The following posts feature works from one of my classes in Art Center, called Design Process, in which we take a story ("The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Andersen) and bring it to the world of animation feature. Characters, environments, it's all there.
These are rough thumbnails for the character of the witch, a lonely old woman living by herself on the bank of a river in Alaska. When Gerda, the main protagonist, stumbles upon the witch's house in search of her lost friend Kay, the witch decided to do anything in her power to keep Gerda with her, even if it means enchanting her barren surrounding into a magnificent, lush field of flowers.
While still figuring out the shape, I attempted some ideas for costume design. She's an inuit,
so there'll be use of animal hide, furs and colorful beads and tribal graphics.
Further down the line we did a fun little exercise where we "borrowed" a character designer's style to try and understand their process and the way they approach form, volume, line flow. I chose the amazing Nicolat Marlet, and tried to bring my design into his world.
The witch had changed by then from a big bulky character into a more chicken like figure.
I figured her trying to keep Gerda close was sort of like a mother hen incubating an egg.
I went with Marlet's very clear graphic style, his strong use of forms and his use of black and white and plays with texture.
I later went on to trying a few expressions, keeping with the same Marlet-type style. Not sure I pulled it off, but I did learn a lot in the process.
After playing with a different style for a while, I wanted to bring the design closer to how I visualized it. I kept the basic volumes the same because I liked the way they translated through the poses. The costume still needs some figuring out, but it's getting there.
And some expressions