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Sally Redesign Part 3 by BenBates Sally Redesign Part 3 by BenBates
De-roboticized- Sally Acorn

Hey all, sorry for the hold up on this! I did not by any means intend to drag this out but I got stomped on with work and then my health took a dive last month. Now I'm crawling my way back into the land of the living.

So for all those interested, here's my last entry into the Sally redesign!

This one's a bit different as the drawings were done at different points throughout the last two years.  I'll just go through the different chunks of time.

APRIL 2011-
These first sketches were drawn while I was working on the two Mecha Sally designs. I then shelved this concept in order to pencil issues 230-232 of Sonic the Hedgehog. In my mind the Sally redesign is only half way done. I figured I had two years before she would be de-roboticized, PLENTY of time to come back and strengthen the design.
However I never officially returned to working on Sally Acorn and the rest of the drawings were done in my ever decreasing free time and of my own initiative.  The further I got from working on the Sonic comics the less sure I was Archie would want to use my redesign when the time came (after all two years is a long time to change your mind). But I wanted to get the design right for my own personal satisfaction, and if Archie still wanted to use it I wanted to have it all done and ready to go.

I'm pretty sure that I'd never drawn any redesigns or "Sega style" Sally Acorn's until editor Paul Kaminski asked if I'd be interested in doing it. I hadn't developed any personal ideas yet on what would make a "good Sally" and this allowed me to be experimental in the beginning, trying out some pretty wild stuff now that I'm looking at it again.
Although it may look weird two years later, I imagine it's only because its a rough first stab. Any of these ideas could have been refined and made stronger. 

Let's talk about some of the elements.

Colors- White was introduced because so many Sega Sonic characters use it throughout their designs. Black was introduced to reference her direct transformation from Mecha Sally.

Hair- My primary concern was to create a distinctive shape for Sally's "hair" so that it would be a structured visual tag like Sonic's spines, or Tails' bangs, or something like Amy's bangs/spines, Knuckles distinct spines, Shadows unique spines, Big's mullet and geez I guess all the other Sega characters have really specific shapes. To change any of those shapes is to get it "wrong". Draw any more than three bangs on Tails and you're "wrong".

When Sally is drawn with a flowing mane and each strand of hair is immaculately rendered she appears alien to me in the universe she is intended to inhabit. Or really, perhaps it's more accurate to say Sonic and all other Sega characters have been placed into an alien universe...

Face design- Again you can see I made several experimental strokes, just trying stuff out. I wanted to drop the cheek tufts, or at the very least, tone them down and make them stand out from all the other cheek tuft Archie characters.

After turning these in it was decided to go with outfit 01, hair 03, and face design 01. Only then was a request made to add gloves to the design, with option 06 as the winner. 

That's the exact moment where all progress stopped and I began penciling issue 230, knowing full well that when Sally pushed that button and said goodbye, it really was the final time we were going to see her.

AUGUST 2011-
Messing around with Sally for my own amusement, trying to get a better fix on her look and what I might do with the shapes before the redesign. 
The eyes were my most crucial discovery! Her eyes are fully open in current comics, but when  I was a kid back with issue 25 I was fascinated with just that hint of the eyelid. I began to wonder if I can bring that back for the redesign...

The long hair was added just for fun. Trying to find a shape with it, not that flowing mane. 

This is a key drawing of Sally's brother Elias that influences most of my philosophy when drawing any non-Sega character afterwards. 

I drew Elias for the first time in issue 223. At the time I had no personal idea on how I wanted to represent the character and simply had to plow ahead with the first thing I could come up with. For my own amusement I decided to do this sketch of him and I started to study his design compared specifically to the Sega characters. What became a bit of a personal revelation was that a lot of Sonic characters have big shapes coming off of them to create their unique silhouettes. Sonic with his spines, Tails' tails, the Babylon Rouges big feathers,  Cream's ears, etc. I realized I needed to exaggerate and define Elias' hair to become more of a distinctive shape. Two big long pieces at the bottom, and three big pieces pushed from back the top. The eyebrows are also exaggerated to provide more of a fun silhouette.  

Obviously not every Sonic character conforms to this design approach, Mighty and Vector being prime examples, but they make up for this by having unique body shapes (Vector possessed two cool body shapes throughout his conception!).

My intention with Sally's redesign is to actually make her hair shorter (so I did the opposite of this personal revelation),  but for the next set of drawings I followed the same approach as Elias. You'll see in January I gave her the two long juts of hair out the back just like Elias, thinking this could provide a visual calling card as siblings, perhaps running all the way through to one of the parents but allowing the silhouette of each character to differentiate itself with the top of the head. 

Nearly a year later! Wow! I'm deep into drawing Mega Man at this point but luckily it seems my head is still in a good mental space for Sonic from the Long Hair and Elias drawings. I seem to get what drawing Sonic stuff is all about (at least to me). There's a lot of drawings here I like!

I had seen someone's avatar on Deviantart with a drawing of Sally's head and I loved the shape they had figured out. I wanted to try it myself but could not remember the name of the account to study from. I actually stumbled across it a few months ago again and thought for sure I would remember the name when it came to write this but I've spaced it. If I can track them down I'll happily point it out to everyone! 

So aside from going for the cool face shape, my intention was to try and draw a Sally before the redesign that fit better with the Sega style. If I could solve this design perhaps I could take elements and apply it to the redesign.

I love the last drawings of Sally and Bunnie in this section but I've got a little write up for those that comes later. Essentially this is what I might have done if I had total freedom to redesign Sally. 

Wow, another huge jump in time. Unfortunately now I'm totally blowing it! I've forgotten how to draw Sally and all the cool stuff I figured out back in January. A terrible drawing.

Again, I'm blowing it. At this point in time I'm working on Ninja Turtles for IDW and my head is in a totally different place. And although no one from Archie has contacted me or even spoken about the redesign in two years, I'm starting to feel the pressure. The redesign has got to be coming up soon in the published comic and if there's any chance for me to make changes I'm going to have to act on it soon.

The first sketch there is awful, but the roughs to right are a sign I'm moving in the right direction. I'm toying with her hair and trying to figure out how it works as a 3d shape. I do the color sketch below those which isn't that bad at all, trying out a variation on the cheek tufts, but my free time is at an end and I've got to get back to the Turtles. 

APRIL 2013-
I don't remember exactly how this went down but it might have been when editor Paul Kaminski hired me for the covers of Sonic 252-256. There must have been some mention of redesigns and I was delighted to learn that the immensely talented :iconryanjampole: had taken over and was redesigning all the characters!
After confirming that they did intend to use my redesign from 2011, I quickly emailed Ryan and he graciously allowed me to team up with him on finalizing Sally Acorn! 

I slapped together this quick note document for him and we started hammering things out.  You can read through my notes and get some further insight. The image in the bottom right was done by :iconmegahayzer: and I appreciated the effort he made in trying to get my weird elements to work. 

Ryan and I kicked around a TON of ideas on how to do Sally and I really put him through the ringer on it. As you can imagine the redesign of Sally was the hardest to get everyone on the Archie team to agree on and Ryan was constantly drawing new Sally pieces. 

Luckily he brought so many great elements to the design, even seemingly small touches like changnig her black shorts to a deep blue. This unified the overall color scheme and simplified her all at once. 

As you may have read in my notes, I dislike the overuse of brown in the Archie cast and if it were up to me I'd make Sally red all over. Aboloshing any possibility of "hair" and helping her to better fit in a world of blue hedgehogs and purple cats. Luckily Ryan agreed with this and gave it a shot with the option 'B' artwork you'll see above.
As expected that wasn't approved, so I took Ryan's art and tried doing a sort of Babylon Rouges/Marine the Raccoon two tone thing.  I wanted to get rid of hair forever and tried all kinds of fun stuff! 

Again Ryan came to the rescue and created the markings all across Sally's back, primarily visible on the back of the ears and her tail. He sent this over my way and I did just one last, tiny change. Erasing the line defining the ear and her hair, so that it was clear there is no difference!!!

And that was it! Sally was redesigned!

I've only drawn her once since then for the cover of 256. I wanted so bad to draw her with some of the back of her head visible but it just didn't work with the concept. So I made sure to squeeze just a tiny bit of red on the back of her head and ear! HAHAHA!

-The end-

So it really was two years from when I first started to doodle a redesign for Sally Acorn until I had my last bit of input. 
Add a Comment:
Quinstiff Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Awesome job, Ben Bates!

Sally looks so cool! :D
TheEchidnaMaster Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Your Elias was amazing! I've always wondered if Sally and Elias have ever been mistaken for twins.😂 Just food for thought.
Megaloceros-Urhirsch Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ooooh, the markings on Sallys ear i realy like! With them, she looks like a Chipmunk and tis suits her! >//<
Sonic27464 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Who drew the Other Freedom Fighters i've been Dying to Look at their behind the scenes process
TheEchidnaMaster Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Tracy did, he has dA page. And Evan Stanley came up with Harvey Hoo's design.(hope I spelled that right!)
jayfoxfire Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'll be honest; I'm not that impressed with Archie's new Sally design. I love the old design better.
aRBy125 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014
Very cool to see how the design process works.  Thank you the 'behind-the-scenes' look.
bluefantasy Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm forever going to miss the cheek tufts. T-T  I was curious, why does NICOLE still have hair and tufts?  Just because she's a hologram?
Skaleigha Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2014  Student General Artist
I really wish you'd have kept the cheek tufts. Even if you toned them down, Sally's design just doesn't seem complete without them.
And I still don't understand why so many people say that these Archie characters don't look like Sonic characters. The reason I like the Archie universe more than the SEGA universe is because of all the diversity. All the unique and even simple designs are great! I liked Sally's simpler design more. Not saying I don't like this one, just that the other one was better.
MinaWolf10 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
THANK YOU. ALL I CAN SAY AT THE MOMENT. BLESS. YOU. I literally cannot find ANYONE ANYWHERE that can understand a long-time fan's being a bit upset about the redesign. 
whitefang135 Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, I don't get the hate on Archie either. :/

Around here though, everyone keeps saying it's because of the storyline, but personally I find it just fine. :p

~sigh...~ It sucks being the only sonic fan that likes the comic around where I live. T^T
MinaWolf10 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Kindred spirits here I see. (I FINALLY FOUND LIKE-MINDED FANS)
whitefang135 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Huzzah! :dummy:
Zeromegas Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014
But i liked the check tufts, are cute that things
Yarcaz Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Well this is a very good deviation I must say I am baffled and appreciate all the time and effort that was put into this. GREAT JOB :D
ShoStyle Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Now, that's some character work.
ScruffyToto Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh awesome! I love the head turn-arounds and proportions.  Into the Sonic ref pile it goes!

I like that messy all orange one where it looks like she has hedgehog quills.
D-Thessy Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014
First of all, sorry for my english. 

Wow, this is incredible. I have to congratulate you on your excellent work. I like so much your style, how you are using the logic of the universe of Sonic, for example the the strong colors and the characters that haven't hair (I don't like with hair) 
Thank you very much for showing us all evolution.
hopeisnotdead Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That hair thing about which you said you couldn't find out who the artist is, I think it's Drawloverlala's style. She draws hair for Sally the same you do, I don't know. Trying to be helpful!

Anyway, I like this. It shows me that you put a lot of thought into redesigning her instead of doing it in one sitting like others make it to be. Love your art as usual!
vaporotem Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Professional General Artist
You Sally is best Sally :I

I LOVE those back colored ears you gave her and the way they blend with her hair~ It gives her much more of a complete design feeling :>
XSonicPencillerX Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2014  Student General Artist
Wow! Two years?! _ that's a lot. It's a good thing since you provide your excellent talents to other comics. I hope to see more from you in the future! ^^
Fox-Hunter Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
'Really glad to see all of your progress and study here!
Thansk for sharing, that is very interesting to see the "making of" and how things works =]

I shall praise you for insisting on removing hair and making it as "longer fur", 'cause that's just how I believe it shall be! If they're all covered in fur, it sounds just wrong to have different color hair =p
Just glad you got that working!
I wonder if Elias shall now get tthe same fur pattern as she did now, to hide the "hair" thing.

Just one thing I couldn't agree with you is about the cheeks, as I did enjoy them being fluffier (Tails or Big do have them fluffy anyway). Still I get your point on that, as you did want to hamonize every character.

Congratulatiosn for the work! You did a nice job on that!
I'm gonna miss the classic Sally designe, mostly for nostalgic reasons (I did love how she were the only girl dressing diferently, gave her a stronger personality), but one proof that the new visual is good is that I did show both to my girlfriend (who is unfamiliar to Sonic universe, both comcis or games), and she liked both but undoubtedly preferred the new one! haha!
Pur-Rulz Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2014
"I wonder if Elias shall now get tthe same fur pattern as she did now, to hide the "hair" thing."

Uh, Elias kinda won't be getting a new look...
Fox-Hunter Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Any reason for that? Because the King did get a different one..
Pur-Rulz Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
I'll note it to you so it doesn't take up the comments. 
Fox-Hunter Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! Glad you did.
KettRockett Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow I didn't even notice the thing with the hair that's super cool I like this.
Robian-Kat Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Once again, So many people whine about her design change. But I think its a nice step for Archie to take; Sally deserved a fresh new design >:3. Let those fan brats cry, I'm a sally fan and I approve the changes. It's still the same old sally >8U She just looks even more amazing!
Quinstiff Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
I agree! She does look amazing!
SaveFearow Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
The avatar is by :iconmegahayzer: MegaHayzer is sometimes on bumbleking as well as deviantart. I love the insight in to the design. I remember thinking Sally's hair formed a heart shape when I saw the reveal and wondering if was intentional.

Nice job, Mr. Bates.
Turquoisecake Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! Amazing!
I love new Sally's design. Great process
CatbeeCache Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Love your redesign. It obviously had a lot of thought put into it as well. I look forward to seeing more of her.

I'm wondering if any part of her new facial design was a nod to pink Sally? By which I mean the Sally seen in SatAM's pilot, as shown here-… ). I always considered that Sally the most charming, so seeing 'new' Sally sharing so many traits as that Sally pleases me quite a bit, and I'm just wondering if it were intentional or a case of happy coincidence.
BenBates Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Professional
It wasn't consciously intentional, but I had of course seen the different versions of Sally and they've bubbling around in my subconscious for many years. Who can say if that didn't have a role to play in what I thought looked "like Sally" but different. 

Also, she's got white on the top of her boots! Looks like its all just reverting back to the old design...
CatbeeCache Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I appreciate the resemblance, consciously intentional or not. As I said, it's one of my favorite designs and I like very much to see it come full circle. It feels like 'what's old is new again' while keeping things crisp and refreshing. I rather wish I could of seen how you'd of designed the rest of the cast. I think well enough of what we have now, I'm just always curious about your thought processes, like the heart shape that you've lended to Sally's head here.

And on the subject of the subconscious- it can do strange things at times. I think that's why it's important for an artist to experience/observe art of many different sources- you'll never know what may pop up at some point. Sometimes we end up with influences we never realized we had.
Wakeangel2001 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
as a guy who has made many custom Sally figures I gotta say imagining that hair as a 3-D shape has always been the hardest part of the whole thing.  It took me A LOT of tries but in the end what I worked out actually looks really similar to what you've illustrated here.
AhO4464 Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
I for one think that her design is very charming! ^^
SorcererLance Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Student Filmographer
So as far back as 2011... I've been reading the comics since the very beginning and honestly, the new look has been growing on me, even with the missing/shaved cheek tufts. Then again, she was WAY overdue for a redesign as most of the other characters sported new looks that became permanent during the Y2K days. I guess my suspicions were correct her redesign was possibly due to Robotnik's upgrades when she was roboticized (which brings up the morbid question if putting metal pieces into a deroboticizer would turn them into clothes or flesh) as opposed to a redesign specifically for the rebooted universe...

I will admit I do agree with you there were a lot of brown-colored characters, though thankfully a few staples like Bunnie and Tails gradually became more yellow. Though Sally as all red? It'd be reverting her back to her original color scheme from the first few issues when she sported blonde hair.
I'm not sure if she'd look as good as she does now, but I'd need to see some roughs of how that would look to give a fair opinion.

I do however, like that she looks more of a chipmunk than ever giving her that stripe along her back to her tail. There was a ton of confusion with her species back then when the old writers couldn't decide if she was a chipmunk or a squirrel despite the short tail.

A shame you're not working on the Sonic comics anymore, or at least for the time being. Your art for the comics have been a delight.
MattsterWeb Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
Let's be honest with each other - this isn't about Sally. This was all a clever ruse to gauge reader reaction on a new red blob character that says "Blargh!", wasn't it? ;D
PC2 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I will be forever in your debt for finally, finally being rid of those wretched caterpillar eyebrows she's been plagued with for the past several years and going back to her...well, much preferred nonexistent eyebrows.
PhillyBlue Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I liked her eyebrows, good sir!
DoryaNelson Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014
This is absolutely glorious! 
I-Oreo Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
TheGothicWriter Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Student General Artist
scipioninja Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014
I miss the cheek tufts.
MarkWilder Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
Me too.
Guardian-of-Legends Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I think it's SO cool when an artist shows off their creative process when they design something. The creative process is always done in several steps, maybe even spanning years, but when you see all the effort it took to get to the final result, it's always really interesting.
Thanks a bunch for making this information available to everyone, Mr. Bates, because I really appreciate that! :)

By the way... I support the redesigns completely, they look great and while I do understand why the hate is for them is justified, I think it's all really a matter of personal opinion.
ChickaruPocket Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow! You really got ahead of yourself.
Well then, first off, I would like to say that I love your artwork and the way you draw characters ;) , not just STH, but also other comic books, it really inspired me your ways of illustrating, and it really got me readin' other comics such as New Crusaders, TMNT, Star Wars, etc.
Well then, now to the main thing, Sally's new design was for me surprisingly astonishing by her sporty look. (I honestly wasn't confort on some of her changes, but later on, my mind began to change, I thought that maybe it'll give a new start for the series and character)
I just think she might be missing something, her Hair, it's amazing but I would suggest adding hair across her cheeks (not tufts) but as for example this Busou Shinki:…
It'll make her (in my opinion) look more tomboyish, not really in a way to Princess Daisy but giving her more 'style' for a princess and at the same time a tomboy. You know 'cause she's a Tomboy Princess. :P Well enough, this is just my opinion, I'm not trying to convince anyone, mostly anything that's going on in the STH series are actually amazing. Anyone else, please respect other peoples opinions, it's okay to criticize, but please don't disrespect. If there were by any chance to recover or do a few changes THEN DO IT FOR THE SAKE OF THE FANS! Just kiddin'. Draw on Ben!
Pur-Rulz Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014
As someone who loathed her guts before the crossover made the multiverse go kablooey, I've actually been enjoying her design and personality in this new world so far. More balanced, more consistent looking, and without the baggage that formed part of the reason I didn't like her. It's been nice to see the whole process, even if things didn't work out quite as you planned (I notice that in the comic pages, Sally has two "wings" of hair at the back as opposed to one in these concepts. And of course there's the abrupt end to the Mecha Sally arc). 

Still like the elbow nudge at the prior relationship though. :3c
gamma102 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014
I don't care what anyone says, Sally AUGUST 2011 was the best design. Really showed her tomboy side.
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March 10, 2014
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