CrumblePuppydet5Crumble Puppy is made up of curves. His head and body are shaped roughly like beans. His arms, legs and ears are rounded (on earlier pages, I drew individual toes on his paws in some close-up panels but eventually stopped because the ragdoll look suited his character better). His tail is the only part of his body that comes to a point, and we don’t even see it on every page. He is the color of soft, melty butter, except for his darker tan ears and the spot on his eye. The spiky outline of his peculiar, hairy sweater provides some contrast to the curved lines, but even that has an overall feeling of squashy softness, and could fall apart at any moment.

I want everything about him to look floppy and malleable, because he has a malleable personality. He is gullible, suggestible, and prone to crumble under pressure.

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One design thing that sets Crumble Puppy apart from the other characters is that we hardly ever see his mouth, unless he gets anxious and excited and shouty, like this:

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Since his mouth doesn’t always show, I pay extra attention to his body language. Sure, I can make his eyes emote too, but it’s gesture that really sells him. You may see his ears curl down over his forehead when he’s nervous, and his paws clutch at his chest or chin like a rabbit. Sometimes his ears may stick straight up in surprise or point in different directions to reinforce excitement or confusion. His arms may be floppy, or flung outward. And of course, one of his trademarks are the crumbs that fly off his body when he gets anxious or excited.

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