Thursday, March 18, 2010

Project: Rooftop - Black Canary Redesign Sketches

As I said before Project: Rooftop is doing a new contest, featuring the Batman-family character Black Canary. My final design is about 75-80% done (color and everything!) but here are some of the preliminary drawings I did.

This whole thing was a bit harder than I thought it would be, because Canary's current costume (below, art by Ed Benes) is actually pretty cool. It fits the character's history, but is completely modern.

My first attempt came out a little too similar, I thought:

The piping was to be yellow, not black, but overall it just felt too similar to her current uniform.

The above quickly became one of my favorites, and is probably what I would have stuck with if I hadn't noticed its similarities to what the current Batgirl (art by Phil Noto) wears:

That totally sucks, too; a little while before, I started doing some Batman redesigns (before the new Batgirl premiered) and my design was quite similar to what DC ended up using.
Anyways, I thought of the exposed siding/ribbing to be something like exposed Kevlar of the body suit. The whole suit was to be Kevlar with leather over the middle sections and arms, but exposed on the sides and underarms.
Also, this design had a cool jacket:

The next design didn't fare much past the penciling stage:

Unlike before, this was to be covered entirely by leather. However, it just didn't work for me, so I passed on it.

Finally, my next-to-last design. It's the closest to the final, but is also largely flawed:

I liked this pose; it looks relaxed, but not just a dead-on frontal shot. However, she's leaning in an awkward way. Secondly, if you look at her right leg, you can see a line that was originally for her upper leg. I drew this late(r) at night, so at the time it looked fine. It wasn't until inking it that I realized I'd unintentionally given her a "thunder thigh," especially compared to the more balanced left leg.
Additionally, I really screwed up the fishnets on the right leg. This is quite noticeable on her knee.
Ultimately, these mistakes (and a lot of white-out) made me rethink this version. However, like I said, it's the closest to what I went with, but there are major differences. The pose is roughly the same, but the uniform is slightly altered. The gloves and boots are pretty different and, unlike in my illustrations above, Canary has long hair, instead of the cropped 'do she sports here.
It's been a fun experience, though. What I thought was fun was that each version seemed to have some element I wanted to incorporate into the final design. I hope to have the final version posted within the next day or two, with both the final line art, and colored version (which has some digital alterations from the line art).

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