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Thread: The "Momo" project
October 18th, 2009 #1
The "Momo" project
I'm a 21 years old girl from Germany, currently studying Design and aiming for becoming an illustrator one day. This term I finally got the chance to work on a serious illustration project. We have to make around 9 illustrations for a book we can choose.
This is quite important for me because when I do a good job I'm able to enter Illustration class next term.
I cose "Momo or the grey Gentelmen", a children's book written by Michael Ende.
It's a really fantastic and beautiful story which already got a wonderful movie and nice illustrations but I think, I can go a new way for myself without being too influenced by them.
Well... first, I wasn't really sure, how to start this project. I'm not finished re-reading the book but I got plenty of time this weekend so I decided to start with searching for a general style for the illustrations. I'm sadly not allowed to work digital but well... I'm going to have to be tricky in some places because I want to work with a lot of patterns I actually don't want to draw all by hand.
In the story, there is something called "Hour Flowers", Flowers which only exist for one hour. I want to mix some steampunk style elements in it so I started to design them because they're really important for the story and are probably going to be in every single illustration.
There are realFlowers called "Flower-of-an-Hour" and I went from the original ones to design my own "Clockwork flowers".
Then I searched for some stock pictures of running girls to get a feeling for the character "Momo". I'm still not really sure about the drawing style so I'm definitely going to draw much more but I think it was a good way to start with this project.
Well... my next step is probably practicing drawing feet because this is my weak point...
This project is still really WIP so there's not really anything to critique yet. But I'm going to post more things soon so I put it in the "Critque Center". I hope, you don't mind
October 19th, 2009 #2
I've never heard the story, but I really like your work! I can honestly say I wish I was able to work that well with traditional media.
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October 21st, 2009 #3
DarkSenshi: Thank you! I really don't know how famous the book is outside of Germany. Here, everyone knows it. There exists a wonderful movie, which I really can recommend
Yay I'm back with some more drawings.
I tried to finish the character design of Momo. First of all, I've done a study of her proportions. I've chosen a body size, that equals five times her head, because she's a little girl and I didn't want to make it too stylised:
I really hope, that doesn't count as child-pornography
Than I traced this drawing trice and began to think about her clothing. I did the first one only from my imagination without reading in the book how her clothes really look. I like this version still a lot, but the real thing is pretty differen.
Here is the passage from the book, that describes her look (Sorry for the rough translation):
"Momo's appearance was definitely a little bit weird and could seem scary for people, who usually pay a lot of attention on cleannes and reguality. She was small and skinny, so you really couldn't say if she's still eight or already twelve years old. She had wild, pich-black curls which seem to have never met a brush before. She had huge, beautiful and even pich-black eyes and her feet got the same color because she was usually barefooted. She only wears shoes sometimes in winter but two different ones that wouldn't fit her feet, because they were the only one she had. She actually didn't have much possessions, only things she found or got as a present. Her skirt was sewed together from a lot of different patches and lasted ankle-deep. Beside the skirt, she wore an old, far too huge coat, meant for a man, with rolled up sleeves. Momo didn't want to cut them off because she cleverly thought that she's going to grow in it. And whe knows when she's going to find such a comfortable coat with so many pockets again."
(Momo and the Grey Men by Michael Ende, page 7f)
I developed the second and the third version following this description:
At the moment, I can't decide, which one I like most. Maybe I combine them to one outfit Scarf and gloves from the first one, the skirt from the second and the coat from the third *laughs*
Which one do you like best? Do you think my character design fits the description?
October 26th, 2009 #4
I made a character design for the grey men (they actually look all the same so no need to do thousands of designs. One's enough *lucky*):
They aren't human. Only quite human-looking!
Another drawing of Momo:
And a Environment: The Amphitheater Momo lives in:
Weird tree *laughs*
Just a question for more experienced illustrators out there: I'm not really sure if I'm doing it right V__V How would you start such a project?
October 27th, 2009 #5
hi there, would like to see you start a sketchbook thread! thanks for sharing
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October 28th, 2009 #6
This is some really cool stuff you have in this thread. I adore the style you have going here. I'm gonna make sure to keep tabs on this thread, great start!
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October 28th, 2009 #7
Children's book feels, YES!
Your current progress and fleshing out, Awesome YES!
-I too love that you're able to handle traditionals like you do now, thank you for sharing. Very motivating fur an old geezer like moi!
-Style, how about leaving the lighted side of the forms from being lined.
I'd like to think it adds to some dreamy effect, plus the guess work and imagination is
shared with the viewer, which, I kind of, like? o.0
Anyhoot - ooooo, you're able to watercolor inside the lines, awesome!
Suggestion: How about designing patterns in digital, do print outs and then some lightboxing after to transfer? It would be so tedious otherwise. But I guess some slave master ogres like that kind of thing. (No offence to ogres)
The grey men character borders clown features. o.0 (I'm a bit scared of clowns)
November 14th, 2009 #8
zenichi: Hey, thanks. I know, that some of my drawings here are probably better for a sketchbook thread but Ijust started my first illustration so I think thethread fits this section of the CA forum better now
SockHyren: Thank you so much for this comment I think this thread is going to become more interesting from now on.
dwardo: For an old geezer like moi it's far more difficult to hande digital media then traditional ones *laughs*. Btw... I suck when it comes to water colors. All my coloratins are done with markers or color pencils. I hate working with brushes *laughs* Of course, it's only a question of exercise
I know what you mean and I like this dreamy style a lot, too. I tried to imitate it after I read your comment but it somehow doesn't work ^^° But I decided to use really light linearts for the final illustrations.
Thanks a lot for your suggestions and your nice comment!
Yaaay... an update School keeps me really busy so I sadly don't have that much time to work on this project, but I finally started with the first illustration
The grey men give Momo a puppet called "Bibigirl" with tons of items and clothes to keep her out of their ways, but Momo is more afraid than happy.
This was the first sketch I did for the scene!
I wanted to make the puppet more creepy!
I think, I'm going to use this coloration style in the final illustrations.
The first composition was kind of confuse so I changed some details. Do you think this works? What do you think about the light situation? (Behind the grey man you can see the front spots of his car and I wanted to add a third spot on the puppet and Momo).
This was just another random portrait I did to find the right drawing style for this project:
November 15th, 2009 #9
So, you're old too *Hi Five*
The updates are nice. You could also grab the same colour of a flat area, and use a darker value to line it with. But I do like where your eyes and feels are, so I'mma shut up. - I may not respond so drop an email if it's urgent. Like, you're being held by terrorists or some such. Else ... have fun and keep busy with them school projects. /E
November 16th, 2009 #10
November 25th, 2009 #11
November 29th, 2009 #12
Post 10 ... Is it for the front cover? I'll take a guess on the storyline and say that the
man is coming out of the pile ... (my mind is too fast at the moment, but) scared children? or happy? (the red dressed I can't tell if it's scared or happy ... robot also?)
The next character (above) is lithe, uses pomade and bumpy/bony fingers, devious.
The values could be popped out more. Do a thumbnail version of him if you have to.
(Personally, I still find values hard to do traditionally, I'm getting there slowly)
(bumped xP) /E
November 29th, 2009 #13
The thumbnail for this thread is my favorite of Momo so far. It's very dynamic and mysterious. It really makes me wonder what she's running to or from. I did notice that I have a very strong preference for the drawings where Momo's eyes are either hidden or closed. I think it's that when her eyes are open they seem sort of flat and dead because they are SO simplified. I know that was a style choice, but it keeps me from connecting with the character.
Now the smoking guy he's freaky and his simple eyes work for me. Very menacing. Good feel to him.
I've been watching this thread since you first posted it. I really look forward to seeing it as you develop it even more. Good luck.
"This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy." -Douglas Adams
My goal: To get good enough to post in the Finally Finished Forum.