Dozens of Eleanors (plus browse my sketchbook for this week!)

After reading and re-reading the story and scribbling little notes and sketches in the margins, I sat down to actually start designing Eleanor's character...

...and she showed up in the very first sketch!

Not in her final form, it turns out, but something about her personality was definitely there the first time I put pencil to paper. Even in this past week I feel like I've grown a lot in my confidence, because when it came time to submit my final character design for the assignment, I circled back around to this very first, messy sketch and submitted it.

 My first sketch of Eleanor, along with (not the first) sketches of her parents.

My first sketch of Eleanor, along with (not the first) sketches of her parents.

I didn't overthink cleaning up the linework or stress about keeping her outfit and accessories simple.

I did, however, go pretty overboard with secondary characters and even dipped my toe into the environment.

 The final assignment from Week 1: Eleanor with her parents, who I see as integral to the story. Strictly speaking they weren't part of this first assignment, but they just belonged there, ya know?

The final assignment from Week 1: Eleanor with her parents, who I see as integral to the story. Strictly speaking they weren't part of this first assignment, but they just belonged there, ya know?

I know, I know. that wasn't strictly the assignment. (If you need a recap of Eleanor's story or how this class works, check out my last post here.)

But I just got so excited. I honestly don't remember the last time I was that happy and got in such a great creative flow! So maybe it was a bit much, and I definitely have some tweaking to do, but I'm pleased with how much just plain fun this was, and how much that has been infused into my work this past week!

After hearing from Art Director Zoe Tucker and art agent Lilla Rogers in the review (my piece wasn't chosen, but they showed lots of other work from the class and shared lots of information based on those), I made some tweaks to see what it would be like making Eleanor younger. I really liked the seven- or eight-year-old Eleanor, but they were looking for more between ages 4 and 6.

I'm really big on how good picture books are for everyone, and there's definitely a part of me that resists the idea of having all main characters be children, animals or objects that look like they could be between 4 and 6. Plus I just got really attached to eight-year-old Eleanor, and the dynamic between she and her parents at that age. But Zoe Tucker is a wonderful Art Director and knows what she's doing, so I followed her advice and tried aging Eleanor down.

Many, many times.

This process feels sort of like archaeology. It's kind of like each pencil stroke can reveal a little more of who Eleanor is, and it's hard to describe how you know if you've found her. But some just feel more right than others.

I ended up liking something sort of in between the youngest Eleanor and my original sketch:

I think she's going to end up mostly like this middle version--a little younger than my original, with bigger eyes.

She's still a work in progress, but she's getting there!

Here are some other sketches from this week's class prompts and mini:

Prompt: happiness

Mini assignment: eyes

Mini assignment: eyes

Sketchbook Prompt: sadness.

Prompt: happiness

Sketchbook Prompt: anger. This witch turned out more annoyed than anger, I think, but I still like her!

Ever since I first learned about them (The Secret of Roan Inish, anyone?) I've been somewhat obsessed with selkies. And changlings. Actually when I was a kid I used to think I must be something of the kind, with the incredible draw I felt toward other stories, worlds, and, of course, the sea. I just don't feel at home in this world.⠀

Now I know that's because I wasn't made for this world anyway, mythical creature or not.⠀

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”⠀
-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity⠀

 

More to come next week!