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The above images are past illustrations of the requested Bible characters: Jesus, Ruth, and Moses. The commissioner gave me a few directives for each design, mostly garment colors or hair length. However, aside from a crown of wheat, the design for Ruth was up to me. I am fond of the result so I chose to build on her design for this test.
The full figure took around three hours. I spent most of my time creating the linework, shading, and texturing. I chose a similar style to the one I have been using for the Sunday School curriculum characters pictured at the top of the page since the kids have enjoyed it. Elements such as line weight, shading style, and the degree of realism are easily changed. Those elements can be decided upon getting a feel for the AiG curriculum as it's sure to have a unique feel.
I spent about two hours on the expressions because of a number of changes I made as I worked. While I created these expressions by referencing the full figure, I would likely create a 3D sculpture for instances where a character will appear multiple times--I like to be as consistent as possible! Of course, this is only helpful when the final render is more on the realistic side and the character is appearing frequently. Otherwise, a 3D model is a misuse of time.
The short animation is a small insight on my process.