Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Minor/Major Project: Bukavac Sketches

Some further thoughts on the Bukavac, combing both fish and lizard-like qualities. The fish I chose to look at was the vampire fish, as it has large protruding teeth and big eyes. I then looked at the land-based Komodo dragon, with its large pouch-y throat, that I feel makes sense for something hunting larger prey than a fish. I will also be looking back at the Komodo dragon when working on the body of the Bukavac.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Minor/Major Project: Leshy Face Sketches - Feedback Welcome!

I found a few more images of "faces" in trees, and sketched out a few more Leshy heads. In descriptions, the Leshy is said to be pale with a blue tinge in his cheeks, so for 2 and 4 I decided to mix trees with flesh. Design 4 incorporates the stories of Leshy missing his right ear, as the right side of his head is more tree than human. The other designs are based off naturally occurring faces in nature.

Minor/Major Project: A Walk in Blean Woods - Further Work on the Leshy

During my talk with Alan on Friday, he suggested I find inspiration in nature to study and better understand the creatures I was trying to bring to life. An example was to study trees for the Leshy, and try to find faces in the bark. On Monday, I went for a walk in Blean Woods near Canterbury for inspiration.

This was one face I saw in the bark, so I took a picture and drew around where I could see eyes, a nose and mouth.

There was an area with 3 fallen trees, with incredibly interesting roots. Again I attempted to outline the faces I could see within. This is also a good example of how the Leshy's feet would look, as I pictured them to be like uprooted plants, as though he could root himself into the ground if he stood still long enough.

The branches on this oak are how I imagined the Leshy's horns to look.

The Leshy is described as pale, so it made sense to base some of his attributes of birch trees which are naturally white.

The roots of this uprooted tree were tangled and bound in dirt, something I could incorporate into the Leshy's design.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Minor/Major Project: Adelaide - Journal Entries #1 and #2

7th March 1899

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of exploring the world for the creatures my parents described in stories. When they were away, I would sit in the library and admire the various specimens and bones they had collected over the years; the three-headed sheep in a jar, scales from a mermaid's corpse, the skull of an Austral bunyip. I recall the day they returned with Blaise, a phoenix they had found during a trip to Egypt, and decided that would be their last trip. I felt an immense sorrow, as all my life I had hoped my first expedition would be with my mother and father. Around two years later, Kamal Manish Singh, a cryptozoologist from India, came to live with us and study under my father alongside me. Mr Singh has since become a close friend, and regularly helps me to look after my breeding pair of Wolpertingers (large rabbit-like creatures I was sent by the Sauer twins from Germany). It seemed only right, three months ago, after a few glasses of sloe gin (lemonade for Kamal), that we should plan our own expedition. "We have so many contacts the world over", I recall Mr Singh saying, "there's so much we could learn". Within two months, we'd made all the necessary plans to start our trip, and even recruited the Sauer twins, who would help protect us from harm, as well as trap certain specimens for further study.

It is my last night at home, for tomorrow we take a coach to London to track down a curious creature known as Spring-Heeled Jack, who had once terrorised the city many years back. We'll be staying at The Queen's Arms in Kensington for three nights, before taking another coach to Suffolk on the 11th, to investigate the infamous Black Shuck.

Mr Singh has already retired to his room, though I find myself far too excited to even think of sleep! I am unsure how successful my journey will be, though as I write this I am feeling overwhelmingly positive.

8th March 1899

We arrived at the Queen's Arms around eleven o'clock, and have somehow managed to fit all of our equipment and luggage in the two rooms we've bought for the next few nights. I am sharing with Grete Sauer, whilst Mr Singh shares with Friedrich in a room down the corridor. The Sauer twins aren't quite as I imagined them. Grete is a tall, muscular woman who looks as though ten men couldn't move her, and her brother is no different. Grete seems to be in charge of most of the weaponry while her brother specialises in building traps. Upon arrival they asked how my Wolpertingers have been, and were happy to hear the two had settled quite well into the enclosure I had built for them. 

We plan to rest for most of the day, enjoy an early dinner at around four o'clock, before venturing out to Peckham where we will be tracking Spring-Heeled Jack. It has been many years since Jack was seen, though reports have arisen again, and London's mayor, Sir Alfred Newton, wrote to us some weeks ago asking us to look into Jack's possible return. How incredible that he should begin to appear again at such a time! Grete has prepared two pistols for herself and Friedrich, she has reassured me they are only taking them as a last resort, though insists she will teach me to use one at some point on our journey.


It is nearing midnight as I write this, as we have just returned to the Queen's Arms. After speaking with locals, we believe Jack may not in fact be in Peckham, but rather just visiting there on occasion. We instead believe Jack is residing in Rotherhithe, around three miles away. There is a number of abandoned house near the docks there that Jack could no doubt hide in, and all recent reports of him seem to end around that area. What I find fascinating is that his more recent sightings have been non-hostile, and all the people who claim to have spotted him say he fled almost immediately. Perhaps Jack's days of terror have been long over, and the creature has simply returned to his old home to die. The question arises: who or what in Peckham was significant to such a beast?

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Minor/Major Project: Dobhar-chú - Influence and Initial Sketches

The Dobhar-chú is described as being an aquatic creature that resembles a cross between a dog and otter. I mostly leaned towards making the creature otter-like, with a combination of otter whiskers and fish whiskers, as well as gills and fins. 

Minor/Major Project: Thoughts

Currently going over the selection of creatures I've chosen, I feel it is best to remove the Bunyip from the list, as it's the only creature I have within Australia, and it would seem pointless for Adelaide and her crew to venture there for one cryptid.

For the animation, I am considering the following creatures:
  • Dobhar-chú
  • Bukavac
  • Wendigo
  • Jackalope
  • Mermaid

I would only like to do two or three, and I will choose which ones as I come closer to final designs for them. Creatures such as the Jackalope and Bukavac I feel would be the most complicated to animate, especially seeing as the Bukavac has six legs.

I plan to post Adelaide's journal entries here, as well as hand writing them in a travel journal I will be making.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Minor/Major Project: Gargoyles - Influence and Initial Sketches

The gargoyles I imagine as small, cat-sized and cat-like creatures that hide in the upper parts of Notre-Dame and nearby buildings. They hide during the day and swarm around Notre-Dame at night, fending off malevolent spirits. They are given precious stones as reward for protecting the cathedral, which they horde and build nests from. They eat fruit and bugs (which are delivered to them with the stones), and have rough, grey skin. They will often sit in one place without moving for a long time, creating the illusion that they are apart of the stone they live in.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Minor/Major Project: Wendigo - Influence and Initial Sketches

What fascinates me about the Wendigo, is the idea that a human feeding off its own kind has transformed it into a horrific beast. As is common with many Wendigo designs, I wanted to give it elongated legs and arms, as well as distorted facial structure. In Adelaide's travels, I imagine she would find a young Wendigo, but older versions would look far more horrific after decades of feeding off human flesh. Older Wendigos would be more animal-like, and would have started growing cutaneous horns.