March 3, 2010

Tin Man

Got a character design assignment for you today. My take on the Tin Woodman from L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

People tend to think of the Tin Man as a jolly children's character. In the actual book, however, his origin story is rather dark. The Tin Man starts out as a human woodcutter, but the Wicked Witch of the East enchants his axe to cut off his own limbs. Every time he loses a limb, he replaces it with a tin one, until he has no human parts - hence the missing heart.

I took that strangely dark story as the jumping off point for a Gothic-inflected design in my initial character sketches. It didn't quite work, so I went in a more natural steampunk and cartoon direction with the next two - the final design is a synthesis of those.

Here are a few head sketches:

And some orthos for the final:

I'm rather fond of the uncolored ink drawing too.

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