Des509- Ollie Digital Painting (Finished)

Ollie Painting


I finished up the digital painting of Ollie and I’m very pleased about how he turned out. As mentioned in a previous post I used a similar colour scheme to ‘Big Bird’  from Sesame Street, this meant it was quicker to get stuck into painting since I didn’t need to worry about colours. I like the style that I’ve ended up with, there’s enough detail to define all the features and it’s not too complex for a children’s book.


Des509- Ollie Character Development

Ollie Concepts
Above shows the concept progression of Ollie the Duck.  As briefly explained to me by Gavin, Ollie is one of the main characters of the story. He is the best friend of Oscar the Gorilla and can shoot exploding pineapples. Instead of walking he rolls around on rollerblades.

Using Gavin’s drawing as a starting point, I wasn’t sure if Gavin drew him looking to the side or if his eyes/beak are crooked on his face. I thought that it would make the character more comical looking if the eyes weren’t symmetrical and the beak was crooked.

I started roughing Ollie out based on the pear shape drawn by Gavin and tried out different body proportions. After playing about with different eyes & beak combinations, I settled on giving Ollie a large and small eye with a crooked beak.

While sketching I thought that it would be funny if Ollie had little ‘quirks’ throughout the story;

  • The beak could randomly point in different directions.
  • His eyes could changes size or slide up and down his face.
  • While on his roller blades his legs would stay perfectly straight but he’d be moving forward.

The sketches on the bottom right are the last concepts that I sketched of Ollie, he’s came together great and hopefully I can flesh out the rest of the characters just as quick.


Des509- Ollie Digital Painting

Ollie Painting

We had a digital painting class today on the various ways to paint in Photoshop with a drawing tablet. I scanned in my concept sketch of Ollie and I laid down a flat layer of colour while listening.

I based the colour palette of Ollie on Big Bird from Sesame Street as it’s the colours I was picturing in my head while sketching. Even with the flat layer of colour down,I can see Ollie coming together nicely. I’m looking forward to getting him finished!


Des509- Augmented Reality

It was suggested to me that I should consider incorporating augmented reality into the book since I’ll be modelling some of the characters in 3D. I’d originally planned on having 3D animated videos that had links in the books but incorporating augmented reality is a much better way of tieing it all together into one complete product.

There’s a service called ‘Junaio’ which is a mobile AR platform for both Android and iOS. To use it you simply download their developer kit, put your models & animations into a channel then it codes it for you. Anyone wishing to experience the AR only have to download the Junaio app and then scan a QR code.
For this project I’ll be using the free version of this software which restricts me to one scene per channel, which is fine for this project. If I were ever to release the book as a product then I would have to buy the full version.

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Des509- Drawings by Gavin

Gavins Drawings
Gavin woke up yesterday morning with loads of ideas so a piece of paper was quickly placed in front of him. The above image is the ideas that he had and from that I put together an outline of what the story will be;

  • Various random animals live in a zoo under the protection of ‘The magic strawberry’.
  • Animals include: Lions, Zebras, Squirrels, Penguins, Monkeys, Seals.
  • Ollie the duck and Oscar the gorilla are best friends bestowed with magic powers to protect the magic strawberry.
  • Ollie has the ability to shoot pineapples and ride rollerblades. Oscar shoots bananas and can ride a skateboard.
  • In the city, far from the zoo. The evil Mr.Thunder & Mr.Lightening plot to steal the magic strawberry.
  • After the magic strawberry is stolen, Oscar and Ollie set off to rescue it.
  • Once rescued, Mr.Thunder & Mr.Lightening are thrown in jail and the zoo animals have a party.

I love the ideas that Gavins’ came up with, anyone I’ve explained it too so far has laughed or smiled so I think I’m onto something. From here I’ll be interpreting Gavins’ drawings and developing the characters further so that they’re ready for the book and 3D modelling.


Des509- Collaborating with Gavin

To create the characters and story for my book I will be collaborating with my girlfriends 5-year old brother named Gavin. He’s got a fantastic imagination and enjoys drawing so I figured that he’s be perfect to generate ideas.

I knew before I even started that generating these early concepts with Gavin wouldn’t be easy, I had a feeling that it was going to be difficult to keep him motivated and come up with variations of his ideas. My first mistake was telling him that I’d be creating a book from his ideas as straight away he began ‘referencing’ books that he had, in particular a Batman book.
He was convinced that he had to copy the same elements from his Batman book which really put a restriction on his imagination, when he was suggesting characters they all where based upon superheroes and villains. I tried to explain plaguerism but it wasn’t happening…
As well as taking ideas from his book, he also decided that he had to create all he pages of the book himself. As he was drawing he would ask ‘what page is this?’ or feel that he needed to draw an entire scene. I tried to explain to him that all he needed to do was just draw little ideas that came into his head but he was having none of it, he wanted to create the book.

Eventually I had to call it a night as he was getting fed up as he wanted to go play the xbox. Learning from my mistakes I think I’ll approach the next sit-down with him very differently, I’ll have to avoid explaining any aspect of my project and try to get him focused on just drawing.


Des509- Project proposal

For a long time I had the idea of collaborating with a young child to create concepts for a story. I figured that the best way to write a children’s story would be to include a child  in the process. I’ll sit down with the child and we’ll come up with various characters and possibly the foundations of a story. From there I’ll interpret the drawings into fully developed characters and illustrate them into a book, while incorporating 3D modelling/printing.

Below is my proposal submitted for the project;

Project Title (working title)

“Emotively expressing the imagination of young children”

 Project Category:

By using the imaginative ideas of young children, this project aims to utilise several disciplines to visualise a story. The disciplines being; Graphic design, Illustration, 3D and moving image. By collaborating with a young child it is hoped that a creative and imaginative story will be created which will be visualised through a book and short animation. This project also seeks to utilise 3D printing technology to visualise the stories characters from 3D models.

 Project description:

Imagination is the foundation of childhood play and during childhood is when creativity is at its height (Singer, D., and Singer, J. The House of Make-Believe 1992). You must think like a child in order to understand one, so why not collaborate with a child to create work?
By spending time collaborating ideas with a child it is hoped that the basis of a story will be created. To visualise the story, a series of illustrations, a book and a short animation will be created.

By the age of three, children gain an understanding of the emotion present in their drawings (Misailidi, P., and Bonoti, F., 2008). Happiness, sadness and fear are the easiest for them to recognise but they can often confuse closely related emotions e.g anxiety and depression (Bond 2009). Combining the artistic skills of adult and child can therefore create pieces of expressive and creative art.

Artists Dave DeVries and Mica Angela Hendricks both have created many artworks in collaboration with children. DeVries takes the drawings of children and by adding colour, texture and shading, he visualises the work realistically. This provides more clarity and understanding to the artwork of which the child could not accomplish on their own ability.
Hendricks’ approach is a collaboration with her four year old daughter. Her daughter would draw bodies on her detailed sketches of heads to create some fantastic illustrations. Often her daughter would complete the sketches in a way in which Hendricks never thought of, therefore highlighting that creatively collaborating with a young child can be beneficial learning experience for both involved.

This project seeks to combine a variety of disciplines to fully develop and visualise the creative ideas between adult and child. A printed book and short animation will bring the story to life but the project also seeks to visualise characters in 3D to utilise new 3D printing technologies. It is hoped that the completed project will have an appeal to young children and could potentially become an ongoing series, available for purchase.
A potential problem in this project is that the collaboration is not as creative as initially hoped, the success of the project lies in the creativity of both collaborators.

 Project Ambitions:

Over the course of this project I’m seeking to hone my skills in the various software that I’ve become competent with over the last 2 and a half years of study. Also within this project I’m seeking to develop my skill as an animator which I feel to date has been neglected and is an integral piece of the success of this project. 3D printing is now a more easily accessible technology and is something of which I very keen to experiment with, I hope to model some of the child’s characters to better visualise them.


  • SINGER, D. and SINGER, J., 1992. The House of Make-Believe. United States of America: Harvard University Press.
  • Bond, L., 2009, Investigating the Spectrum of Emotions in Young Children using Visual and Narrative Methodologies to gain an Insight into their Emotional Perceptions, Unpublished, MDes Design and Communication Thesis. (2009 Kaufman Fellowship)
  • Misailidi, P., and Bonoti, F.,2008, emotion in children’s art: do young children understand the emotions expressed in other children’s drawings? Journal of Early Childhood Research Vol 6: pp189-200