Dianne Masantra (part 1)


Figuring out who Dianne is has been quite the interesting experience.  As with most of my characters that weren’t Red and Blue, they started as little shadows, hazy two dimensional characters that acted like Dr. House’s team, basically there for Red and Blue to bounce things off of and help move the two of them through the story.

But as time passed, they’ve grown and taken on a life of their own.  Each one taking turns in the spotlight, each one stoically sitting under the microscope as I scrutinize their every action, motive, and emotion.  With each session, I become surer of who they are and they in-turn become more firmly planted in reality.


I first started with general shapes, looking to help keep a consistent look by being able to have shapes and proportions to refer to.  Then I looked through a library book about people from India.  I wanted her to have a lot of those features and general feel, so my next couple of sketches pushed in that direction.


My initial results were lack luster, but they held some characteristics that I liked.  I was looking at a couple different reference sources, playing with facial feature proportions in order to achieve a younger look.  But I got weird results and I decided to take a break and spend some time on another character instead (translation = I got down on myself, came to the conclusion I couldn’t draw, threw a tantrum and consumed large quantities of entertainment to forget the pain of my failure).

But then I got my Wacom back, got myself inspired and charged head first into the unknown (weeks later).


My source of inspiration came from being bored and picking up one of my many library books laying around my work room.  This one was Walter Foster’s How to Draw Classic Heads and Faces.


There’s an elegant/timeless quality about the illustrations in the book and when I ran across this image I knew instinctively who it reminded me of… which is a weird thing to say about someone you’ve only ever imagined.


Using this as a point of departure, I began to lose myself in the process.


(I like the third the best)
At this point I’d already decided to no longer keep the story contained on Earth and had begun to writing the rough history of the planet and its people groups. The circle on her forehead was in the original sketch to help with the consistency of shapes and structure, but seeing as I was already leaning towards making Dianne’s features somewhat South Asian, I left it more pronounced.

The idea to make it a tribal like tattoo came from a couple of different places that eventually connected together and became inseparable.

  • The tattoos are an older cultural symbol of the early Dhiatian warrior class,
  • Children who reach a certain age are given these facial tattoos by priest/artist like peoples (who are revered because of the culture’s love and respect for all things geometric and symmetric).
  • The tattoos aren’t limited to the face, but are suppose to compliment the person…
  • This people groups modern descendants don’t really follow these ways anymore, those that do are considered traditionalists (need to search through a thesaurus for a better word) like Dianne’s father.
  • Dianne is a daddies girl and is into history because of her father’s interest into traditional Dhiatian customs and values
  • Her name is a variation of an older translation of the word Dhiatian.

To Be Continued…


“The best advice I’ve ever received: ‘no one else knows what they are doing either.”  – Ricky Gervais

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