The first design I’ll be going in-depth on is Piggy- one of my favorite characters.
I’ve been striving to make my renderings capture not just the costume, but the character wearing the costume and their energy. Selecting a pose that communicates that energy is harder than it sounds. Originally, this sketch was going to be of Piggy cleaning her glasses on the edge of her vest, but I decided that since the glasses are an essential part of the look, they needed to be on her face and visible. So, she’s nervously tugging at her clothes. It’s something I can easily see her doing.
As I discussed in my last post, I chose to put Piggy in blue because it’s a color associated with calm and stillness; it’s cool. This fits a character that’s grounded in logic and reason rather than emotion. She wears a lot of neutral or light colors that fade into the background in the same way that she is often overlooked by the other characters.
Because I’m working with uniforms, every small detail matters. Characters has to be communicated in the type of shoes and socks people wear, how they tie their tie, how they do their hair. I wanted the details of Piggy’s costume to reflect both her alienation and her desire for order. I sprinkled in some details that set her apart from other girls in the same uniform, to visually isolate her. She’s she only person wearing a short-sleeved version of their school’s sweater. Her brown shoes with black tights look just a little off.
Originally, I had wanted the scrunchies holding Piggy’s hair in pigtails to be pink. I realized, however, that a lot of schools with uniforms require accessories to be in school colors. Piggy would never violate that rule. Moreover, as you’ll see in future designs, she’s the only student following that rule. She’s also the only one wearing her school tie in the correct way. It’s a visual indicator that Piggy is concerned with doing things the right way.
(On a side note, I chose pigtails and curly hair for this character not just for the pun of pigtails, but because they create a look of innocence, and they’re cute enough to endear her to the audience. And uncontrollable curly hair is a classic “frumpy nerd girl” trait.)
A few last notes: I designed the vest with two pockets because I figured Piggy would need somewhere to keep her asthma inhaler. The black pantyhose contribute to Piggy’s proper demeanor and intentionally don’t look good with the rest of the outfit. They also serve a practical purpose- anyone who’s experienced chub rub knows pantyhose are way more comfortable that socks or stockings.