I was looking for a couple of specific sketches to send to a friend when I came across this one, which I neglected to post with the other girls a while back. In this example as in the previous entries, I was just trying to get a feel for the character and didn't put too much thought into the details.
Often times, I try to focus on the atmosphere of the character first, then worry about how exactly they will wear their hair or their clothes after I understand who they are. Knowing the "feel" of a character really helps in deciding the details. It is easy to get lost in or hide behind the costuming, whether it is excessive accessories or superfluous costume details. It is fun to work through the process when designing a character or world, and having the time to edit down and refine one's ideas is a precious luxury not often afforded to mainstream work.
On the other hand, it can sometimes be a problem dressing characters when the inspirational sketches are overly atmospheric or impressionistic; any exact details seem to overwhelm the figure. I try to look for the balance between the inspirational sketch and a clean, consistent design which can be turned around and moved throughout a page.
There is no harm in cheating the design or going "off-model" every now and then, however. For example, if it is a more effective shot to lengthen the hair, the cape, or even the limbs of the figure itself in a particular panel, I try not to be afraid. Pushing the drawing when necessary brings life. Sometimes it is good to draw what we think we see, or what we "feel" we see, rather than what is, or what we think should be.
At least, that is what I am telling myself this time.