Yesterday, I was noticeably pickier with my drawings than usual. After some thought, I decided to focus on explaining the head construction principles I've acquired over the years but rarely, if ever, have recognized. This will root out any bad principles and reinforce the good ones, since I'm essentially teaching the material to myself rather than burying it, untested, in my subconscious.
I want to continue with this method for as long as necessary. That means, I'm getting rid of the 64 page deadline. Going through and organizing my thoughts and putting the good ones into practice is going to be more beneficial in the long run since I'll be ridding myself of deep seeded habits that could continue to bother me for who knows how long.
The first thing I need to do is work out generic head principles. Then I need to state specific design principles for my current characters. I'm going to briefly mention the principles that I'm most familiar with and elaborate on the less known ones. Actually, after some thinking it seems I need only to state the specific design principles for specific characters.
My goal in a pure design sense is appeal. That's super abstract and something I'm not going to tackle right now, so I'll say appealing 'to me' for the time being.
Eyes- usually slightly angled outward at the top of the eye. Almost as if you're drawing slightly mad eye expressions. Size of the eye isn't an issue. Usually larger pupils are more appealing, but Dragon Ball has proven an exception, since Toriyama uses dot eyes. As I suspect it's the space he creates AROUND the pupils that makes for an appealing balance.
Eyes closer together are usually not as appealing. Dragon Ball is the exception again. I'll have to experiment more formally, but I've noticed that the closer of the two eyes in a 3/4 angle drawing is more appealing when skewed closer to the ear. In other words, leave some space between the closer eye and the nose.
Glasses- put little circles near the top left or right of both lenses. The eyes need to meet the top rim of the glasses, which means there should be some space between the bottom part of the eye and the lower glasses rim.
I'm leaving the previous text up because it prompted the following developments and I think it's worth keeping. On some actual paper I began drawing some characters and bit by bit dissecting and reforging them into the most appealing things I can. I should note this was only ACTUALLY possible once I was somewhat familiar with the character. It seems after awhile my subconscious feelings of 'something isn't right' began to actually surface into something I could grasp... this is in general a very awkward transition as a person and over time I'd like to minimize the 'downtime' associated with figuring out a particular problem.
To rephrase the previous bit: Humans don't have 'instincts' to begin with. It takes a certain amount of time/ experience with a 'problem' before I actually recognize that there is a problem. Then I have to figure out what the problem is. Then I have to figure out how to solve it. Then I have to experiment until the problem is solved.
Back to the comic. My goal going forward is to begin drawing in the heads of all the panels and experimenting with new elements as the opportunities arise.