Sunday, December 19, 2010

Henrietta Skullclucker

This summer, I started going to grad school at FIT again. I graduated with an MA in Illustration from FIT in 2007, but they have since expanded the program to be an MFA. Past graduates were given the chance to complete the extra courses during a bridge year, and I jumped at the opportunity. One of the classes this fall that just finished was a character design course. This is a character of my own devising named Henrietta Skullclucker, and, naturally, she is a rough and tumble chicken on a human roller derby team.

These thumbnails were the start of the character. From here, I did the scratchboard illustrations, where I really started to get a feel for her.

These initial illustrations provided a point of departure to start thinking about the character in 3D. To start this process, a clay maquette was made from tinfoil, wire, mesh, and super sculpey. I had never done anything like this before, and though it was a struggle, seeing things in 3D helped me to start thinking about the structure of her face. It's far from perfect, but it provided enough of a foundation for the next step.

And that next step was to build a 3D model in ZBrush. I sculpted this in zbrush from 5 spheres (her head/neck, each eye, helmet, and chinstrap) that were then pushed, pulled, added to and subtracted from until it got to what you see here. I really
enjoyed ZBrush -- it was easier and much faster than working with clay, probably because we had an incredible instructor (thanks, Michael!). Here is a video of the sculpt on a turntable.

I'd love to go back now and make some new illustrations of Henrietta that reflect some of the things I was able to resolve in 3D.


  1. Wow! What a great post and fantastic process! I hope you do draw more Henrietta illos-what a cool character!

  2. BRi- I love seeing the whole process- everything looks great and the way that you wrote about it is lovely, too!
    (how 'bout making that FIT link active??)

  3. These are great exercises and bad-assery!! Love the faces on them, great job!

  4. Love that sculpted head! Too cool.