I absolutely LOVE a panda and so this challenge actually came with a lot of pressure to do them justice! I started with some inky mark making and doodling to get some elements to play with.
It doesn't look very productive at this stage, but once I'd scanned them into the computer and started combining some of the marks using Photoshop I was able to build characters with them.
It took a bit of trial and error to find a style that I liked, but once I found it I was able to create additional characters more quickly. I used a textured brushstroke to draw outlines and lightened the inky marks so that the eyes of the pandas wouldn't be lost.
I experimented with giving my characters things to hold and play with, and I also liked the idea of having some antisocial characters with their backs turned. Eventually, though, I decided to keep my layout simple and clean.
I was keeping my design time limited to a strict deadline, so I think I could continue working with these characters a lot more in the future.
I've really enjoyed working on these daily design challenges, and the response I've had to the work has been such a positive boost! I think I'll definitely be giving myself this Design a Day challenge again very soon!