The best stories have hidden (good) intentions woven into a beautiful story. :)

  3. Hello hello Claire! Aah your wee dog character :D That sounds so cool. Thank you! I will do my best to find the perfect Migwi and I think for the limited palette, I just have to work with various shade of 'black'. I noticed that the fur has brown undertones, so probably mix and match and see how this will turn out ^_^

  4. Hi Rachel! Hahah yeah it's going to be tricky!! It is such a beautiful monkey and so sad they are endangered because of their fur. Hopefully more people will get to know about them. Thanks for always strolling by! (waves)


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