Everyone draw animals a little different. Here are few rules we like to follow to keep buddies looking as cohesive as possible while retaining your own personal flair.
The buddies should be expressive and not overly detailed or realistic.
This guy is little on the basic side, and needs a bit more definition.
Just like in any other item, you want to choose about 3-4 shades to define shapes.
Making a buddy from reference
Create a simple shape for the head to start.
Sketch in some fur detail, and add face details.
Start adding more primary shapes for the rest of the body
Add in fur detail
A few simple rules when constructing a buddy
The body is usually split into three shades to define the silhouette and keep it readable from afar:
You can think of it like foreground, middle ground, background. The head and front legs are usually the lightest color, with the body being a slightly darker color, and the back leg being the darkest.
-Break each limb, torso, head into each group so it’s easier to move them for the backside.
An old, but helpful image on buddy construction:
Careful with the back leg getting too close to touching the front legs: this creates a tangent, so it's good practice to space out a back legs a good distance.
Perspective on animal buddies
Like handbags, it’s tempting to draw animal buddies too straight to camera. Ideally they are also in 3/4, top down perspective, like the avatar.
Sometimes is possible to get away with straight on perspective in with an animal buddy, but try to go for the correct perspective!
When concepting for a bigger animal buddy, follow the "three section rule" so that the buddy does not get too big and obstruct other player’s avatar in the game.
When sketching the construction for bigger animal buddies or creatures/auras:
- Try to align the base or the legs to match the perspective of the avatar feet.
- Use the box approach: first create a box where you want your animal/creature buddy to be, and use that as your guide to sketch!
- Shading on the animal buddies aura will follow the shading of the avatar: right side of the buddies tend to go a bit darker than the left side.
- Keep the shapes fun and work with big, medium, small for the head, body, and limbs!
- Add in bigger head and big eyes to stray away from a more realistic look.
- Give them blushes, googly eyes and some facial expressions to make them more playful and fun!