Drawing Characters the Nick Graber Way
First things first, you want to come up with what kind of character you want to draw. What’s their attitude, and personality like?
Step 1: The Skeleton:
Once that is worked out start with a skeleton frame for your character that you are going to be working with. Remember to always make the skeleton out of basic shapes as guidelines of where limbs will go.
Step 2: Fleshing out the Sketch:
Flesh out the character’s basic details and general design
Step 3: Sketching the Details:
Once you have settled on a look you like you can start sketching in some more details to fit your character.
Step 4: Basic Line Work:
Take the previous sketch and overlay it with another layer (if digital) or another sheet of paper (if analog.)
Step 5: Detailing the Line Work:
Once your basic line work is complete, remember to add those details.
Step 6: Thickening the Outlines:
This step is entirely optional, but I enjoy adding thick outlines to not only help the characters to pop, but to also add my own style to them.
Step 7: Ink Shading:
Add in some dark shading areas where you think is most appropriate.
Step 8: Flat Colors:
Picking a color scheme for your character can be incredibly easy or hard depending on who you are.
Step 9: Color Shading:
To add extra depth to my characters I like to do one (or potentially more) layers of shading on top of them. You can pick shading values as simple as darker shades, or as complex as complementary colors.
Always remember to always keep practicing. No one is born with amazing artistic abilities, they simply put the passion and work into it to produce great results. Never give up!
Building a Logo: Waxhaw Taphouse
For this project in particular I was approached to create a logo that would represent the brand of a local taphouse. They wanted something modern, while staying true to the area in which it calls home. I worked closely with the team at the Taphouse to help come to the best design for them
The team at the taphouse wanted to be involved with the design process every step of the way, and this included the skethcing phase. I came up with a variety of different concepts and ideas, and showed them what I had come up with. They asked me to tweak and revise a couple ideas and came down to two they liked the most.
Townscape Part 1:
The first concept they wanted to visit was the Townscape idea. Essentially this concept was to have a logo with a townscape coming out of the top of it. First thing I wanted to start on was to nail down a font that would fit the brand.
Townscape Part 2:
After coming down to a Font we both agreed on they wanted me to try something with one of the letters which you can see here.
Townscape Part 3:
Next came the townscape itself. I designed the townscape to match that of the namesake of the taphouse, Waxhaw. Waxhaw is a quaint little town with a very unique downtown area. I tried to apply this to the townscape concept. After all was said and done we decided to move into another direction.
The Circle Icon Part 1:
The other concept they wanted to explore was the circle icon. One thing was clear from the start, and that was to include the water tower imagery in the design. The reason for this is because right outside the taphouse is a giant water tower, and they felt a sense of pride over the symbol. So I gave he first pass on the design and turned it in for review.
The Circle Icon Part 2:
After the first version we discussed some minor changes and tweeks to the design.
The Circle Icon Part 3:
After much discussion we came to a design that we all agreed fit the style and tone of the establishment perfectly. Using the water tower as the 'A' has now become a sort of mascot to the company and is something incredibly iconic in the town.
The Circle Icon Part 4: Conclusion
When we came up with what would become the final design we thought one small detail was missing, and this detail was the establishment year at the bottom. After this missing piece of the puzzle was added, we were left with THE design. This is the design used today at the Taphouse, and it is visible on the sign, t-shirts, glasses, floor mats, you name it! The taphouse has since become a staple hang out spot of the town and hosts plenty of events weekly.