Creating Hester

I’ve been doing character work for On the One Road to Ruin.  Specifically, I’ve been working on Krevan’s Mother, Hester.  As one of two explanation for why Krevan is who he is (either a hero passing himself off as a coward, or a coward passing himself off as a hero, it’s hard to say), she needs to have a certain presence about her.  As I don’t intend to have her show her face just quite yet (if at all), she needs to stand apart from the rest.  On this, Hester is one of my favorites.  We won’t get into why for a while in the comics, but…

Hmm?  Oh yes.  Updates.  Updates for the comic.  Right.

I’m shooting for October as a return to regular updates.  I hope to have a back log of strips/pages/whatever ready before then.  I’m abandoning “Tower of Seph-hathi” for now and going with something less expositiony for the first official story.  A parody of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Statement of Randolph Carter.”

Fingers cross.  Let’s all hope, shall we?

She really is, you know.

Anyway, Hester up to this point has been portrayed as two glaring eyes (left).  This wasn’t a bad idea.  It’s just that the eyes never looked… right.  Never looked terrifying.

On this I needed to know what she looked like.  I had vague ideas, such as she was tall, beautiful, and so on.  But as some of the stories I had in mind had her as a presence (yet not revealing her face, mind), I needed something that would be recognized as instantly her.

That and the fact I start noticing all of my female characters looked alike.  Which wasn’t good.

After (far too many) false starts, I have what I consider, if not the real deal, then the prototype Hester Arlsen.  Bear in mind that this is Angry Hester, Hester who is not pleased with whoever is standing in front of her.

Of course, I can’t think of a time when Hester is ever not angry, but hey!  there you go.

Anyways, here’s the image.  Click to see it full-sized:

She might end up more in black and shadows.

I loved the original sketch (which, sadly, got toasted), but this is a distinct improvement.  I did most of the line work on Paint.Net, a freeware art program I’m playing with these days.  The line stuff feels more intuitive than with the Jasc Paint Shop Pro I have (version 6, an antique).  However, I couldn’t see any way of doing the fire effects I wanted with Pant.Net.  Thus It was back to Jasc I went.

Funny story:  Hester’s sword didn’t cover her face in the original.  My line work was… crooked.  I was reasonable well pleased when I found out it did; seemed to complement the image.  I almost didn’t do the dark shadow part, in fact.  However, as I wanted to use her face, I decided not to go that route.

Here is Hester’s face, sans sword:

She isn’t a vampire, incidentally.  She just plays one on TV.

At one point I had her eyebrows in over the shadows, drawn in white.   I hoped it would make her look fiercer.  Instead she went on the ridiculous side.  So out they went.

One other look, before we call it a night.  I have been considering a no-line look, to give her a spectral look.  Maybe I’ll use it in her first few appearances…

Can you imagine having that for a Mother when you were a kid?  A sample conversation.

“You must rise, Krevan.  It is time for school.”

“Doan wanna go to school.”

“Rise, Krevan.”  Angry face in place.  “NOW!


“Oh, Krevan, you are being silly.  I am not going to kill you.


“As far as you know.”

God, I love writing Hester’s dialogue.  Can’t wait for the first story she’s in.

Can’t wait to start drawing OtORtR again…


2 Replies to “Creating Hester”

  1. “The Statement of Randolph Carter” was amazingly cool. Nice artwork, too. BTW – speaking of mothers, one of my best friend’s mothers just passed away on Sunday. If you are so inclined, please visit my website and leave a message. He will see it. Thanks!

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