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Sketch Collage - INA New Styles Again, Again, Agai by RickGriffin Sketch Collage - INA New Styles Again, Again, Agai by RickGriffin
Well this might be due for some explanation

A long while ago (two years?) I decided I needed to restructure the design I had for In the New Age, a setting I've had in mind since high school (over 10 years now) because the designs of the species were furry-neutral. That is, they tended to only vary by virtue of having different animal heads on fairly-uniformly human bodies. Being that this was a setting intended for novelization, I considered it might be too confusing (or a put-off) for a lot of people for these to basically just be totemic variations on humans (as the fandom is wont to do) when their animal nature tends to be clearly highlighted and emphasized.

So, I decided their designs needed to be more fablesque--that is, as close to the base animal as possible with allowances for bipedal locomotion.

Subsequently, this also meant that I lost interest in the design aspect of the characters.

This isn't to say that a more fablesque take on the setting would be unwanted--it's just not MY take on my own setting. My personal take has a very distinct human element to it, because that's what's always drawn me to the design aspect of anthropomorphics.  If I were to hire another artist to take on the series I'd love to see their variation, whether it's more furry, fable, toony, realistic, or what have you. I still think a fablesque (and less superheroic physique) approach might be the most appropriate variation, but so long as I'm the only one creating this world, THIS the one that I'm most comfortable with.


One of the major problems with the fablesque approach is that I have a very specific way of arranging anatomy. If I can't tell where the knees are, I tend to redraw the legs until I know what I'm doing. I will fudge what I'm doing but not as a matter of course; there need to be room for positional variations when I design a character, and if I don't know where their knees are when I draw them in one pose, I can't draw them in another.

Compounding this problem was the fact that raccoons are plantigrade. This meant that, as opposed to a good many of the animals that other races are based on, I couldn't really get away with the squat-knee positioning that's common when translating digitigrade animals to anthro anatomy (see middle row). Which means that, if I were to place raccoons and foxes side-by-side, they'd have a HUGE and probably weird-looking anatomical difference between them--at least in my head. Which ended up meaning that I'd need to draw the raccoons MORE feral-looking, which actually ended up meaning that they looked the MOST different, especially side-by-side with other races like the horse/unicorns (see Diesel's Story unfinished comic) who COULD get away with more human anatomy by virtue of their size.

So for a long time I held onto that and figured it's what would have to be done, even if it meant I didn't like drawing my characters anymore.

So it ended up I didn't draw my characters anymore.

This wasn't going to do. It wasn't going to help me develop a world if I hate my own designs for it.

So, I had the idea of drawing the raccoons, once again, but this time with human proportions so they'd fit their plantigrade style--but this time instead of trying for some weird torso variation that just ended up looking odd, I shortened the limb proportions altogether.

The result is not unlike the designs I made for my ani-droid characters from ARGO. This might result in other variations though--the head size is smaller in the middle row; head/body ratio is usually an indicator of how "cute" (or young) something looks, which is why it varies so much in cartoons.

They're still kind of "weird", but it's my kind of weird, the one I can envision in my head and have the characters do all the things I want them to do. In any case, they probably won't be this naked all the time, but when you need anatomy practice, it's kinda necessary.

Top Row: Deiko, Kiti, Riki
Middle Row: Ideka, Oda, Riki

Bottom picture depicts Riki and his hunters together.

I haven’t gotten around to drawing all the Hunters since I first developed them. They’re all members of his tribe and, in a way, his surrogate family.

Also, in this setting, mixed sleeping arrangements are very common. Roko (people; the fuzzy races in particular) have, for one, an uncanny generosity and respect for their social environment and so, especially for friends and family, don’t shy away from personal contact nor take undue advantage. For two, “mating bonds” are a kind of psychic link that prevent physical attraction to anyone who is already mated. (in this scene, only one is, and it should be obvious who).

Top bunk are Riki, leader and chief-in-name, and Aiko, the youngest, teasingly nicknamed Brushtail as he only had one ring on the tip of his tail.

Middle bunk, left to right, are Xiro (slightly autistic but very intelligent), Urai (Riki’s aunt and surrogate mother, whose pregnancies rarely seem to slow her down), and Deiko (Aiko’s sister, strongest of the group)

Bottom bunk is Lare, who is the oldest, a veteran warrior who was only spared from culling due to missing one leg below the knee.

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Dallas2015 Featured By Owner May 7, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
DaGrayFox Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist

That anatomy is amazing. I really wish I could draw like that. -3- I  guess I should get to practicing.( I await the day for a tutorial, but as a way to start me on my way into the journey of ze ARTZ)

But overall, seeing the process of making a character design is very interesting.

Tiaropsis Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013   General Artist
Interesting--I love hearing about other people's character design process.  When I first looked at the drawing, everything looked natural.  After I read your commentary, the raccoons' feet looked different.  Deiko appeared to have one plantigrade foot and one digitigrade foot, while Kiti appeared to have feet that could be either plantigrade or digitigrade, sort of a compromise.  Were you figuring out the feet as you drew?
RickGriffin Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's just the standing pose; she's putting her weight on the flat foot
Tiaropsis Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013   General Artist
Ah yes, I can see that now when I try to stand like her.

What's ironic is that after commenting on your drawing I drew a plantigrade animal in a heel-off-the-ground pose without really realizing it.
Hans-Ozzy Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2013  Student General Artist
Your anatomy work is very elaborate, I could learn a few things from here.
BitFly Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My, my, Mr. Griffin, I'm impressed just how much thought, consideration, and attention you've given to this subject. I always like it when artists, or writers, or... anyone, really, gives this much attention to detail when creating something. I like that you care that much about it, because it shows how much you love what you make. However, I wouldn't say that that's such a reason to run yourself into knots Draw it how you want it to be, not so much how you think it should be. You do want to share it with other people, or at least I'm going to assume that from your extensive gallery & slew of mythos, and that is also great. I enjoy seeing what you make and how your ideas evolve. But, at the heart of everything, it's your idea alone, right? Your own views in this area come first, since you make the world and everything in it. Going along with that, I think it's very astute of you to think about this with as much realism as you do, but you ARE dealing with a concept that is still grounded moreover in fiction, after all.

You're likely already well aware, but you are allowed to take liberties with it, as much as you're comfortable with, at least; I certainly am not of any stretch of authority to be able to tell you otherwise, not even a fraction thereof. I... I actually have been working on a similarly important project for a similar period of time, and I, too, get "nitpicky" over things involved with it from time to time... or all the time (which is evident, as I have little to show for it here on DA). Please excuse me for shoehorning a personal problem into this behemoth of a comment, but I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I'm quite impressed with everything you've been able to get out of your own ideas, how productive it's all been, and I really do think that whatever decision you make, it will be just fine.

But in any case, good luck with it.
RussellWinter Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2013  Student General Artist
you drew them really good (I still want that you give me some furry-drawing classes) but, why didn't you drew riodekito?
JZLobo Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I like the physical proportions here. They rather remind me of gnomes.
RussellWinter Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2013  Student General Artist
that could be schadenfreude
thechuckface Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
While you're on the subject of anatomy, I should point out that (as cute as the pose is in this image) pregnant women & animals are rarely able to lie on their backs to sleep. That posture applies pressure to the vagus nerve and affects circulation.
Love your art- keep it up!
RickGriffin Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's good to know!
MrNeonShot Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I love them.
I'll be looking up "In the new age" very soon.
D-Rock92 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

I've never had an issue with how anthropomorphic animals were portrayed, mainly because I didn't pay that much heed to it. But when I read what you wrote, I couldn't help but think, "Dang, that's quite a lot of thought to put in to make it believable."


I'd say if you found what you're comfortable with, go with it, and if not, keep trying to find ways that work. I'm pretty sure the ultimate factor is whether or not the artist is proud of their creations.

kuromeru-panthar Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Love them! They are all so awesome!
rootdown Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
These certainly seem to be a lot more confidently executed than your previous design iterations on them!
lethe-gray Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I have a very similar trouble imagining ferrets being able to balance upright, and yet... :)

And at first until I read the description I was thinking, "boy that dude on the bottom bunk is wondering whether those hammocks will hold..." :D
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Submitted on
November 22, 2013
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