For now, I've decided to name by second minion The Collector because, essentially, that's its job and as it doesn't have a face, that you can see, I thought it would be creepier for it to be dehumanised further by not having a name.
I decided to go in and tweak it a little, just finishing off the initial design below:
I want to make the hands and feet bigger so they're more rake-like and improve it's overall look:
I've just about established The Collector's design so below I thought I'd play around with colours:
I think I prefer the brown and green design to the more adventurous colours and the hands and feet I think are better this size although now I'm unsure if they're too big? Feedback on what needs changing or which image looks best is much appreciated. I'll start working on the turnaround for this character next, probably then start looking at its anatomy to make sure it all works, and then I'll finally finish off the dragon and rodent creatures :D
After my last few sketches I thought I should do a bit more tweaking on my minion, and so took the last drawing and worked from that:
After these rough sketches to establish how it might hold itself I thought I should have a go with it in Photoshop and see where it went:
I quite liked what I ended up with here so I thought I'd just try out a bit of colour:
The colours not great but it was just something to try out quick anyway. I really like this as a basis for my minion, it's spindly and creepy and horribly faceless. I originally wanted it to have some kind of hood but I wasn't sure how to do that without it just looking like I'd stuck one on (although with Ursula's tree-dress it might not be that silly...). The only way I thought that could be a natural way to cover its face would be hair, so I opted to go for thin, whispy long hairs that look, I think, pretty darn unsettling.
It's of course got a lot of work that needs doing. I need to go over the anatomy and work out how it would sit, run and generally hold itself. I need to work on whether it's hairy or slick, whether it should have some kind of clothing or just hair/fur. It's a good place to start though, and I think it will be a good partner to the other rodent minion I made earlier :D
I'm going to try and use the pc a lot less over the next few days so I started off by doing a couple of light drawings. To start off I drew rough body shapes for Ursula, just to try and keep on top of drawing it:
I then decided to have a go at drawing my minion again, using the 4th silhouette as a basis, to get some more ideas going:
I really quite like the last drawing. I think the hump needs some work and obviously there's little detail but I think the general shape is almost there. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes from it next, and any feedback is much appreciated. Remember, it needs to be spindly, look like it could move fast but also threatening enough for you to know when you see it that you want to be going in the opposite direction! :D
I'm starting to let myself get a bit behind when it comes to work so I thought I'd have a poke at doing a couple of silhouettes for the new minion I want. It's meant to be designed for search and retrieve so they're strong but fast. I want them to be quite spindly and unsettling so here's what I ended up with:
There isn't too much to look at but you get the general idea. I got a bit stumped at the 5th one but after finding a nice picture of a wheeler with only the wheels and stilts and no costume I managed to get number 4. A good start and lots more to be done! :)
I'm trying to watch more films at the moment, I watch a lot anyway, but I'm aiming to watch ones that I wouldn't have thought of myself. I won't bother listing what I have and haven't seen, so any suggestions as to what anyone thinks is important or effective visually or story-wise, anything interesting that I could learn from would be great!
For some reason, despite being shown the trailer in my first term, it's taken me this long to see Black Swan. I don't know what anyone else made of it but I thought it was one of the most effective horror films I've seen in a long time! Even thinking about certain body horror sequences now is making me all squeamish.
I found it to be an unsettling, unpredictable and incredibly visceral experience. You could feel Nina's (Natalie Portman) mental state deteriorating as the scenes passed by, her muscles aching from the strain of constantly practising and knowing that something horrible is going to happen but you don't know when or if it'll be her doing it. Even when she was relaxing you still felt ill at ease because of how mentally unsound and tightly wound she is. This isn't just because of good film making though, Natalie Portman's performance is fantastic, from her fragile as crystal Nina to her scarily predatory Black Swan.
It's a wonderful example, if not a little twisted, of the intensity involved in searching for perfection in a specialist career. The scenes where she's being pulled and pushed to try to fix her cramping muscles, when she jumps onto the tips of her toes and repeatedly spins until her nails are broken, all of these are experienced by the audience as the camera forces us into her personal space to observe every wince, every stress and every tiny flicker of pain on her face.
Tom pointed me toward this artist and her style of painting is really fascinating!
I find these paintings really unusual. Some of them feature quite intimidating individuals, some seem really prideful and arrogant and some are just beautiful. The variations between the pure innocence seen in some of young women and the loathing in the eyes of others is really fascinating to me. Also, the ribbon-like hair seems like it shouldn't belong next to the soft, perfectly lit skin of the subjects in the paintings but it does. Maybe it's the icey eyes that pull them together but whatever it is, it's really amazing.
They are all fairly similar and very rough but it was nice to have images to base the poses from. Here's the image map I was using:
Lots of lovely images from Erte to base the poses on. The images are all quite similar but with subtle differences in the positioning of the head and the angle of the body. I wanted to try and achieve the same pride and strength the women in his illustrations seem to have in my poses, here is what I ended up with:
I tried to keep it fast and loose but that always disappears a bit when I'm working so I only ended up with 10 ideas, but they look pretty nice together side by side. I can really see what is more powerful and what looks a bit silly so it's going to be nice to take away and use when I start adding more detail, also I might block out my favourites into silhouettes to see if they work as well as I'd hoped. Lovely stuff! :D
As I'm edging closer to Ursula become a whole character I'd like to move on to drawing her as that rather than just a study. Phil pointed me towards the Art Deco fashion illustrations of Erte, as they consist of female models in very lovely poses so prepare to be flooded:
Though the statues are replicas of the illustrations, I felt it was quite nice to see some of the women he'd drawn come to life in bronzes.
There's a lot of lovely stuff here, some images I'll use for reference when I come to posing Ursula and some I'll just use for reference because they're great! :D
Despite these being pretty basic outlines I think her shape is already improving. I looked at the images of anorexics and I also pulled one image of a thin model to see what shape the hips would make if someone was literally pulled upwards. I think her shape sits better now. She's still unnaturally thin and quite angular but it's a little more believable. The front view hips don't have any details so I'll work that out next but I think it's a big improvement!
To make her extremely thin body seem plausible I needed to go back and look at how the body would be shaped. To do this I thought I should look into images of the bodies of anorexia sufferers:
Below are images of the late Isabelle Caro, a model that used her condition to create more awareness of its consequences before she sadly died.
Although it was quite an unpleasant experience to search for these pictures (it felt a bit like I was invading someone's privacy by getting these images from google) they will be a huge help in understanding the extremes of the human body shape.