Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Book Illustration Storyboards

So, I'm taking book illustration, where I have to draw a full 32 page picture book, plus cover art. Luckily, three of those pages are for the title, copyright and dedication, but I still did spots for those. Anyhow, I'm doing a re-write of a Japanese folktale called the Flute. It's an awful and sad story and the writing is horribly dated in the original version I read, which is the one in the link, but I re-did it in my own style, formatted to fit 29 pages with illustrations.

Warning before you scroll or read the links: while the class is to create picture books in the style of children's picture books, this is very much so not something I'd tell a small child. I would especially not tell a small child this story if they have a step-parent. It's like Cinderella, except there is no prince or happy ending.

Anyhow, first steps are character designs and storyboards. I'll load up the character designs and thumbnails later, but I took some pictures of my favorite layouts of the storyboards to share:

"In her twelfth autumn, O'Yoné lost her mother."

Father forgets Mother-Who-Died. O'Yoné doesn't.

Stepmother is jealous of O'Yoné's relationship with Father.
Father receives news from the Capital.

"But if you leave, you shall never see me again."

Father plays the flute.

Father leaves the Capital.

"[She is] In the bamboo grove."

Father plays the flute a final time and finds O'Yoné's body.

Father kills Stepmother and becomes a monk to repent.

Yeah, like I said: not a kid's tale. It is a great, if tragic, story, and I thought that it was simple enough while also lending a lot to potential scenery, which is why I picked it. I never do anthro characters, too, aside from where it's needed (i.e. werewolves, Beauty and the Beast, Journey to the West and similar stories), but I thought it would be interesting to turn the characters into anthropomorphic creatures from Japanese mythology, so I made Father into a general kitsune, Mother-Who-is-Dead into a tengu woman (her hair and O'Yone's are both wings), Stepmother into a ninetails kitsune and O'Yoné into a mix of tengu and kitsune. I got a lot of inspiration in the character design from Okami, too, particularly in how to do the tengu hair.

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