Portrait Amazonprincess Barbara

Amazon princess Barbara is the driving force behind the first chapter of the Tiny Adventure. Her distaste in the facial hair of the main character is the reason the player needs to go looking for a barber. Since a sizeable portion of the time playing is spent in dialogues, it is important to see a depiction of your virtual conversational partner. This portrait of the lady with the strong shoulders is one of the first graphics that players will see.

The portraits in the game serve two purposes: On the one hand they are supposed to hint at the environment you are in right now, on the other hand they need to show the character you are currently talking to. Sine the game is designed to be played in portrait mode the pictures are created in a vertical format, as well. About two thirds of the space are reserved for the character to allow for a detailed depiction. This leaves one third of the picture to draw the fantasy castle in the background. The vertical design of the stronghold helps to use the space in the portrait in a sensible way.

Origin of the design

Portrait of a diva with a slender neck;

The design of the amazon princess originated from a sketch that I created during a Skizzensafari event. The get-together took place in the comic library The Gutter in the Hamburg Gängeviertel. Appropriately, the theme of this iteration of the Skizzensafari was all about comics and caricatures. One of the exercises aimed at visualizing certain archetypes. As such it was our task to draw the “smartass”,  the “upper class twit” or the “diva”. This is the design I drew for the latter.

When I pondered what our skeptical amazon princess should look like, I remembered this drawing. The haughty look and the dismissive facial expression were a good fit for Barbara. I still like the reversed droplet shape which makes up the head and the pointy nose, too.

Thus, this diva is now ruling an army of female warriors, making skeptical remarks about the beards of barbarians passing by.

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What you can learn about color composition from old coat of arms

Die Wappen der Stände des Heiligen Römischen Reichs 1510

On of the roles of the composition of an image is to depict the most important elements of the picture in a clear, recognizable manner. For color pictures, not only the placement of the elements is playing a central role, but the color composition as well.

An obvious method is to separate diffrent elements or layers within the image like foreground and background by different color saturations of a difference in lightness.

There are many approaches for setting up a color composition. To acquire some helpful rules of thumb, it can be useful to look at some of the oldest works of visual design in history: Coat of arms and flags.