When creating a design, I find it beneficial to make a few different versions. My aim here is only to clearly communicate the general aspects of the design. I'll use big blobs of color, lines, shadowshapes, technique doesn't really matter. I'm not thinking about communicating the attitude or story of the character through the pose either, that comes later. My major concern is the gameplay, and how the character can enhance that gameplay, and if he or she will be distinguishable from other elements of the game. I'm thinking about visual identity in regards to other games and movies too. I see many artists do this step in grayscale, but in my experience color is almost as important as silhouette, and in general should not be omitted at this stage. 10-30 minutes each is a pretty good time for me to do these. Usually 90% of what's produced in this step will go in the trashbin, so it isn't very cost effective to make them any prettier. If me and the AD can see what my intention is, then I've achieved my goal. More to follow.