One of the funnest things about doing character designs for Monopoly Streets was painting up the characters. For the most part I relied on a technique that I’d been playing developing for several years, inspired by Lowell Hess and other mid-century illustrators.
It communicates texture, color and shape nicely and its fun to do.
Initially the designs were very specific to a classic Monopoly feel. I was trying to match the vibe of the Community Chest and Chance illustrations, and as a result the characters feel like they belong in pre-Depression American city. AS things developed it became clear that we needed a look that was either more contemporary or, at the very least timeless.
I was also asked by my Art Directer to start pushing the paintings to be more 3-dimensional and have greater dynamic range. In other words, give us an idea how the characters would look in the actual game.
I was pretty happy with my first attempt, although it took a lot longer than my previous process, and never really got to a point that I was totally happy with.
I wanted to try and see how quickly I could accomplish something similar. The next couple of images were completed in 2-3 hours. I discovered some cool things, but didn’t quite get to the point on wanted to with them. Sadly, this was near the end of the character design process, and I didn’t get to refine this approach any further.
And of course, of all these designs, only the cop, the kid in the suit, the soldier and the maid made it in to the final game with little alteration to their designs. But it was worth it anyway. Another chance to learn a little more, and add a couple more pieces to my portfolio.