Thought I'd share a little bit of the concept process for some of my characters for Xanh:
Back in 2011, I used thumbnail techniques from the The Skillful Huntsman to knock out some ideas for the three Dragon Cardinals, emphasizing silhouettes and shapes for the top three rows. Then I narrowed down my choices in the bottom three rows, choosing the designs that matched the descriptions I wrote for each character.
Follow-up sketches of some of the cast.
Some style exploration.
With such an open-ended project, it's easy for me to get pulled in different directions for style because I keep discovering new ones I love! This character lineup was done as a part of my portfolio for CTNx 2013. It's a trip to see how and where my tastes grew since then! Next thing I'm gonna need: a deadline.