Speaking to Kathy today about my designs for the animation made me realise that although I have thought about the characters quite a lot and the style I wanted them in for both the looks and the way the piece animates, I had thought less about the background designs and the way I wanted them to look. I had looked at images of landscapes etc when drawing out the background designs but I didn't really think too much about stylising them as I was focusing on showing the development and how I wanted them to change throughout the duration of the piece. Now I realise it is very important to have this style and design worked out and tested, particularly because my piece is more about the visuals as the story is really about the development over time.
So, to overcome this I have been looking at illustrators and images from books. One that really caught my eye was illustrations from the gruffalo books by Axel Scheffler. I really like this style as it is bold and clear but still has that sketchy quality that makes it a little different and more appealing to look at. I found more of his work online and think that this kind of style could work really well for my piece. I think it would make the background and landscapes stand out which is the main focus of the story. Having got my characters looking close to the way I want them I need to make sure that the two compliment each other and that the backgrounds don't drown out the characters or look ridiculous. So, below are a few images..one of the design from the book and the background I really like, one where I have added in a couple of my basic characters designs just to see how it looks, and another where I have basically tried to digitally emulate Schefflers illustration...
Below i have added in my characters. Obviously the background was designed for another composition so my characters don't fit into it well, however I still think they have potential to work together and don't look too odd, or like two completely different designs.
Below I have emulated the image. I think it works OK, however due to my limited knowledge and previous use of photo shop I think it might be more successful to hand draw the images, or at least the outline and black sketchy lines and maybe colour on the computer.