Let’s Design (a Helmet)

I am in search of a helmet design for a guard character in a comic book I am working on. My personal design process for doing a character is to rough in some panels with a general action silhouette. This way we can get a feel for the spirit of a character in the story, which serves as the initial inspiration for the costume.


As you can see, we get a view of the front and the back of the guard’s head with these panels. This is useful, because I know I’ll need to understand the helmet’s structure in the round. Already I can see that he has some sort of face mask with big bunny ears or horns, his costume is dark and robe-like, and he is looking around alertly.  I’m imagining some sort of visored animal mask.

Let’s take this as an opportunity to learn from the classic famous master examples of visored animal helmets:


Yes, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The key to making awesome animal-visored helmets lies within these o.g. designs.


Well okay, it has been done a million times before. Anyways, the key to making awesome animal-visored helmets is simple: make the visor the gaping maw-mouth of a cool-looking animal.

For a more modern sci-fi example, take a look at Master Chief from the Halo games beside his wise spirit father, the Green Ranger.

The Green Ranger looks more like a 90s sports car driver, whereas Master Chief is like some early 2000s off-road vehicle dude.

did you say OFF-ROAD?
did you say OFF-ROAD?

Of course Master Chief doesn’t have eyes on his forehead or teeth on his visor, but if you use your imagination to superimpose the lizard maws and froggy throat air sac (at right) over the Master Chief’s visored helmet (at left) you will surely see some detailing opportunities that would make his plain helmet a really badass visored animal face helmet:


Now I’m inspired to design a badass visored animal face helmet. I’ll start in my favorite place for symmetrical design: SketchBook Pro! There is a handy function in this program that mirrors what you draw, so I can bang out some ideas very quickly.


I’m gonna go with the one in the upper right corner, cause I woke up from a very mystical dream about a five-toothed dog the other morning. It follows that the people in my comic’s world would hold such cosmic entities as holy, and adorn themselves thusly.


Here is the completed page and helmet on our heroic guardsman! If you are wondering why he is on top of a giant air pillow bemoaning his master’s misfortune, you will have to read the first chapter when I complete it. I should have it done next month.

Joseph Culp plays with kitties, plays games, draws stuff.

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