Again as with my previous designs I went with a silhouette approach. The description we had to work with from the story was: A wild man whose body was brown like rusty iron, and whose hair hung over his face down to his knees. I played a round with different ideas, sometimes trying to find other ways I could interpret hair and skin. What if Iron John is just a dude in a big iron rusty mech suit? What if his hair is made of wires or dreadlocks? How big is he going to be? Could he be part tree or animal? These were some of the questions I asked myself at the beginning of this week. I made sure to not be limited by the realities of the human form. He could look like anything! He had to be human enough to be relatable, but different enough to be mysterious.
For these sketches, I played around with what kind of body type Iron John might have. The idea of having some more animalistic elements in his design appealed to me as did having him at a much larger scale than an average person. Iron John lives in the forest so I wanted his design to embody that as well. He had to look like he belonged to the forest but also be able to easily traverse it.
I liked the idea of giving Iron John a more primitive feel. In the description he is a wild man so I wanted to in cooperate some tribal elements into his design somehow.
Head studies are a great way for me to get solid ideas out quickly. One thing I made sure to take into consideration was that Iron John is actually a king under a spell, which is revealed later in the story. I need to subtly imply this in his design so I sketched around with this in mind.
Having found some studies I preferred, I then took some further. I looked at some of the more dominant species in the animal kingdom such as gorillas and lions. I liked how human gorillas can appear sometimes and this helped me strike a balance between human and creature.
Here is a more detailed sketch I created before moving onto my final idea.
Below is the final idea. I like to think I managed to find a balance between human and creature as well as incorporating some of those tribal elements into the design.