Winged Kuriboh LVL10 Custom Playmat

 It’s rare that someone comes to me knowing exactly what they want, today’s mat is one of those rare cases.  Text this week is going to focus on expanding on ideas covered in the images.… 

(Conversation shortened and dramatized for added drama)

‘I want that one.’ They were looking up at where the Majora’s Mask Mat hung from the ceiling but that’s not exactly what they meant.

‘That design, but with Winged Kariboh LVL10 on this side.’

They waved in the general direction of Link and the tree I waited, it seemed best to let them finish.

‘Then over here Winged Kuriboh’s going into lighting and Kuribandit’s coming out.’

They looked up at me expectantly I had to ask for more detail. This wasn’t your typical briefing.

I managed to get a more detailed description. They liked the design of the Majora mat so it seemed only natural to them that they should be able to get the same design but with other characters. Well I wasn’t going to say no to a challenge even if it wasn’t something I had ever though about doing before, the first step would be to look at the characters I had to work with and see how they matched up with elements of the Majora mat.

The main question was how big to make LVL10. The size I settled on flips the weigh of the image keeping the underlying design but mixing things up so it’s not just a carbon copy and also means that there’s going to be a guaranteed level of detail even if we do loose one wing off the page.  Another question is how small can I make the other characters Ive got to tray and get eyes on all these puffballs. With the initial sketch sorted its onto digital coloring, something I’ve been doing more of lately since it clears up things like where the light source is before I get started on the mat proper.

Like last times My Little Pony Mat this mat sees me trying to implement things we all know at an instinctive level but that can be hard translate into art without someone actually explaining it to you. Here I wanted to make sure the sea faded into the distance. It’s funny how the sea ended up being a very similar colour to the hill in the Majora mat, I hadn’t meant to make that connection it was just the way things developed.

With the colour sketch sorted it’d a skip ahead to the final mat.

If you look back at the Blue Eyes Ultamate Kariboh Mat and compare to this it’s very obvious how far I’ve come in terms of both coloring and drawing small characters.

Turns out that hair is one of the easiest things to get right this way. Even more helpfully it works just as well at small scales as large so you can get a lot of detail in without relying on outlining the image. The tree got transplanted to the other side of the mat. it was apparently an important element to keep and while it would have looked odd growing out of the water it serves quite well at joining the top and the bottom of the image together on the left side. I wouldn’t have kept it but again they were very clear on what they wanted and I do like the way it ended up An interesting question is: Had I not had such specific instructions how different would the design have been? It’s possible I would have done something that was more of a callback to the Blue Eyes Mat. There were also a number of early sketches that focused on a more aggressive pose for LVL10, we could have seen something more flight orientated.

Next time I look at something a bit rare, until then remember new designs can come out of existing ideas.

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