Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Minor Project: Designing the Erlking

After getting the first draft of the animatic done the time has come for figuring out and developing the characters, as the one's used in the animatic were only temporary. 

I (Samantha) started with the king himself as in my opinion he's the most challenging and also a leading character, which means he deserves a lot of time and attention. 
The theory behind the king is that he's the entity and somehow a personification of the forest, or it's rotting and decaying part rather. He's also an elf, more or less; he definitely posseses few of elvish values which makes him even tricker to design. 

The influence map has been done some time ago but it's still up-to-date. 
The body of the king had to look royal yet slender at the same time. In few different sketches I tried different body shapes and the ones that looked the most promising had been taken into further development.  

As the term "forest" is really broad, designing the crown was quite tricky. The amount of possibilities was quite overhelming; looking through branches and mushroom to flowers, horns and rocks. 

For now the drawing below can be considered as the final design (however still a draft..in a weird way of saying "final design draft"). Me and PG both agreed that his face and the crown could actually remain in this state, however the outfit is yet to be discussed. 


  1. I always come on to your blog as I admire your drawings, just a thought have you researched 'Herne the Hunter' its a folklore tale about the guardian of the forest a man with a stags head with antlers
    also just a look at into Augra - a mentor from The Dark Crystal

  2. Thank you very much, Rosalyn!
    I will take a look at Herne the Hunter as I haven't heard about this character before : )

  3. Hi Sam - for me, his actual robes etc. still say 'peasant' as opposed to noble-man... I actually like head number 7, but I'd like to see more crown-like stuff (the horns etc); I think you've got to be careful because there's a 'scarecrow' quality to your designs; he still looks a bit too scruffy to me...

    Also - if you go with the Irish accented voice-artist, I think you need to dial down the obvious 'Germanic' costuming of your boy character. It would feel like two competing flavours - the irish accent is a powerful addition to your world, and while I don't think you need to make your story world Irish, I don't think it should be too recognisably 'german' - I think it needs to be 'folky' as opposed to too rooted in a particular ethnicity.

  4. some 'folk' references for your interest:

    The Green Man:


    In terms of costume - check out Morris Men, mummers and border morris...