I tried my hand at costume design for this one. The client’s roleplay world is partially based on 19th century Italy, and wanted a human character to embody that. He didn’t have a clear idea for the look, so gave me free reign to play around with styles. The human had to be aristocratic, vaguely recalling one of the playable characters of Final Fantasy 6, and there were certain accessories the client did not want to see included.
This assignment needed a bit more research than I’d done before. I went to Pinterest for initial inspiration and created a board just to collect all the costume samples. Searches like "italian aristocrat", "19th century gentleman", and "1800's clothes" brought up results from textile museums, TV screenshots, and oil portraits.
I came back with some very rough concepts for the client, and we discussed his preference and the next modifications. This time I included photos handwritten notes directly on the images instead of explaining the options in my email to the client. I ought to do things more consistently, but hey, it gets the job done. The poses, I'll admit, drew heavily from that one FF6 character. I couldn't resist; he is my favorite. :)
I sort of did the inking and color steps together, delivering the inked version at the same time as the color options. It its easy to quickly change the colors because I keep each piece of clothing on a separate layer in Photoshop. This keeps my options more flexible and saves time down the road if last minute changes are needed. It makes for a bigger file, but so worth it. The client had a color scheme in mind already, but I like to include a few more options just for the sake of variety. With each color on a separate layer, palette swaps are a piece of cake.
We settled on a color choice, and after a few final adjustments and corrections, we had ourselves one handsome human.