Here's another character concept set for a client's book. The character is named Harold, and he's the companion to the character in this set of concepts.
The character, Harold, is loud, prone to histrionics, and generally obnoxious. He's also a made-up creature with very little by way of a physical description in the text, so the visual options were pretty much wide-open.
Here's the first round:
Ordinarily, I wouldn't have drawn two different sets for one character (mostly because almost all of the concepts in the first round will get rejected). But in this case, I wasn't sure if the character was more animal-like or more of an insect and I wanted to present both options to the client and let her react to the drawn options.
Often, with character concepts, (at least in my experience), the process of deciding how the character will look is part intellectual and part visceral. As with the Sylvester character, the client chose a concept from the first lineup. I made it clear that I would be happy to keep drawing if none of the options fit the bill, but she was adamant. She liked one in particular and that was that.
So, after some refining, this is the character that came to fruition:
(She chose the clothes from the middle sketch.)
This set of character concepts was an intense amount of fun. Trying to capture a personality is way more fun than trying to capture a "look". I can't really articulate why, exactly, but I think it has something to do with the energy contained in a personality. Even a very boring personality has boring energy that comes out in every facet of that character. Whereas a "look" doesn't necessarily have energy of its own.
This was one of those projects that reminds me how lucky I am to draw for a living.