These are some concept art pieces for the character behind “The Nameless Accounts, also known as… er, minor spoiler, Ezran. I explain some of the concept process for each image.
This exercise was more to stretch my understanding of facial structure then it was to make character concepts for Ezran. The lower middle image is his most accurate structure, though I am rather fond of Dwarf Ezran in the upper right, and the upper middle feels like an Elder Scrolls Bosmer. Meanwhile, the lower left has the facial structure of Neddryn from “The Hottest Day of the Year”, though not his hairstyle.
Facial structure is further refined by drawing a bunch of expressions for Ezran. These also help define the character, as I’m sure you’ve noticed that different people express their emotions differently.
The “Joy” expression reminds me oddly of the Gigachad meme, while the “Fear” expression is probably my favorite. “Rage” would be a freeze-frame as he leaps into battle with a war cry, “Aruk aras!” Unfortunately, the blockiness of his jaw keeps changing from expression to expression. Were I to finalize these with shading or color, I would need to correct this.
Any girl’s favorite part: figuring out the outfits! However, I have never been a girly girl, so this part was difficult for me.
I attempted to stay true to medieval garments with these. #1 is probably closest to what Ezran would wear while an exile on the Surface, with a generic longsword, a formless robe and hood for hiding his identity, and boots strapped on with rope. #2 is Ezran after he converts to Carro, with his priestly vestments. #3 is probably closest to what he wore as a Seeker: utilitarian and suited for weathering the cold of the Clanging Heights mountains.
This is what you would expect to see as a proper reference drawing for turning into a 3-D character model, say for a game or movie. It picks an outfit out of the above choices and further refines it by showing it from all angles. It’s common to not show the arm in the side view, as well as draw any billowing capes or dresses as see-through so one can make out important anatomy for rigging underneath. The purple lines ensure each image is properly to scale.
Finally, extra flavor is added to the character through posing. I start with “gesture drawing” as shown in the first row, which I describe as just going “woosh!” with your lines over and over until a shape you like pops out to your eye. The second row is “construction shapes”, where I outline the underlying shape of the character, with a focus on appropriate anatomy and 3-dimensional space. Finally, the third row is to check that Ezran’s pose is readable and fluid enough to evoke mood when seen as a silhouette.
(I’m sure these drape-things would be terrible to fight in, even for a mage like Ezran, but they sure were fun to draw!)