“Final Outcomes”

The group met on the Monday afternoon with designs we had from the previous day and some additional designs we had done in our spare time. With this we each swapped over each others designs, we thought this would create a more collaborative experience for us that would hopefully reflect in our final designs.

Above are my sketches: I had took over the ‘Rabbitpede’ created by Rhea, ‘Lorna’ created by Lorna and the ‘insect/frog’ created by Robert. With these drawings I created an imitations of them; altering parts to fit with the style we chose and to simplify. I loved playing about with characters and adding a certain personality to them. I think i fell in love with the Rabbit centipede; something about craziness draws me in!

When we were ready and made final alterations we did a character profile on A2 sheets of all of the creatures in each layered habitat. These were drawn by all of us to continue the collaborative experience we already had with the project. The outcome of this myself and the group are really proud of. We feel that the style looks the same across all the characters and they belong in the same world; despite 4 artists working it and it being based on 3 different layers.

We also began to add narrative to these characters. The chicken Lady (other wise known as ‘Chicken Breasts’) doesn’t know she’s a chicken and lives in the civilised world with Mayor Von Snout (pig man) as rulers or slave drivers to these humans. The little girl known as Lorna we thought could be an adventurous character who likes to interact with creatures on all the layers


Drawing Guides

As fun as the drawing exercise was on Friday I thought I would elaborate and make my creatures more relevant to the style of adventure time. I personally doing rough sketches; it gives me an idea of the animals involved and a chance for me to loosen my hands.

Sketches to understand further on the creature hybrids
Sketches to understand further on the creature hybrids

As a group we discussed making a guide for our creatures so that today we could be able to draw each others and alter as we see fit.

In relation to my own drawings I hope the group like my drawings as I would regard myself as a very sketchy artist and clean lines is something I need to work on!!

A character guide of the turtle moth hybrid!
A character guide of the turtle moth hybrid!

Character Drawing session

In our group we each are drawing a victorian character and a creature or two so we can share designs and develop each others concepts
For our character drawing we have 3 levels :

  • Outer layer- A victorian civilisation
  • Middle layer- Creatures that are hybrid of “cute” & “Creepy”
  • Inner layer- Creatures that  are hybrids of “creepy” & “scary”

For our Victorian layer we used Roberts designs. We all loved the style and decided to imitate his drawings for the victorian characters. Robert drew a guide for us to draw out these characters so we can imitate and elaborate on his concepts

Roberts guide to the victorian people
Roberts guide to the victorian people

To create the characters we carried out an exercise. We listed creepy and cute creatures and listed scary villain or monsters. Wrote them and separated them into piles. For the middle layer we picked up a cute creature and creepy creature and drew that hybrid. For the Inner layer we picked up a scary creature and creepy creature and did the same.
Below are the photos of the session:

The outcome was a fun experience and i think we all enjoyed the activity. We were able to create designs which can elaborate on and now narrow down designs we aren’t sure on.

Group meeting

Today once all our life drawing classes were finished we were able to discuss ideas and we decided on using the idea of the kinetic layered idea.  We then explored the victorian era; we thought that the civilisation at the top should be the the victorian characters; prey you may call. The further down the layers the more creatures and predators!

12034438_10208171984562129_8124872275008308336_oWe took out the book and we were able to get references for designs and an idea of the aesthetic we should be looking for.
Victorian Fashions and Costumes from ‘Harper’s
Bazar:1867 to1898’
Blum, Stella
Published New York: Dover Publications, 1974 Published London: Constable, 1974

Lorna looked at Toby Allen; an illustrator who has created creatres based off mental illnesses.  I was aware of his before and really like the series he did based don mental illnesses; other know as the real monsters. The point of it was to bring mental illness to light for people who are uneducated and the way the creator thought it work best was through character designs.

We liked the creature element and the drawing style was cool but we thought it may be bit hard for us to replicate. However the monster profile is a nice way to present creatures which we could take into reference.

Toby Allen: Source Image

In terms of drawing style we looked at various artists. I looked at Guillermo Del Toro but only as a guide. 

Robert looked at ‘Roly Poly Oly’ which has a very simple character structure made of of simple spheres. This style seemed easy but it was was in a drawing style that we could alter to fit our own designs. Especially when thinking of the victorian civilisation where the body and proportions could be made up of so many spheres.

Roly Poly Oly: Source Image

We then looked at Adventure Time which in the end became the drawing style we have sought after. The premise of the show itself is set after an apocalyptic setting and features monsters and fantasy which we thought was too relevant in our world.

Adventure Time Character Sheets

We found they’re common thread in all there characters is the face and arms. Dots for eyes, very simple line work for a mouth and rarely there is a nose (unless needed) The arms were all designed the same and overall the colour work is very bright. Adding in these elements to our own designs will help us carry out a general theme for our characters

Now all is left is to Design!

Playing with Marbles

This morning Lorna had came in with marbles she had at home so we could get a look at them first hand. Myself and Rhea got together and started playing with this marbles for “research.”

Spinning Marbles

We loved the way when the marbles were spun. Taking the layered idea we developed it we came up with kinetic layers. In a game the aim is to hit the marbles and getting them to move position. Personifying the marble; its purpose in life is to move; so why can’t the layers in the marble move as well!

Thinking of the idea of a fish in glass bowl. The characters in the layers would move along to carry out of the purpose of existence. Thinking of deep sea creatures

Sketches of deep sea life
Sketches of deep sea life

Tying in Lorna’s ideas of season and time where there are parts that have different time structures and environment. We talked about how when one layer is alive/awake/out of hibernation; It moves and all the layers alternate. Thinking of the layers intertwining and at a point in the “day” they all stop and another they are all synchronised.

We also like the light coming through the marble but have yet to explore idea.

Victorian Element

Robert posted in a group Facebook page we made of the idea of victorian people as characters for our world. I wanted to develop this idea so i thought about combining the two ideas. Since a lot of horror derived in the victorian era it would be nice to create a certain atmosphere or narrative.

I thought of the tv show Penny Dreadful; taken from literature with the premise of killing monsters in a victorian setting.  Reflecting this back to marble world and our top layer, the ideas are open for stories to be told of the victorians fighting monsters that travel in different layers. It could have an effect like ‘Sleepy Hollow’ (The TV show) showing main characters from an era completely confused when put in other eras or dimensions.

Source image

I found these links which might be useful:
1) Link on Literature
2) Link on Literature

They reference early fiction with an apocalyptic setting. Whether this links are explored further i don’t know. Thinking this could be more related to narrative! There’s books that are very obvious like Bram Stokers Dracula and Frankenstein which relate to gothic literature.  However there are some more science fiction novels by H.G Wells which could be explored as it looks at apocalyptic fiction and when terror strikez.

Also looking at fashion; theres this book in the Belfast campus library which could be useful for character designs:

Screenshot from the Ulster University Library catalogue
Screenshot from the Ulster University Library catalogue

In additional because in the book there is very little visuals of men’s fashion; i tried to look quickly at this gender. What i’m finding is waistcoats and top hats seems to be very popular in the victorian era.
How fancy!


All the Horror! (Spoilers)

Thinking monsters; instantly one film came to mind. ‘Cabin in the woods’ A film directed by Joss Whedon which summarizes the entire horror genre. I thought of the layer idea and how at the end of the film the ancient gods rise up from below and kill everyone!

The board with all the monsters: Source Image

The whiteboard in the film was my favourite part as it had (kinda) all the monsters that could have been in the start of the film. I wanted to know where half of these monsters came from and thats when i found a guy on youtube who to me perfectly references all monsters in the film!

It led me to some of Guillermo del toro’s sketchbook work. The sugarplum fairy in Cabin in the woods was based off his work (apparently) but looking at his concepts are just inspiring to see detailed sketches in just a sketchbook ( of many sketchbooks)

I found an article he did where he shares 14 pieces of advice and for me in terms of motivation and sketchbook work I think they are gold. Especially number 9; great advice on sketchbooks there. 

  1. Know what came before part 1 – (or in other words) No original idea has been done look into your predecessors
  2. Get the gore right
  3. Understand biology is horror
  4. Know what came before part 2
  5. School yourself in life
  6. Think visually
  7. Know what came before you part 3
  8. Simplify the scare
  9. Messy is okay
  10. Steal from your younger self
  11. Color with Care
  12. Make a transcendent moment
  13. Embrace failure
  14. Find yourself in the story

He also said some after about critique which i can think is something I need to do instead of quitting;

“When we showed Cronos to the head of the Mexican film Institute, he said this movie’s going to go nowhere blah blah blah. I memorialized that day in my notebook because I said “I have to out live this day.”

Everybody reads the reviews; it’s inevitable. But how you end up filing that in your heart is very important. Don’t file it under “I must stop.” File it under “Fuck it, I’m going to prevail.” – Guillermo Del Toro


Pages from Toro’s sketchbook: Source 

With this i have a lot of film references to explore I feel like this is start of me entering a dark world of monsters!