This blog post comes from my lovely new "studio", where, thanks to the lovely weather, I have been able to work this past week. Hope I can work from here next week too as it is very inspiring there. And the background music is great too, lots of tweeting birds and buzzing bumblebees.
With the Fierce Grey Mouse book App so close to completion I thought it might be nice to show you how Little Grey Mouse's friends Edie and Kay were developed.
When I first wrote the story my whole focus was on Little Grey Mouse, but when I decided he was to have some friends who were not mice, I went through a whole series of animals that could possibly be his friends, from giraffes to dogs from little kids to alpacas, from pelicans to cats, but in the end settled on a pig and a duck. They seemed the right kind of friends for a little mouse.
I started my usual process of sketching the real thing, lots of pigs, piglets and lots of different ducks and ducklings. Some from life and some from photos as the life models were not too good at standing still long enough. Here a few samples from my sketchbook:
I then started thinking of how I could paint them. What colours would suit them?
too pink and smooth
too yellow and too young
better, cute, but not quite right yet for Fierce Grey Mouse
I liked them, but they did not quite fit with Little Grey Mouse and were still quite babyish. They needed to have a bit more character of their own and have a more independent feel, able to go on an adventure on their own. For Edie I started putting different duck bits together and for Kay I tried her standing on her back legs:
almost there! Especially Edie. Kay needs a bit more work.
I felt I was almost there with these and all they needed now was a little bit more styling so they were less realistic. They also needed placing in Little Grey Mouse's semi abstract environment so I could see if they could happily live in Little Grey Mouse's world:
Yay! I've finally got it!
For me that worked, they seemed happy and content amongst the paint splashes and collaged bits of different papers. Edie and Kay were born! They were ready for their adventure in "Fierce Grey Mouse".
To see Edie and Kay move and fully come to live, soon you can read all about their adventure with Little Grey Mouse by downloading the "Fierce Grey Mouse" app for iPad, iPhone and iPod from iTunes or through Tizio. We're almost done. I will keep you posted through twitter, Facebook and my website too.
In the mean time, enjoy the Easter break. Have a good one and eat loads of chocolate! I know we will. Yum!