Final spread (unless a publisher wants to approach me for a full book… hint, hint). To be honest all these pages have been very rough and the character design pretty elementary. There’s a definite Disney aesthetic to all the pages which wasn’t initially intentional, but certainly was in the last two spreads.
So what next? I think the background work in this one has been pretty weak, so I might attempt something with a greater emphasis on the environment that the characters live in…
This isn’t really a character sheet… well it is because of how it looks here, but it’s actually a movement cycle for a double page spread that I’ll hopefully have done tomorrow. I should actually work on character sheets more I think if I want to work for Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks/Netflix as a character designer, so expect more of these! I’m pretty happy with this except for the face of the first figure (far left). I’ve been looking at the way a lot of the Disney (and similar studios) character artists work over the last couple of days, especially the likes of Annette Marnat https://annettemarnat.ultra-book.com/portfolio, Kevin Roualland https://rouaroua.tumblr.com/, and Brittany Myers https://rouaroua.tumblr.com/, check out their work!
After finishing the spread yesterday (bottom picture) and looking at it again this morning I couldn’t help but notice a few things that needed changing, so I’ve faffed about all day redoing the piece (top picture). Here’s what was wrong;
Firstly, Freyja’s right arm is massive! Look at the size of that monster! So I rescaled it so she would look more human.
Second, another Freyja issue was her features. The eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth just seemed a bit odd and not quite in perspective, so again I corrected this and added white to the eyes.
Third was the trees. They seemed to lack any real texture and seemed a tad desaturated, so I found some old ink markings I made a while ago and applied those to combat the issue.
Fourth. Character shadows and highlights. I was going to avoid adding either of these but thought I’d add some bounce light from the snow and a bit of ambient occlusion. The problem is it looks a bit airbrushed now, so I might have to make another tweak.
Fifth. The writing was huge! I get that it’s a kids book so the text is meant to be big, but Christ! Resized it. Looks better.
I also changed the colour of the birds. This wasn’t really a problem, I just wanted to see what they’d look like white, and they certainly blend less with Thor. Added some icicles as well just for good measure.
If I’m honest I’m not over the moon with this spread. I think the main issue is that I find square compositions tricky to illustrate. I’ve noticed that many illustrators, when working with square compositions, either break the page up into two or three separate illustrations or they make the main focal point dead centre, so this is something I will bear in mind going forward.
Double page spread for a possible kids book about the Norse god Freyja taming the boar Hildisvini. This is only a rough spread, but I do like how it’s looking. I tried to stay away from adding cast shadows and strong light because I think the colours work quite well and Freyja and the boar pop really well against the background. In case you’re wondering, the boar is meant to be the size of a horse because in the mythology Freyja rides him.
The text is just something I thought up super quickly and is by no means how it would read in the finished piece, it’s just to give publishers/agents an idea of where the text for the spread would sit.
I’ll keep rolling with this project until I’ve finished a couple more pages, so hopefully that won’t take more than half a week.
Odin character design. I don’t know why but I’ve been avoiding doing any real character design for a while now. Since we’re going to be in lockdown for the foreseeable future I’m going to perhaps try and do week long character design and visual development projects. An example may be illustrating Norse Gods, like I plan to do this week, then shifting to an ancient Rome theme, and then on to woodland creatures etc, etc… so we’ll see how it goes!
This is my take on Odin and his two ravens Huginn and Muninn. Not sure why I chose to kick things off with this guy, but I suppose I’ve always had a slight fascination with Norse mythology and Norway in general, so I was bound to attempt their Viking gods at some point.