In this tutorial I'll show you my approach to developing a stylized character bust, from basic 2D silhouette sketches through to the final rendering. Don't take it as a step-by-step tutorial. I'll not explain every little step I made during the whole process of creation because there are a lot of good tutorials out there which follow this path. This will be more a general overview of my approach.
Let's say I received a character design description with the following constraints:
1. Stylized character, bust, male
2. Strong, dauntless, tough, angry, bossy
3. Broad muscular neck, receding forehead, huge chin
With this information in my mind I started with some silhouette thumbnail sketching. For this purpose I used Autodesk's Sketchbook. After some minutes of doodling around I had a handful of good shapes... in my opinion (Fig.01)! Doing sketches like this gives you the opportunity to get faster feedback from clients in these early stages of design.
After a feedback meeting with my client, who gave me some notes, I ended up with a selection of shapes. I made myself some notes and drew lines over the sketches to keep focused (Fig.02).
In ZBrush I started with a simple sphere – not very original, I know, but everything starts simply. I'm always using basic shapes like cubes, cylinders and, of course, spheres at the beginning.
Ok, after I dropped my sphere into ZBrush's canvas I used only the Move brush with a higher Draw Size to establish the basic volume of my character bust (Fig.03).