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Introducing Doctor Watson

Doctor Watson
I'm really excited to show off the character design by Daniel Cortes for Holmes' famous side-kick, John H. Watson, MD. As promised, Doctor Watson has a very cool mechanical arm in Steampunk Holmes - he was wounded in Afghanistan in the Battle of Maiwand in 1880. In the first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, Watson has an injured arm, not a leg as in subsequent stories. We decided to modify things it a little so that he lost his arm and now uses a steampunk prosthetic.

A mechanical arm powered by steam technology might seem like a stretch until you discover that researchers at Vanderbilt University actually built one in 2007, and continue to research the use of steam technology to better power prosthetics. Of course we are not revealing the actual mechanics of the arm, it might be steam or it might be clockwork; but one thing is for sure: it kicks butt and has multiple attachments, including some firepower. In our story, Holmes and Watson have made a number of upgrades to his mechanical arm, which will prove very useful later.

The process by which Daniel Cortes illustrates characters is pretty cool. I provide him with some ideas about the character and his background, Daniel adds his own thoughts, and then I get a concept sketch. I might suggest changes but in most cases I love the concept and approve it. After that Daniel creates a color portrait.

I thought it might be interesting to see how a character progresses from wireframe to painted portrait in Daniel's studio, so I asked him to provide me with some before-and-after images. He did one better: He sent me an animated GIF which allows you to see the art from conception to the finished portrait.

Just click on the image at left to see the animation - it's very cool!

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