About Hovercraft Parrot
This is a character design which is in fact more the design of a vehicle to be used for personal transport, or racing. It has to be like a hovercraft because the surface of the planet is very rough covered by small, crystal, organic plants. These tiny plants emit an electrical power and have small magnetic shields; they are connected to one another and they give energy to the planet and its inhabitants. The armor - the vehicle - absorbs the energy simply by gliding over these energizing plants.
Most of the planet's surface is covered by these plants, as well as bushes and very small, dark rocks. The blue electrical plants are the ones that connect together - if there is too much energy they will blow away, eroding the terrain, but in doing so they create a surge of energy through which more of these new plants will come to life to take their place.
The planet doesn't have any sun or water; it is simply driven by the energy of the electrical organisms. The design is somewhat abstract because with the method I used kept changing the shapes until I found something interesting - this made the work more fun and the results became more of a surprise to me.
These are the brushes I used to create Hovercraft Parrot (Fig.00). I like to use several brushes in order to get more texture and detail variation without actually using any textures.
I started by drawing a quick concept, focusing on the top part of the character first and foremost (Fig.01). Here I was working quite simply with general shapes that I liked, but they did of course change throughout the process, as you'll see.
At this point, I'm using brushes 3 and 4 from the before-mentioned brushes (see Fig.00).
Lighting, Color & Detail
Still using brushes 3 and 4, the next stage was all about lighting and color, although nothing was yet definitive at this part of the process (Fig.02). I like to improvise whilst I create a character and so avoid making any final decisions so early on.
I started trying some ideas out at the bottom part of the character here (Fig.03) - I didn't think the legs were working as a humanoid type. Still adding lighting and some detail, and still using brushes 3 and 4 (Fig.00) - not thinking about the background, but knowing that it was going to be dark or cloudy to compliment the character design and the concept.
Refining the design further still (still brushes 3 and 4), I made a clear decision about the bottom part of the character at this stage; it was here that I knew I wanted it to be hovercraft looking (Fig.04).
I then changed some elements on the armor and the engine, trying to make it look more mechanical (again, using brushes 3 and 4) (Fig.05).