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Thread: Illustrating a fairy tale

  1. #1
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    Illustrating a fairy tale

    Hi everyone,

    Lately I’ve been finding inspiration to draw from fairytales. One in particular which caught my attention was “The beetle who went on his travels” by Hans Christian Anderson. So here are a few sketches from the story:
    http://www.ivyjoy.com/fables/beetle.html

    I feel I need to focus a bit more and create some character designs.. maybe this project is too big for just myself, and I could perhaps get some other artists interested in co-illustrating a short story with me?

    Any comments/ crits you may have are welcome.
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  3. #2
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    more sketches

    Here are some more sketches from random characters in the story. It appears that there are actually quite a lot of characters and environments in the story:

    List of characters
    1. The emperor
    2. The emperor’s horse
    3. the beetle who travels
    4. Farrier – man who puts horseshoes on horses
    5. Lady-birds/ ladybugs
    6. Caterpillar
    7. Two frogs
    8. Swallow who flies to foreign lands
    9. Earwigs in crockery
    10. Beatles in ditch
    i. Elder beetle
    ii. Female beetles
    two schoolboys –who are studying latin
    11. Gardener’s son –one of two boys who put beetle in the shoe
    12. The fly – visits the beetle in the shoe on the lake
    13. Young girls – in a rowboat on the lake

    Environments
    battlefield
    Horses stable
    Flower garden
    Shadow of haystack
    Grass lawn in garden
    Linen laid to bleach on the grass
    Piece of broken crockery
    Ditch with pond
    The hothouse
    Lake at the end of the garden

    Objects
    Cabbage leaf which beetle sails across ditch with
    Old wooden shoe with a stick in it
    Rowboat of the young girls in the lake
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  4. #3
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    some progress

    I've been sketching a bunch of ideas for different characters in the story, but many of them still need more work... but in the meantime, here's some progress for concept art of the frogs:
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    caterpillar character design

    I tried a few different designs for the caterpillar in the story. I feel that the body didn't really present lots of options for distortion to still recognize it as a caterpillar, but the head was a lot more open for design exploration. Does anyone have any ideas on how I could have pushed the designs further?
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    ladybug character design

    Here I am again.. persevering onward.
    The ladybug character design seemed too simple based on the different ideas I had. But I guess the simple circular shapes seemed the most appealing to me. A particular problem with this character is being able to recognize it as a ladybug from the front view. Also, I'm trying not to stray to far into existing character designs by others...
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    wow, you've been busy! I think your ladybug is very cute and adorable, just make sure you keep the head and eyes big to push the cute angle. I don't know if the frogs are good or bad in your story, but if they're good guys, I'd recommend you focus on the bottom middle Egg-Shaped Frog. For some reason, that shape is really great! So simple, but really appealing!
    also be really careful with putting teeth on children's story characters! I've had many an art director make me airbrush even the roundest, most colorful teeth off of an animal!
    But you've got a ton of stuff on here, so I know you've been working hard, and you'll be successful with the finished product.
    Jason Martin, Artist

    "Check out my Concept-A-Day, and Watch the Gears Go!"
    www.conceptcreature.com
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  8. #7
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    the front view of your ladybug has no neck where the other sides have necks... i think that should be fixed..

    besides that it looks great i look forward to see this final version!!
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    update and stuff

    Thanks for the feedback guys
    I guess I was starting to go for mutliple characters and proportions with the ladybugs but now I think that they should be identical as you suggested.

    So here are the earwig characters - a mother and her son.

    I felt that they started to look too generic, as if they needed more details to make them "pop" more. Another problem with them was to try to make them recognizable as earwigs by using the rear section at the pincer, but it doesn't show up well from the front view... All well, maybe I should have made them quadrupeds instead of bipeds?
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    emperor character design

    Well here I am persevering again -it seems that a lot of the characters are lacking in detail. I was experimenting around a bunch with the emperor/king character who is mentioned in the beginning. Using reference and several other sources this is what I came up with:
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