The Last Viking Returns


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Character design – Odin

Between now and the launch of The Last Viking Returns (Sept 1st, 2014), I’m doing a series of posts showing my rough sketches for all the characters in the book.

I’ve covered Josh’s family and some of the Viking characters already.

Today I’ll show you my sketches of Odin.

 

Odin is the head honcho in Norse mythology. Lots of schoolkids get him confused with Zeus, and understandably – both are old men with white beards who live in the sky. (It’s no wonder that the Christian God is sometimes imagined as an old white-bearded man, considering the centuries of similar depictions that came earlier).

This is my character reference sheet for Odin.

Odin

I made a standard colour version of each character too, so that I could keep their colours consistent. Here’s the colour sheet for Odin:

Odin-colour

Next week we’ll look at my sketches for the goddess of love and beauty, Freya.

 


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Character design – Sigurd

Between now and the launch of The Last Viking Returns (Sept 1st, 2014), I’m doing a series of posts showing my rough sketches for all the characters in the book.

I’ve covered Josh’s family already and I’ve just started on the Viking characters.

Today I’ll show you my sketches of Sigurd.

 

Sigurd was a Viking hero, not a Norse god. He was renowned for his feats of bravery, including the slaying of the dragon Fafnir. (More on that later).

In The Last Viking Returns, Thor sneaks out of Asgard to have a holiday. Sigurd is left to defend Asgard against Fafnir.

Sigurd needed to look different enough to Thor to provide a counterpoint; he needed to look more responsible and down to earth. That’s why he doesn’t have the fanciest clothes or the shiniest sword. His appearance is also based on his original occupation – Sigurd was a blacksmith. He wears a leather cap, similar to what a Viking blacksmith would have worn, and this also helps him stand out all the other Asgardians (who all have horned helmets).

There is in fact an earlier version of Sigurd that almost appeared in The Last Viking, but he looked completely different back then- I’ll show those sketches another time.

These are my reference sketches and notes for Sigurd.

Sigurd-1

 

Sigurd-2

 

Sigurd-3

I made a standard colour version of each character too, so that I could keep their colours consistent. Here’s the colour sheet for Sigurd:

Sigurd-colour

Next week I’ll talk about Thor’s father, Odin.

 


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Character design – Thor

Between now and the launch of The Last Viking Returns (Sept 1st, 2014), I’m doing a series of posts showing my rough sketches for all the characters in the book.

I’ve covered Josh’s family already, so it’s on to the Norse gods – the Asgardians. Thor is up first.

 

Millions of children are familiar with the Marvel comics version of Thor, thanks to the Avengers cartoons and films. For copyright reasons, we were unable to reference that version of Thor (not that we would want to).

In the original stories Thor had red hair and a big red beard. He wore magic gauntlets to protect his hands when wielding his lightning hammer, Mjolnir. I tried to include these elements in my design, while making it (hopefully) original. (Though in all these Viking characters there is more than a little influence from Asterix comics).

 

These are my reference sketches and notes for Thor.

Thor-2 Thor-1

I made a standard colour version of each character too, so that I could keep their colours consistent. Here’s the colour sheet for Thor:

Thor-colour

And here’s how he appears on the back cover of The Last Viking Returns.

back-cover-Thor

Next week I’ll focus on a new Viking character – the hero Sigurd.

 


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Character design – Nan and Pop

Between now and the launch of The Last Viking Returns (Sept 1st, 2014), I’m doing a series of posts showing my rough sketches for all the characters in the book.

Next in the family are Nan and Pop.

 

I hadn’t drawn Nan or Pop at all in the three years between The Last Viking and The Last Viking Returns, so it was back to the drawing board to learn them again.

These are my sketches and notes.

Nan

 

Pop

I made a standard colour version of each character too, so that I could keep their colours consistent. Here’s the colour sheet for Nan and Pop:

nan-and-pop-colour


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Character design – the twins

Between now and the launch of The Last Viking Returns (Sept 1st, 2014), I’m doing a series of posts showing my rough sketches for all the characters in the book.

Next up in the family are the twins.

 

The twins only appeared once in The Last Viking – on the very last page. I didn’t give a lot of though to their design. I didn’t think I’d need to draw them more than once. I was wrong.

Norm has fleshed out their personalities in The Last Viking Returns. It turns out the twins are not all sweetness and light – they are berzerkers in the making.

I needed to refine their appearance, make them look a bit older and cheekier, and practice them before trying to do any final artwork.

These are my sketches and notes.

twins-1 twins-2

I made a standard colour version of each character too, so that I could keep their colours consistent. Here’s the colour sheet for the twins:

twins-colour

Point to note: the twins have never been officially named. I’ve been referring to them as Timothy and Tabitha (which aren’t very Viking-like, but to be honest neither is Josh).

Have you got some names in mind? Give us your best ideas in the comments.


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Character designs – Wolverine and the lady dog

Between now and the launch of The Last Viking Returns (Sept 1st, 2014), I’m doing a series of posts showing my rough sketches for all the characters in the book.

Next up in the family is Wolverine, Josh’s faithful companion.

 

As with the character of Josh, I’d already illustrated a whole book with Wolverine before, but I hadn’t drawn him very much at all in the 3 year gap in between. I needed to practice drawing him again.

Wolverine
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Character design – Josh/Knut

Between now and the launch of The Last Viking Returns (Sept 1st, 2014), I’m going to do a series of posts showing my rough sketches for all the characters in the book.

I’m starting with the family characters. First up is our main man Josh.

 

Even though I’d illustrated a whole book with him before, it had been almost 3 years since I’d drawn him regularly. I wanted to feel more confident at drawing him consistently, so I sat down and worked out how to draw him again. These are my sketches and notes.

 

Josh-1 Josh-2I made a standard colour version of each character too, so that I could keep their colours consistent. Here’s the colour sheet for Josh:Josh-colour

Next up will be Wolverine, along with his new friend…