Character Design: Charon

Since I decided to work with paper puppets again, processes had speeded up a bit, and they also had been much more focussed so far. During the last weekend I worked on the Charon puppet design.

Charon is a former prince of Arcardia who now owns the great job of ferrying the souls of the dead across the River Styx down to their new home, the underworld. He himself is neither dead nor alive. He’s something in between without any chance to escape from his situation. Beyond that he’s inconceivably old, has no joy at all and he surely is a pretty cynical and unpleasant person.

Charon Character Design 2009.
Current character design of Charon (2009)

I’d like to share those two pictures with you because they perfectly illustrates a process. The drawing above shows the current design after I had thought a lot how I’d love the puppet to be like. Although this is just a rough drawing and not the very last version of Charon, you’ll get a clear idea of him.

The one below shows my first ideas of the puppet when I had started thinking about it two years ago. Plenty of things had happen inbetween – my trips to Bristol and Vienna, for example – and somehow I was bold enough to overcome my wish for realistic puppets and to go for something more stylistic.

Charon Character Design 2007.
Former character design of Charon (2007)

I was totally surprised when I compared the drawings for the first time. But to me, the general idea of the character still is the same no matter how different they seem to be at the first glance. Somehow the new Charon is much more precise. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts within the comments!

22. September 2009 by Jessica
Categories: Stuff | Tags: , | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. I love both designs, Jessica! Both are nicely conceived and stylized to me. I like the kind of hollow mask feeling in the 2009 design. It seems that would convey more of a inner isolation to the character. This is going to be great!

  2. I like the 2009 version a bit more – because of his headshape and the allover more ohterworldly design. Especially the long limbs and his general stance. The 2007 sketch is more a ‘classic’ ferryman from the turn of the century, but Cahron 2009 is somebody you might expect (but not want to see for real) at a spot like the styx.
    Besides: great to see so much progress here ! All the best !!!

  3. Shelley, thank you! It’s good you mention the inner isolation which is exactly what I wanted to point out with this character. So I guess I did well… ;)

    And Michael, welcome back! I’m glad to have you around here again. I absolutely agree with you on the character. – it’s a lot moreprecise than the former one.