Europe - Stages of Development

Today I reckon I would like to show folks the growth of Europe's character design. Being one of what I think of as the intermediate stage characters she pops first into existence in 2001.

This was back when frockcoats and jackcoats were not yet a major feature of the Half-Continent. What she wears is called a lambrequin, what I have now-a-days as cheap easy to produce proofing for quickly armouring a semi-professional mass. As you can see the crow's-foot hair tine has always been a feature. Indeed, early on the day I penned this, I was drawing a crow for a puzzle at Catchphrase and thinking the structure of their feet was rather exquisite - one thing flows into another. At this stage Europe is a slightly friendlier soul.

And so she remained until 3 years on I have an opportunity to put her in a story and there she gets meaner, colder, sharper and I needed to know how she appear in her refreshed guise.

By now frockcoats and tricorns and all that a right in and here I am simply attempting to get a feel for the Branden Rose even as I am writing her. I formalise the flowing fringe here, the precise look of her sleeves and vambrins (those proofed fore-arm/hand coverings) and the wrap-around fastenings of her coat.

From here I proceed to a final character drawing, about A2 in size and very close to the one in Book 1 now.

Yet something was not quite right here either... You shall win the esteem of everyone else in the room if you can tell what the difference is between this and the final image.

Once I solved this for the final book illustration (which dare I admit, involved a very sturdy eraser) I then went on to colour the version of the Branden Rose you see as a background to this very site. I would dearly love to have that produced as a poster some day - I guess it goes on the pile with the full-size map.

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