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Character design July 11, 2008

Posted by thejinx in art, eyes of a dragon.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ll admit it.  I’m a closet fashion buff.  I love looking at period/ethnic clothes styles.  When I drew my Victorian cats picture, I spent hours researching Victorian styles to draw the dress in it, and had a lot of fun doing so, too.

So, when an image of a dress for a character in Eyes of a Dragon appeared in my head last night before I fell asleep, I had to sketch it.  I love the design, but my intention in Eyes was to give my elves a somewhat Eastern flair and the dress ended up being a little too Medieval for my taste.  Instead, I started researching traditional eastern dress.

… This endeavor took up over half of my work day.

I ended up finding some really neat information on various clothing styles, as well as some lovely and very helpful reference images.  It wasn’t long before I became enamored with the ancient Chinese hanfu style, and designed the following outfit based on it:

A couple quick notes about the sketch: I ended up cropping it because it turns out I drew the leg area too short.  It’s too easy to cheat with a skirt and not draw in legs at all, and it’s just as easy to screw up the length that way.  Also, I need to figure out what to do with her hair; I haven’t finalized her character design yet, I simply wanted to draw this outfit.

I’m still undecided whether to keep this as the final outfit design or go with something more along the lines of the Vietnamese aodai.  Both could be fitting for the character – as could your standard Japanese kimono, in a more formal setting – and ultimately, I just need to delve more into her home life and the culture of her people and figure out which is more likely for her to have been wearing before the story began.  It’s a flaw I’ll admit I’ve had, but I don’t want to interrupt the flow of writing to worldbuild.  I can always clean it up later.

I am trying to veer away from the anime/cartoon stereotype in which the characters wear the same outfit throughout the life of the story, but having something concrete down does help for one’s own mental image.  Besides, none of the character designs that I have completed so far are especially appropriate as they are for the simple fact that the story takes place during winter.  They’re just design sketches.



1. aldersgatecycle - July 18, 2008

I’ve done this, too, though not for the sake of drawing. Even though most of my clothing descriptions are minimal, the research behind it is surprisingly in-depth. Getting lost researching Victorian embroidery patterns is all too easy!

2. Gift art « Brain Lag - August 17, 2008

[…] a lovely sketch from J. Fong recently of Shiani from Eyes of a Dragon, whose character design I showed off […]

3. dodongkokk - September 10, 2008

tae man wa ka wawa

4. http://tinyurl.com/nwscolive57140 - January 15, 2013

“Character design Jinxed” was in fact a terrific read and I personally
was in fact very happy to read it. Thanks for your time,Yukiko

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