The original idea for this image came to me while looking for a name for my online portfolio, Brunopia. I wanted to create an imaginary land with its own history and characters, so I came up with a general as one of them.
Concept and References
Fig.01 shows the original concept for this image. It was drawn while watching TV late at night a long time ago and I completely forgot about it. A year later while I was looking for a cartoon character to create and add to my portfolio, I decided to take a look at my sketchbook and pick an image. Personally I prefer to draw my ideas and then look for references to avoid getting too influenced. The final step before I started modeling was to gather some images of classic portrait paintings and images of generals.
I always start a character by modeling the head as it is usually the funniest part of the image. Also, if the face and expressions are good it is easier for me to stay motivated to complete the project. I used ZBrush from the start to nail the personality as quickly as possible. When I'm creating a still I don't worry about topology, so I usually begin modeling from ZSpheres and then subdivide the model to add the detail (Fig.02). I always start by using the Clay Tubes brush to build the main forms, which I then define using the Hpolish and Dam Standard brushes.