After sketching several versions of what what a real 'kangaroo mouse' I came up with an exaggeration I wanted to take further.
On the left: the original block in without much deviation from my original paper sketch. This was interesting, but I thought, what if I made it more cute? Can I make it feel as though it belongs in some sort of 3D animated movie?
The result on the right is what happened after some fairly thorough revisions. This turned into a quest of how to create 'cute' and exaggerate further than my norm, which was a pretty sweet exercise.
A few decisions:
- Deviate further from realism in proportions.
- Rodents eyes infrequently show the white area - showing the edge of the iris added a lot of connection to the animal, and the color for the same reason. This is uneasy for some people, however I followed the leads of Ratatouille, Alvin etc with its proportions to a better effect.
- More youthful design with slightly fluffy fur and large puff on the end of the tail
- Easy on the colors, but still subtly bright
- Graphical patterns - I lightly drew from those of a Chipmunk in the face which adds a little complexity
- Softer, less chiseled nose and eye