I like to people watch (airports are one of my favorite places), so I guess it’s no surprise that I draw as much inspiration from character portraits as I do from looking at scenes and settings, perhaps even more when it comes to story development. Just as in real life, there’s a story behind each face. Eyes hint of pain, joy, confidence and love; scars raise questions; and clothes, accessories, and hairstyles can reveal so much about culture. It’s amazing, the number of questions a face can conjure in one’s mind. For writers, these questions beg to be answered, and in the answers we discover a story waiting to be told.
Below are a few interesting portraits I've collected from various artists, characters that, for whatever reason, I find curiously compelling. They may be the protagonist of a great adventure, or simply a minor character that brings a touch of color to a single scene. Whatever the case, most would make great additions to any sci-fi/fantasy world. You can mix and match, or develop around them as they are. Character portraits merely serve as foundations, starting points to jump start your imagination. If you ask the questions, and let your Muse provide the answers, you may discover a new character worth writing about.
Need help with the questions? Pick an image that interest you and try some of these.
Click for full-size image.