Weekly Sketch Off #3: Big Daddy

So this entry is for this week, and we’re just rotating to an “early in the week” post schedule, to give us the weekend to do the sketches. We apologize for the inconvenience.

This week was my (Dave)’s choice, and I chose the Big Daddy from Bioshock. The first two-thirds of Bioshock is one of my favorite games (the last third is one of my least favorite games, coincidentally), and there is little argument that the iconic figure to come out of the game was the Big Daddy, a lumbering, diving suit clad creature that was once a man but has become something less. In the game, Big Daddies are the protectors of Little Sisters, genetically altered little girls who rove the derelict world of the game collecting material from dead inhabitants. The trick is that the Daddies won’t attack, or even notice, the player until the player gets too close to a Little Sister, which gives them a somewhat more tragic and altruistic veneer as opposed to more traditional video game enemies. They are not aggressors, desperate to kill you for no reason. They are guardians of (seemingly) innocent children, and it is the player who is the aggressor when he or she decides to attack the Daddies in order to claim the Sister’s resources.

By Dave:
A happy family

Dave’s Notes:
The Big Daddies are defined by their role as protectors of the Little Sisters, and the most interesting aspect of that relationship is how the two interact. The Daddies, normally rather aloof and prone to give you a warning shove if you get to close, are quite gentle and docile around the Sisters, something between a pet and a protective parent (a la the name). The Little Sisters, in fact, see the Big Daddies as just that: a protective pet/parent whom they cling to, sing to, and ride on the shoulders of. The Sisters see nothing monstrous about the Daddies, and the Daddies see nothing creepy or unnerving in the Sisters.

So I wanted to capture a moment of that: a softer moment where the two are together, and their very unnatural appearances juxtapose with the very human sentiment that the two share. Of course, I think I might have overdone it. I intentionally made the Little Sister much cuter and more human than she appears in the game, because I think the game pushes her too far into the “unnatural” and undermines its whole point. The strangeness is supposed to come from seeing a little girl, covered in dried blood, sucking a glowing fluid out of corpses, all the while singing and skipping along. That contrast is marred somewhat if the little girl has big glowing eyes, grey skin, and speaks with a computer voice filter (all of which are present in the actual game). So I made her more human, and I made the Daddy look, and pose, more like an actual father. Yes, he still has the drill hand, and the diving suit, and the strange faceless helmet with eight eyes, but that’s not the focus, so much as his interest in balancing the Sister on his shoulder and taking her where she wants to go.

Also I suck at aging things to look old and rusty, and getting the tones (color-wise) on this one was vexing indeed. My pencil simply doesn’t have enough shades of grey in it for all the layers of distinct color scale an outfit like this requires.

By Joe:
An Imposing Protector

Joe’s Notes:
Ok. I have no idea who this is. Lets be honest I dont play a lot of video games. I am however aware he exists, though my research came up with, from what i could discern, as many different versions of this character. Or maybe different characters that embody this role? Or maybe totally different characters and I have no idea what I’m talking about. I’m not sure. So I went with the version Deprava mentioned which was the diving suit. I also saw many different takes on this character from more normal sized to hulk size so I just thought I wanted him to fill the page with a name like Big Daddy and since I used excessive shadow I threw in that little girl. Whoever that may be. Also considering the shadows I went with an ink sketch and although it looks good it was out of laziness so I didn’t have to crosshatch the whole image. Lastly, I apologize for my complete lack of knowledge about this character.

One thought on “Weekly Sketch Off #3: Big Daddy”

  1. Love the different directions you guys took, though admittedly Joe’s was maybe by accident…these sketch-offs are getting good.

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