If you're anything like me, you love adding little details to your characters: scars, birthmarks, tattoos, jewellery, etc. just some extra small things to give subliminal clues about your characters.
If you're ALSO anything like me, you forget to draw these details constantly, and visual consistency is dead. When you're drawing the same characters hundreds of times, it's almost inevitable you'll forget sometimes.
If you aren't like me, and you actually do maintain consistency with these little details, how do you do it? Do you just have a really good memory, or do you have a system I haven't thought of? Share your wisdom!
Alternatively, share your stories of forgetting character details if like me your memory is a sieve.
e.g. My character Seth is supposed to have a quite visible pale scar on his finger, but I've forgotten to draw it for so long that I think it no longer counts as canon...
I do this all the time :/ there have been plenty of times I've forgotten Nate's earring or tiny details on background characters' clothing. The Captain is the worst one. Every time I draw him, without fail, I'll forget to draw the shoulders on his coat, or his eyepatch. What I have to do is check the lineart when it's done and pay special attention to the bits I know I forget. ^_^
what i do is i keep a list of the little things in my characters' designs that i constantly forget, and when i finish a chapter (i don't start posting a chapter until i've finished drawing it) i read through it once specifically to check if i forgot those things lol
It's easy! Just have obsessive tendencies and crippling self-doubt so you will force yourself to remain consistent! When you forget minor details, you'll beat yourself up and keep a constant mental note. Ha ha!
That or have handy reference sheets of your characters and/or settings. Much easier to do.
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My main character Charlotte has freckles not only on her face, but also her shoulders, though usually she wears a shirt that covers the shoulders. I will say though in recent story arcs, her shoulders have been shown quite a bit and a number of times, I've forgotten to draw the freckles until after I've scanned the pages onto my computer.
Same with a few other freckled characters in the comic.
Rhys was drawn with freckles, but I drew them about 7 times and then forgot about them. Kari was also supposed to have super bright pink/dark purple/in the middle of pink and purple hair, but it gradually became just plain pale pink streaks in her cotton candy hair
I started writing the little details down on a sticky note and putting it on my computer so I'll remember these things. It works most of the time
Quite often I'll try to refer to previous pages to stay consistent, but sometimes I do just forget.
In Chapter 1, I kept forgetting to draw the cut on Jeff's cheek, I've at least once forgotten to add Ffion's highlights, Benji's hoodie zips have been known to move around from page-to-page, and I don't know what possessed me to give the Chapter 2 villain, Seren, an asymmetrical design, but I'm already forgetting what goes where with him.
I've tried to shortcut a few bits by re-using the same drawings for some accessories and such, but it did mean that I got quite far through the latest page of Chapter 2 before realising that I hadn't added Ffion's necklace in any panel.
I should just ban my characters from wearing jewellery. Or getting battle damage that I have to remember. But that's never going to happen.
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All my characters are wearing glow sticks in my comic's current chapter and it's kind of a pain to remember to add them. I keep making the characters change the placement of their glow sticks in-story to force myself to keep track of it all.
The hairstyles of Dexter and Sinistra are asymmetrical, and they are basically the mirror images of each other. I always check on which side that one tuft of hair is supposed to be for each one, and I still screwed this up on several occasions! (For example in the last panel here, even though I got it right in every other panel on the same page!!)
Also, I always keep forgetting that Sinistra is wearing a short asymmetrical skirt over her pants.
For my major characters, I remember most details, but for the minor ones, I have to go back and look at them. :) Also, my characters constantly change clothes/hairstyles, so unless I draw continously, I still have to go back and check the details out.
I keep forgeting that glitter god is supposed to have sparkly eyelashes if that counts
but that can be easily fixed even for someone who gives as little shit about drawing as I do
I think it was far worse when I forgot that two characters were about to get maried/probably should already be married by this point of the story and now I don't know what to do about it "_"
I think I mostly combat this by giving all character details a part in the character design that makes them a significant part of the aesthetic. For a finger scar, I might give a character a fairly iconic ring that covers it, because I'll recognize when the ring is missing due to the importance of it in the design, and if it's supposed to be missing, remember to add the scar.
Likewise, a character I'm working on now has half-bleached hair. That is, her hair is sort of a red (maybe? I haven't entirely decided) and white, with parts of it bleached. This would normally be easy to forget in the linework, but I keep the rest of her design just "busy" enough that it makes her hair look comparatively flat when the design is viewed as a whole, which serves as a convenient reminder.
I guess the basic idea is that you can use a character design aesthetic to your advantage for these details?
I try to add character details like scars to indicate what the character has been through or facial traits to make them distinct. I think one of the few I am guiltiest of forgetting is keeping in mind which side their features are like a mole or an accessory.
For me, that's an eventuality. What helps is drawing a 'master drawing' which showcases such small details. This has helped. But, I have had problems with Number Five's outfit before: the sash goes around the entire coat dammit!
All my land shark characters are swimming (haha) in details. I think I straight up forget to draw their coral pieces at least once a page. I've always caught it so far, though... <_< A unique challenge was when I asked people to create some background characters for the comic, because I had to examine the reference sheets for every detail....and still ended up forgetting some at times lol
I recently made a messy ref sheet of Caddy, specifically for this coming chapter, because there are several details that have changed from his first appearance and I can NOT look back at old pages for a reference or I'll shoot myself in the foot. I gave them a hierarchy of importance, because I don't want to feel tooo bad if I forget to draw the hem of his robe thing all messy. But I WILL feel bad if I forget that part of his coral spike is broken off. I think once I drew Caddy without sharp teeth and it was an abomination.