Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Small Press, Big Mouth!!

Lovely Lee Grice, one of the guys involved in the Bayou Arcana project, has posted up a great intro to what Bayou Arcana is all about on his blog; Small Press, Big Mouth!

Featured is a word from James Pearson (the Arcana's daddy!) not to mention tasty morsels of concept art from a few of the illustrators involved, including yours truly!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Nibblers, Grazers and Thieves!

Nibblers, Grazers and Thieves, the three Bakery Fiends!

Nibblers munch a bit and leave the rest on the shelf...
Grazers eat the whole thing and walk off...
Thieves make off with a couple bags!

But none are a match for the vigilant Baker!

Inspired yesterday by talks in work of what really goes on in the Bakery!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Gideon Forbes

The final one of three characters left to design for our Bayou Arcana story; Gideon Forbes, a Banker!

Matt gave me this description to work with: "Young and ambitious, Forbes is willing to put what principals he has to one side to rise through the ranks and secure himself a future. Think waspish and well turned out with an easy smile, but without any light in his eyes."

His likeness is based on actor Aidan McArdle.

Gideon's outfit is based on this fantastic illustration on the front cover of an 1890's Gentleman's fashion book, the brown check suit really caught me for his character.
Slick, stylish and clean cut, thats how I imagined Forbes to dress. He's incredibly sharp witted and quick with mountains of confidence and the arrogance that comes with it. He's smooth, charismatic and can with a single sentence separate an honest person with their hard earned cash!

Friday, 11 February 2011

A Varmint's World

With all my Bayou Arcana character sketches recently, I feel I've been neglecting that little town in vermont home to the Varmint.

Following correspondence with Don after my last post featuring the Varmint, he mentioned that the character designs were getting a little too complex for the art style he wanted to be referenced. So I've taken a step back from character designs and am trying to suss out the Varmint's world.
Then once I have the environment sorted hopefully it'll be a simple matter of adapting my previous designs to fit the setting!

The art style Don has asked me to base the illustrations on is American Folk Art, apparently very very popular over there, with artists such as Warren Kimble being the most popular!
Here is an example of what I was trying to achieve the look of -

As you can see from these pics, American Folk Art is pretty flat and two-dimensional, with little perspective. With my adaptations of the style for the Varmint stories I have tried to keep these aspects but train them for a modern setting that is timeless and more familiar for children to identify with.

So first up then is Emma's House... (Emma is the main character in the stories)

Can you spot the Varmint hiding??

This is Emma's town, or part of it at least... Can you spot which house is Emma's?

Monday, 7 February 2011

Eleanor Brockridge

Today's character is Lady Eleanor Brockridge, wife to William Brockridge from the previous post.

Matt's description for her was; "Younger than her husband but just as bitter, Eleanor regrets a life wasted, wedded to him, and their families fading fortune. Think elegance faded and beauty aged, and instead of embracing the years trying to mask them under makeup and jewellery."

Her likeness is based on a combination of Kate Vernon's hair, nose and face shape, with Cristine Rose's eyes, mouth and cheekbones. I imagined Eleanor to have heavy lidded eyes and a tight lipped mouth to extenuate her distain toward her marriage and sour demeanor.

Eleanor's dress design is very typical of our 1890 time period; high neck, padded shoulders and embroidered details, all of which I feel make Eleanor look elegant but much older than the other women in the story. Like her husband her stern appearance has an air of dwindling wealth clinging to past glory, a dusky lavender dress matching the muted colours of her husband's clothing.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

William Brockridge

Meet Lord William Brockridge.

Matt's description of this guy left a lot of room for exploration: "A former Confederate Colonel, Brockridge is a worn and bitter man, a relic of an old ideology. Think grizzled and stern, but hollow with age. An eye lost in battle is covered by a patch, the other broods under bushy brows, lips hidden under a thick handlebar-moustache."

His likeness is based on good 'ol Edward James Olmos!

For Brockridge's clothing I researched typical jackets etc for Confederate Colonels of the Civil war thinking that Brockridge would be proud of his younger more successful days, wanting to relive them in a way and hang onto that old ideology. He'd wear medals of achievement on his chest at any occasion to mark his past victories. But underneath all that past glory his clothes appear old, faded and musty, revealing his present financial state to be waning.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Margaret Belmont

This next character is an Actress; Margaret Belmont.

The description Matt gave me of her was; "Fiery and flirtatious, Belmont craves adulation, defining herself by the opinions of others. Think attractive and seemingly at ease with herself, she tries to be larger than life to attract the attention that sustains her."

The visual reference I had to her appearance was Jodie Foster; small, slim and sharp. I decided to go for Jodie as she looks these days, so Belmont looks a little past her prime and showing her age slightly. She's still flirty and attractive but with an undertone that shes having to work a little harder to keep the once effortless good looks that got her into the acting business. This also sets her apart from the natural innocent beauty of Alice and makes us feel like she would do anything for fame!

Dress wise I thought a vivacious scarlet and black lace number would best suit our Miss Belmont! The design was based on an 1890 walking suit, the bottom of the dress is hitched up for better movement, so the boots are visible.
With her busy lifestyle and need to uphold a public face where ever she goes, I imagined her looking both fashionable and stylish but practical.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Beauty and the Beast

This is me just having fun with practicing characters and putting them together, here Alice and Waldrip are set up like they are about to get a photo portrait done.