Thursday, 28 February 2013

A sketch and a spread

Found this, and liked it enough to post:
And another little page preview, this time for the Yrsa and Ivar spread:
I have this idea of incorporating little quotes by Yrsa in the document. The purpose is to give the text a bit of flavour and to explain the world and creatures in a way that isn't too dry... We'll see how it works, and how I end up presenting it in the end!


And a quick peek of the page (fonts, colours and layout etc are far from done):

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Bonus update

Almost forgot! I changed this around a little bit today too:


Grár (Graur)

New (left) and old (right).
Feeling MUCH happier about this project now. Will add the rim light and some texture later!

Grár is the king of the trolls and the mountains. He rules his lands with an iron fist from deep within the halls and caves of his kingdom and rarely ventures outside. Rumour has it that his caverns are covered in gold and filled with riches and gemstones. 

The troll king is ruthless and egoistic, and after centuries of conflict there is now a shaky peace between him and Ísafold. This peace will be tested by the news of your arrival, as Grár orders his trolls to search for you and Yrsa... What he wants with you is unknown, but you'd rather not find out.

Chris looked at what I'd drawn and referred to it as a "she" - and yeah, maybe the long hair and the creepy red cheeks make him look like a lady. But I honestly don't mind or care, because the gender of the character is completely irrelevant; they're the leader of the trolls and they're mean and you should avoid them. If anything, the lack of a clear gender can make him seem even more unsettling. We're so used to being able to make all these easy assumptions about people based on their gender, and taking this small security away can be liberating... But also quite strange.

This image is to illustrate a particular troll character, but I'll do another drawing for the "Creatures" part of the book. That illustration will show a troll coming up from the ground all nice and creepily, as I really loved that idea.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Yrsa and Ivar

Weekend doodle:
Yrsa (Ühr-sa) being silly and Ivar (Ee-vahr) being...well, him. Oh, I changed his name! Gard is too similar to the name I have in mind for the nasty troll king; Grár.

Yrsa means "dizzy", "wild" or "she-bear". Ivar doesn't mean anything particularly relevant ("yew tree" or something) but it's an old Nordic name that is easy enough to pronounce. Grár means "the grey" in Icelandic which I think works well, plus it sounds appropriately snarly for a mean character. I also may or may not be using my dictionary of Icelandic horse names for this project.......

I'm also giving up on trying to force a visual style. Instead I'm just going to draw what's in my head as well as I can, and that'll just have to be good enough. Onwards!

Thursday, 21 February 2013


A bit better. A teeny tiny bit. Maybe.

Style struggles x_x

I've been sketching on the document images and I think I'm a little bit stuck. I have two styles going; one sketchy but detailed and more realistic, one with chunky, solid blocks of colours. SO TORN:

Chunky colours or detailed, coloured sketches...? I don't knoooow...
The left style isn't necessarily easier for me; it's not what I normally draw, and the characters are...not quite right.

The other style is what comes out if I just sit down and draw without thinking, but it's quite intricate and perhaps not very... Interesting. Argh. I love the idea and setting of this project, but the visuals are giving me a bit of a headache.

Oh, I'm also working on a little map as a break from the characters:
 I'll have a strong coffee and carry on after lunch...

Monday, 11 February 2013

Creatures and characters

I've sketched out some characters and creatures following the Skype chat on Friday. I have to admit I'm struggling both with keeping things messy and making things eerie and strange - somehow everything I draw ends up quite clean and cute. Argh! Too much Adore...

Here's a failed attempt at drawing Yrsa:

Too cute! Argh!

Next up is her elusive mother, Ísafold. She is an ancient skogsrå who looks after the forest and Yrsa suggests that the two of you go and visit her.
Yrsa's mother Ísafold is the keeper of the forest. She is an enigmatic and powerful being who looks after the woods and all its inhabitants. The skogsrå are normally solitary creatures and the fact that Ísafold has a daughter is highly unusual. However, all the creatures in the forest know better than to ask about Yrsa's heritage.

Ísafold cares little for human affairs, but she seems to be strangely fascinated with you nonetheless. You can hear her voice in your mind sometimes, talking about how you can stay here for as long as you want and how your young, human soul glows in the darkness. 

Yrsa seems to think that having a telepathic parent is as normal as trees in a forest and that her mother's comments are nothing but compliments. But something about Ísafold makes you feel uneasy, and you wonder if paying her a visit is a good idea after all...

Creepy? Maybe a little bit...?

I've also sketched out some characters:
Here we have an älva, a type of elf, and some trolls, as well as some more of Yrsa and a strangely Russian-looking tomte. Hmm. I quite like the trolls though, they're fun. 

For the elves I worry about going too far with the "hot skinny chicks running around a frozen country in a nightie" stereotype... As long as I keep them weird enough it should be OK. Elves dance in the fields at dawn and dusk, and any humans who join them go mad. Pretty pictures for reference here, here and here!

Background pictures

I spent a lot of time last week just writing out a bunch of descriptions for the creatures and characters in the game. Fun! I also created this background last week. It's the size of a book spread, so it would span two pages of the pitch and the text would go on top in white. I quite like it, but now I'm not sure if it's scary enough...
However, I absolutely loved the silhouette style from the Hansel and Gretel book and wanted to give it a go. I drew a tree in the foreground and added a moon behind it, plus some text as a test.
I also doodled a little tomte to see if silhouetted characters would work at all:
I think I like it. Will keep playing around with it though...