Props! props are a key to storytelling. There are two different types of props:
Tools and Icons
A Tool is an extension of the character, weapons, armor, devices. There is a difference between costuming and props however, think of a bluetooth headset as a prop that just happens to be worn.
An Icon is a main desire of a character or group of characters. The key of an icon is that it isn't used by someone for a purpose, except to propel the plot forward. Some props are taken to the extreme and become McGuffins.
A McGuffin is a prop that is never used, and about which there is probably very little, except that the main character must retrieve it.
Before designing successful props, tool or icon, you must know about the characters so that you can design items that fit the characters. To that end... here is my character sheet with my protagonist and antagonist for my props assignment. I might want to make full story about this later, we'll see...
Here are the rough final designs based on the character sheet. I showed these to the class for critique and applied what I heard to the final illustrations.
Here is Rigel's staff. I went with the crooked staff because Rigel is a shepherd like character and I liked the attitude it gave off.
Rigel's book of spells. This got the most critical review as it felt more under developed compared to the rest of the props. I agree, I would have prefer to flesh this out further with texture and some grey values.
Rigel's Gauntlet, after the rough design critique I researched samurai gauntlets for the final design, and pulled the twisting element from the staff into the arm piece.
Krax's Potion, for our assignment we had to have a detail shot of each prop and that was hard for this one, so I decided to instead show the contents, that idea was well received. Each of the ingredients adds to a part of Krax's lovable personality... that was sarcasm.
Here is Krax's helm, I changed the location of the sunstone to the jaw piece and flipped it in orientation so that it would contrast with when it is upright in Rigel's gauntlet.
This final design went through the most changes from the original rough concept. I changed the backstory to be that Krax was hunting for the sunstone when it fell from the sky and instead he found this meteor and decided to carve it into a hammer. It fits the character more instead of a carefully crafted metal weapon to be a giant space stone carved for blunt force trauma. (By the way, there is a weapon called a meteor hammer and it doesn't look like this but it is awesome.