You may remember my previous post about creating a new female hippo mascot design, Stella? Well, my client was so pleased with the initial character design that I was commissioned to create some additional hippo cartoon characters. The purpose of these characters is to accompany blog or social media posts.
So using our first Stella as our guide, I went about creating some more rough pencils. These are always great to do first, as they allow you to get a nice flow for the character with just a few basic shapes. As before, I started with a line of action and then contained it within a large tear-drop shape. Stella’s head is then just a simple box or rectangle on top. You can then add a few curves to form her limbs.
I wanted to take her character to the next level, having her doing some action-packed activities. This would add some eye-catching dynamics to the blog and social posts, making them exciting and memorable.
The client fell in love with these ideas instantly but thought they might need to be adjusted slightly to form a bank of characters that would have a greater range of day-to-day usage. As my client works generally in the field of informative talks, Stella would be required to be:
- One the phone
- Reading a book
- Doing a talk
- Recording a podcast
Sketching new female hippo cartoon characters
So we have the required postures for Stella and it was time to get to work. As before, Stella needed to be friendly and approachable in appearance, eye-catching and above all, memorable.
I kept their design simple from the waist down. That way, only the top half of the character could be used in each case if space was an issue. Stella would then be interacting with a single relevant item to the blog or post.
Creating the final hippo cartoon characters
As with the previous Stella hippo character design, once these pencils and poses were all approved it was time for digitisation. I used Adobe Illustrator to create vector outlines for all four characters. Colours were then added, along with some shades and highlights. These aided in giving Stella more depth and definition.
Cartoon hippo on phone
The first of the new Stella characters has her deep in conversation on the phone, gesturing as she goes. I thought it would be interesting to have one of her legs on tip-toe to add variation.
Cartoon hippo reading a book
This character has Stella deep within the pages of a good book. I added some smart gold-rimmed glasses to the top of her nose. Brand colours were added to the book for consistency.
Cartoon hippo doing a talk
This was the most diverse of the poses, as Stella is facing head-on. This required a slight re-working of her head so that it wouldn’t look too odd from the front. Her arms are outstretched, deep in delivering a speech and looking very welcoming.
Cartoon hippo recording a podcast
This was a big one for the client, as she is moving into the realms of recording a series of podcasts. I added some large over-ear headphones and a traditional-styled microphone. This aided in showing that she was recording some news and not simply singing.
The final characters came out very well and look very nice when placed alongside each other. They also stand out very well against the clients branding and instantly let the reader know they’re about to interact with something fun, yet informative.
Would you like your own cartoon mascot character?
If you’d like a custom mascot design like Stella, just get in touch!contact me