Thursday, 11 December 2014

Character designs - Mad Hatter

For the book cover and illustrations I wanted to change the appearance of the characters, making them more child like to attract the 5-9 year old target market. John Tenniel's prints for the Alice in Wonderland book are iconic, the depiction of the Mad Hatter and Alice are what we relate to Lewis Carroll's Book. I needed to stick to the iconic characteristics and appearance of the characters but twist these elements into my own style of illustration, they need to be recognisable.

The Mad Hatter is mainly associated with his top hat, quirky hair and his victorian esk attire, which needed to be kept with in his design. I wanted to change his appearance by using simple shapes with in both the facial features and the body. I started with the face, using oblong and circular shapes for the structure, which helped me to experiment with the placement of the facial features; whether the eyes should be closer together or just a dot, perhaps the nose should be longer or narrower.
Whilst drawing, I was inspired by children animation such as Over the Garden Wall, Gravity Falls and Adventure Time, whose character designs use simple shapes and interesting portrayals of the characters facial features.

Through feedback, I was able to chose and create a final sketch of the Mad Hatters design. To attract the main target market, I added a spirals to the edges of the top hat and added a card of hearts from a deck of playing cards in the fabric of this top hat. I made the hands and feet bigger than the right proportion to make the features seem cuter and child like.

I took this design to photoshop and added colour to the composition, however I did find this difficult to chose a colour scheme that would work well with the Mad Hatter in comparison to Alice's design.
I wanted the Mad Hatter to be slightly desaturated so that Alice would stand out compared to the rest of the Wonderland creatures. I created three different colour variations that included contrasting colours which worked well with the other desaturated hues used in the composition, my personal favourite being the red and green design that works well with how quirky the Mad Hatter is with in the book. The other design which could also have worked well as the final colour scheme, is the orange and blue structure.
Initial approach
Design possibilities
Profile and portrait perspective

Mad Hatter colour variation

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