The group of USP pilots was a lot of fun to design. As in most cases, I started out by doing a bunch of alien heads. I was looking at doing six new characters but I also knew two would be the same race, a decision I covered in this page post. So ultimately, I needed five good designs. Happily, I liked almost all of them equally, so that made things pretty easy.

With the heads chosen, I moved on to the bodies. Generally speaking, I don’t like to just put alien heads on human bodies. I don’t mind the bodies being somewhat humanoid, but I never really want the proportions and features to be 100% human. So for the bodies, I usually push and pull the dimensions to get something more interesting. I especially like to do weird hand shapes. This has the added benefit that no one can ever accuse me of drawing hands poorly. “They’re alien hands!!”

With the body shapes settled, I moved on to the colors. For me, it’s always a balancing act of using a wide range of colors, while not making them too bright and garish. So I tend to stick with more muted and desaturated tones while still using a good variety. I pretty much don’t design members of a group individually. I like to see them all on a page together so I can see how their looks and colors complement and contrast each other.

I’m really liking these guys and they’re a lot of fun to draw. I hope they show up again or this will have been a whole lot of time wasted. Ha ha.

For a more thorough breakdown, including a quick mockup of all the aliens in flight gear, please check out my Patreon. This post will be public, so anyone can view it without being a backer. If you’d like to back the series on Patreon for more bonus content like this one, support is always very much appreciated!