Challenge 2: Captain Curly

Character Challenge #2. You know the drill: three random objects, one random descriptor. I take ‘em and draw an ugly character. What? Pandemic? You think I go outside? Spin the wheel, Barb.

OBJECTS: grid paper, sailboat, conditioner

I thought it said “toilet paper.” I was one synapse from hulking out.

ADJECTIVE: unequaled

Ah, nice and abstract. I think I got something for this. Let’s groove.

So, sailboat. For one reason or another, I just don’t want to anthropomorphize a sailboat. I’m experiencing a deep, primordial aversion to the concept. Banishing that image to some irretrievable mental vault, I instead picture those cute little paper boats that are super easy to make. Maybe that’s an obvious direction to go given the components “grid paper” and “sailboat,” but whatever.

A close up of a logo

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Some call this a hat, but for our purposes, it’s a boat. I am the webmaster.

Moving right along, I start work on the “conditioner” element. The esteemed captain of this presumably cursed vessel takes the form of a bottle of soap. I’m giddy about turning the dispenser into a sailor’s cap, but at the same time, it’s a little disconcerting—a nozzle sticking out of someone’s forehead, I mean. This is how our captain intimidates unruly crewmates.

A drawing of a person

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The only element left is the adjective, “unequaled.” At first I’m content just slapping some medals on the captain’s chest, but applying more than 30 seconds of thought affords me some more creative solutions. I give the character the time-worn visage of an experienced and passionate sea dog. He’s peering knowingly into the horizon, arms akimbo, tangy maritime breeze in his soapy “hair.” He’s a geezer, but being made of conditioner, a volumnous ‘do is quite the given.

Now that’s a peerless sailor. I finish up the rest of the boat. I’m bored by long, sweeping lines and featureless geometry, so I throw in a few touches here and there. Breaking up the silhouette with the pinwheel disrupts the monotony and creates a kind of “X” shape with the sail that intersects at the captain’s head, subtly bringing attention to the focus of the composition. If you think that makes me sound smart or remotely talented, know that I did it totally by accident.

I’ll be honest: I’m not super jazzed about coloring this one. Maybe it’s been a long week, or maybe I’m just ready to move on to the next idea. This is one of my most importunate cruxes as an amateur artist. Losing steam is natural, but I’d like to be able to realize an idea to its fullest potential as often as I can. For now, I go with a bunch of uninspired, purely functional colors to separate the captain from the sailboat.

A picture containing umbrella, kite

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Ta-da? Look, not every swing is a home run. I’ll reevaluate my process and try to stay motivated for the next one. I’ll call this guy Captain Curly, ‘cause he’s a bottle of conditioner. Let’s call it quits already, damn.

There’s another Character Breakdown in the pipeline. I’ll be diving down, down, down to the bottom of the sea to study silhouettes, and how shapes influence a character’s perceived personality. Stay clean, stay inside, and stay golden, champions. Bada-bing.

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