Belmont the Café-Owner

To start off there will probably be a bunch of portraits here (there's currently 96 characters in the game, and all of them need portraits)!

The portraits are probably what I've been struggling with the most. Starting out I thought they would be my strong suit, because faces were pretty much all I ever drew back in the days - but I quickly realized it was a lot harder to make them fit into the game. The results were pretty horrifying, but thanks to a lot of practice and trial-and-error, we've come closer to a style and quality that actually works.

Here are some of the first portraits I did:

And here's a batch of the newest ones:

So, yeah - a lot of things have changed, and so the old portraits need to be updated to match the new style. Since I've been working on this for quite a while before starting this blog there's actually only 24 portraits left to remake, not counting their additional expressions. Today we'll take a look at one of those!

(By the way, I kind of expect to redo all characters least once more before release, because I could still improve on them quite a bit, but it'll probably have to wait until everything else is done...)

Time to introduce Belmont, the owner of the over-priced café in Evergrind City. Here's what he will look like in the game as well as his old portrait:

Not my best work, though perhaps not as bad as some of the older ones.. Anyway, time to upgrade!

Above you can see my progress with this portrait. Typically, I'll begin sketching until I end up with some basic line art drawing of the character, usually supported by a couple of reference images on. I didn't look at reference images as much when I made the first portraits, and I'm pretty sure you can tell from those odd-looking shoulders.

After the line art is finished it's color block-time, where I fill in the basic colors where they're supposed to go (and change hues about a bazillion times until everything looks OK).

The third step is to render his features in more detail as well as adding different colors to the line art so it matches the color blocks. Finally, in the fourth step I simply added his signature items (the fake nose and a chef's hat) on top of what was already done!

Throughout the process I ask Teddy or/and Fred for feedback to make sure they like the way it looks. Fred commented halfway through that this version of Belmont kind of looks like a Disney prince. I guess that may be true! Maybe he likes singing duets in his free time as well, who knows?

Here's the finished sprite:

I'm actually quite happy with this portrait, but as always I wish I could do better, and know I will - in the future. For now I'm just glad that I've at least managed to improve upon his old look! Cause it's a little bit better at least, isn't it..?! :D
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