Learning Inkscape - An Order of the Stick Avatar Guide

Reference material

The first step in creating an avatar is to get reference material to base it on. It is always easier to draw art with lots and lots of background pictures to look at, and stick figure avatars aren't an exception! Furthermore if you are wanting to emulate Rich's Order of the Stick style, you'll need some Order of the Stick art to compare against. Thankfully, the internet is fully of pictures of absolutely everything and anything, so there's plenty of material to base your work off. Note that it's bad to actually include images you grab off the web in your final work, but it's fine to use web images behind the scenes for inspiration and as a reference for how to draw things.

You'll need two sources of sample art to work off for your avatar: Order of the Stick comics (to get the style right) and Google Image search for general images.

Order of the Stick Comics

First, you'll need some sample Order of the Stick comics. Order of the Stick has over five hundred comics, so chances are Rich has already drawn a character with some of the characteristics you're looking for.

The best place to start looking for inspirational Order of the Stick characters is in the printed books, which as a fan making their own avatar you should have a good chance of owning (and if not, I highly recommend them!). However even if you find the character you want within the book you'll need a digital copy to work off. Find the comics you need on-line and save a temporary copy to your working directory where you are making your avatar.

Google image search

For everything else you need to find, there's Google's image search. Just type what you want to find and you'll be bound to find something you can work with. Make sure you save a high quality version of the image from the original website and not just the Google thumbnail.

Our example

For our example Bandana Swashbuckler I can think of the following inspirational Order of the Stick characters:

Looking through the archive, I find:

For external sources, I could use some pictures for the Pirate King in the Pirates of Penzance that I have already looked up. However since I've already have this in a OotS avatar I'll use the picture of Nale and the Linear Guild I made for the Iron Avatar on Broadway. Nale is in a very similar costume that I really like.

Concepts for our Bandana Swashbuckler

This should be more than enough for a great avatar, so we can now return to Inkscape!

Order of the Stick is Copyright © Rich Burlew 2003 - 2007
Last updated: 12th December, 2007 by David Shaw