Going back to Dota
So after a bit of encouragement I went back to earlier attempt at converting an Ashley Wood character into the Dota 2 style. I didn’t attempt the colour scheme (mostly because this piece is annoying me and the more I spend on it the worse I make it) but I did practice the values techniques I mentioned before. As a reminder here is the Ashley Wood character:
And here is my second attempt:
I approached this new piece keeping in mind the philosophy of using value and detail to draw the eye to the top of the character. Focusing on the values aspect first, I desaturated the original attempt to find my highest and lowest values. This is where I found my first problem.
In my first attempt the overall value range was very narrow, and so I found that the character was actually very dull and close to monotone. Thus I expanded my value range to points which I though suitable and created a little gradient chart for reference.
This worked very well for me as, even as I loosely blocked in the character using the increased value range I found the silhouette becoming much more dynamic and appealing. The reference chart was also very useful for keeping in my boundaries and for finding and comparing new shades (using the colour picker).
One part of the design I struggled with was the armour. Partly because I struggle with drawing armour, but mostly because it was all one colour which made it hard to create a contrast between the upper and lower body as Dota suggests. I will bear this in mind when designing characters in the future and be sure to incorporate more complicated and visually interesting clothing/armour.
I am glad I did this task as it has allowed me to greater understand some of the techniques I though I knew Dota used. Also the comparison to my previous attempt from before I knew these techniques meant that I could more obviously see where I was going wrong and how to correct myself. In the future I will need to think more about how values are placed on the character and how they direct the eye. Contrasting these values is also important, and it is vital to have a range of different areas across the character (something this example sadly lacks) to create visual interest and diversity. Knowing all this I feel much more confidant in my future work now.