Heavy remains the personal favorite design of creature designer David Sword, and it is not hard to see why. A brutal character, Heavy was largely inspired by the muscle found in the Indiana Jones series in the flying wing fight and the rock crusher sequences. He had to be big and burly, with no grace or beauty. So as a starting point, David decided to try and make the character the antithesis of the graceful Saar’Jya.
Early designs show a shorter length body. The arms also have a far greater reach than Saar’Jya.
Both David and myself felt the body needed additional work, but the face in the first design was something that captured our attention. It was used as the template for the design tests that followed. In this series, David was much more extensive in his experimentation, which would eventually lead to a very unique composite.
Overall, the latter three designs were the source that the features were derived from. The jawline and border around the eye of C, along with the crest and neck of E, and finally the jagged and uneven teeth of D were eventually combined to create the face.
A few tries were done before the third look was agreed upon.
The final look of the body was one of the easier steps of the process. David jettisoned his earlier work and took some inspiration from sea faring lizards. This made sense since Heavy’s preferred habitat was near the ocean.
The first one was the favorite overall, though the neck and head proportions of the second design were later applied to the first to create the final sketch of the character. Here it is along with wing detail.
And a close-up on Heavy’s eye. David’s shrinking down the pupil made the character less relate-able, which in turn made them all the more frightening.
Heavy was described as being very dull in color, say for his yellow and green eyes. Given the setting of his layer, close to the ocean, it seemed appropriate for his colors to be more close to sand. A few features were added to give him some color, such as the red patch on his lower jaw, but overall, the scheme remains tan and brown, which only makes his eyes stand out even more.
Heavy was easily one of the most fun characters to design, and remains a high point in the creative process of putting the novel together.
To finish this off, here is a little treat from David.