this is very unrefined, but i thought it would be best to post a wip in order to make changes in the beginning stages as and when i get feedback
the basic concept is of a small raccoon dog (or tanuki, or magnut) mixed with various ninja/samurai-esque features
why a ninja? more immediate a connotation than that is the combination of dark/fighting. ninja was the first thing to come to mind! what else to display attributes of darkness and fighting than shadow warriors? as well as this, togekiss is very dove-like, and doves are commonly regarded as symbols of peace. the ninja, then, a symbol of war and terror, is an exact opposite! following this theme, i've shown a swatch of togekiss's colours versus approximate opposites because i think a complimentary colour scheme would emphasise the raccoon dog's complimentary nature to togekiss. the earthy brown is not quite an opposite, but as a approximates togekiss is white and so a dark colour close to black would be favourable, and raccoon dogs are often dark earth browns themselves!
i just want to draw your attention to and run you through some of the features. first of all the head is a mixture of the features of a raccoon dog's facial shape and the shape of a typical samurai-esque helmet, which is a coincidence i wanted to use to my advantage! the shape of the helmet is emphasised in the dog's facial markings, which are of course based on an actual raccoon dog's markings. the ear's protrude from the back of the head to keep the impression of a "helmet", although there is none
the markings beneath the eyes are intended to be a nod of the head to togekiss's own random markings and would hopefully be coloured in the appropriate opposite colours. markings under the eyes are also reminiscent of warpaint, so this emphasises fighting type!
top-right was a concept for a stylisied "topknot" sort of hairstyle, commonly seen in popular culture renditions of japanese warriors. this has instead been incorporated into the design as the raccoon dog's tail, as they are known for short stubby tails! i think it's p cute n__n
beneath i depicted the raccoon dog riding his ally into battle and forming archetypical ninja "hand seals". the concept of riding togekiss was inspired by the idea of ninja being airlifted by huge kites and dropped into enemy territory, which may or may not be a myth, but is still super cool! this idea is also helped by togekiss's odd shape
i've given that raccoon dog a little spiky fringe as a stylistic touch to spice up the centre of his forehead, though it doesn't look too clear here. how does it look? i wanted to give the idea of this little dog's youth and vitality, because whilst a ninja i wanted him to look vivacious and cheeky, like a naughty little scamp! how did i do?
any comments and criticisms at all would be welcome!
i fleshed out the design and gave it the colour scheme i had in mind:
but i had complaints it didn't look "dark" enough, so i decided to reverse the colour scheme for the fur, which i think gave off the idea of his ninja armour better, giving me this (with some tweaks):
which i was very happy with!
people were still concerned about the dark typing though, so i experimented with differentscarf colours, and then with different eye designs, because the mischievous look had turned into a cheery one somewhere down the line
anyway, after much deliberation i've settled on what i think will be my final design, so i'll be submitting it with some supporting art soon
here is tanuki ninja/little warrior dog in (hopefully) its final form:
i'd obviously appreciate any votes for this design when the poll comes around, but nevermind that, just get over there and check out everyone's awesome designs! i'll definitely have to try my hand at the next cap as well, the process is great, i've learnt a lot