So there I was, listening to Janelle Monáe ("Dance Apocalyptic," in case you were wondering. I know you were.), looking at pictures of red pandas, and vaguely wondering what to be for Halloween.
Here's what happened.
I started by scanning a line drawing and filling in the blocks of color against a rough idea of what I wanted the background to be. At this point, I was concerned about whether the pose read as the proper motion, and weather the eye would be drawn to the right areas of contrast in the correct order.
Face version 1, color adjustment and the beginning of rounding values.
The face wasn't expressive enough, so I turned it for better staging and switched to an exaggerated grin. I'd been on the fence about whether this was going to be a red panda costume, or just an outfit loosely inspired by their coloration. With the head turned, I just went for it, making it a costume with the addition of a mask and ear-like fascinators. The necklaces added a lot to the sense of motion. I also fixed the boots, adding structure and nailing down their relationship to the ground plane.
By this point, the hand blobs were driving me crazy. Time for some real fingers, plus rounding out the gloves, leggings, and finishing off the boots. I had thought I wanted the left forearm angled more in toward the body, but after getting real anatomy and better proportions in there, I decided I liked it better out a bit after all.
I still didn't really know what I wanted to do with the background. After some trial and error, I landed on this graphic circle design and shifted the figure in frame for a better composition.
The final pass was about fine details and getting the forms to round back into space. I dusted many of the edges with background colors to get them fall back.