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Comics 101
The latest art tips and techniques, reviews and interviews from my studio. Updated here and at World Famous Comics!

Comics 101 Archives

Comics 101 for 01/13/2005
Designing Star Wars Aliens!

Episode Two: Attack of the Sketches


The following is a list of each alien's description I received from the writer accompanied by my initial rough sketches sent in with the proposal.

Nomad Rough Sketch 1) The Nomad (Em'liy)

Appearance and Biology

Generally humanoid, the Em'liy have lean, muscular bodies and yellow-tan skin, an evolutionary adaptation to the strong rays of their sun, Kavaan'oa. They are exposed to their sun on a constant basis, which has led to an increasing number of tumor-related deaths in recent years. Em'liy wear their fine dark hair in long topknots to symbolize caste status and to inspire fear in enemies. The number of topknots varies from zero and three, depending on caste; otherwise, their bodies are completely hairless.

What mostly distinguish Em'liy from other humanoid species are their facial features... or, more accurately, those they lack. Their smooth, nose-less and ear-less faces show little in the way of sensory apparati. They have small, round eyes with no lids or lashes, and their thin mouth openings are practically lip-less.

Iskalonian Rough Sketch 2) Iskalonian

Appearance and Biology

Describing the "average" Iskalonian is not an easy task, for the School is comprised of six major aquatic species, with a few stragglers from eleven others.

The dominant species of Iskalon are the Inleshat, originally from Drexel II. With skin ranging from tan to green, they have long, silky hair, three webbed fingers on each hand, and wide, pupil-less eyes. The Inleshat have long, pointed ears that can hear underwater activity from miles away, a compensation for their species' poor eyesight.

Nagai Rough Sketch 3) Nagai

Appearance and Biology

Tall and exceedingly thin, with straight black hair and pale, almost white skin, the Nagai carry the appearance of handsome but emaciated specters. As a result, some fear them while others make the mistake of assuming them weak and sickly. The Nagai are aware of the effect their unique look has on other humanoid species and exploit it to the fullest, letting others under-estimate them until the time is right to show their true skills. Those unfortunate enough to under-estimate the Nagai do so only once. Styles vary widely among the Nagai, but many wear their hair long and untied, hiding portions of their face like a half-closed curtain. This adds to their air of mystery, as does the seeming lack of standard uniform among their troops; every Nagai wears their own style of clothing, depending on personal taste and the image they wish to convey to their enemies. Again, this often makes others under-estimate their abilities, while also masking their presence as a military force.

S Kytri Rough Sketch 4) S'kytri

Appearance and Biology

S'kytri are quite tall for humanoids, many surpassing two meters in height. S'kytri under 1.8 meters in height, certainly a respectable height on most worlds inhabited by humanoids, would be deemed "short" by their standards. The thin, muscular physiques and chiseled facial features of the S'kytri are considered by others to be among the most beautiful in the galaxy. As a winged species, they consider excess body weight not only impractical but also dangerous for flying. One would be hard-pressed to find overweight S'kytri.

The tall, slender, tapering wings of the S'kytri are not the only feature that drastically sets them apart from most humanoid species. Another is their skin tone. Nearly all males have pale blue skin, while the skin of most females is a soft shade of green. Hair colors range dramatically on Skye, from violet to yellow to white to maroon, and most grow their hair in thick, wavy tufts in the center of their otherwise bald heads.

Clothing is not that important to the S'kytri, for too much material creates unwanted wind resistance. Males wear anklets bearing the insignia of their clans, and both genders wear slight coverings to protect their reproductive organs, but little else is worn. The perpetually warm temperatures of Skye make more that this unnecessary.

Stenax Rough Sketch 5) Stenax

Appearance and Biology

The reptilian Stenaxes are quite a fearsome sight. Tall and thickly muscled, they have gargoyle-esque faces and a row of bony spikes running across their shoulders. Three sharp claws punctuate each of their feet, five on each hand, with additional spikes lining the backs of their calf muscles.

Stenaxes have scaly, purple-gray skin and white eyes with minuscule pupils. Their ears and brows are upswept at severe angles, due to thick muscular cords lining their facial features. Two such cords hang down far below the mouth like ancient stalactites. Completely hairless, they have a wide, spine-shaped protrusion running over the head, from their eyes to the top of the neck. This protrusion houses their kleti gland, which allows them to home in on objects on the ground when flying at extreme heights.

Zeltron Rough Sketch 6) Zeltron

Appearance and Biology

Nearly all Zeltrons are devastatingly beautiful and able to attract numerous mates. Beauty is not just a standard on Zeltros - it's an entire way of life, and the pursuit of beauty and pleasure is next to divinity. Though humanoid, Zeltrons differ from humans in a few key aspects. Their skin is bright pink, a pigmentary reaction to the unique radiation emitted by their sun. Like the Falleen, they secrete a pheromone that is overwhelmingly potent, arousing those in reception range to such heights that few can resist their charms. They have conscious control of their pheromones and can affect, at will, either entire crowds of people or specifically intended targets.

Of course, a good tool for any artist just as important as pen and paper is having proper reference. So luckily between the images 'handily' supplied by the writer and my own 'rich' collection of old Star Wars comics, it allowed me to narrow down the design process somewhat fairly quickly.

Next week we'll take a look at these rough sketches in final pencil form in preparation for my inks.

-Joe

<< 01/06/2005 | 01/13/2005 | 01/20/2005 >>

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