Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Em of Appleloft:The character of Em is loosely based on my friend Emily Bastian (married to Jeremy Bastian). Emily loves raising animals & currently has in her care: 2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 sheep, several horses, and 5 ducks. It was the trait of instinctive animal husbandry that I gave to the mouse character Em. (this photo is of Emily last fall encouraging her duck Fleur to flap her wings so I had photo reference for the duck in Black Axe #1)

I started the layout of her home with a top-down cutaway of the apple tree she lives in. I figured a hollowed out knot hole right at the junction of a few branches would give her enough room in a fairly narrow trunked twisty tree. I initially had her bookcase inset in one of the branches...but it looks like I didn't draw it that way in the final version. The other branch nook becomes a sleeping area, with an open knothole in the back of the tree providing a nice window.

I thought about making a quick model of this room before I drew it, but changed my mind, feeling that it wasn't a location I planned on reusing too much, and my top-down sketch mapped out a floor plan for the items I knew I wanted to include. Also I knew I wouldn't make little models of all the furniture, so the model's only real use would be for the room's geometry, which was for the most part, round. Any imperfections I had with the geometry in not making all those concentric circles accurate and in perspective, would only add to the charm of Em's small, quaint, mouse hollowed, home.

I tried to give Em's home the feel of a place Emily herself would live, and filled it with things that relate to Emily's real life interests (taxidermy, gardening, dried flowers, textiles, old books, etc.) which at the same time would start to establish some of Em's character. I also wanted to show Em's love of birds in particular (which I equate to Emily's horses) So Em's bed is less like a bed and more like a nest, she has an unhatched egg in her bookcase, & she has a bird skull (perhaps she studies it for Phrenology)

2011 Appearances
C2E2: March 18-20
Phoenix Comic Con: May 26-29
Cherry Capital Con: June 25-26
San Diego Comic Con: July 20-24
Baltimore Comic Con: Aug. 20-21
New York Comic Con: Oct. 14-16


Denver Brubaker said...

Great behind-the-scenes stuff David!

Emily Jenkins said...

I wish I could really live in the crook of a tree. It's really fun to watch Em develop as a character... Thanks for sharing :)

DPetersen said...

Denver: Thanks!

Emily(Tanglewood): Glad you approve.

Anonymous said...

Awesome look at the development of the page. Knew it was special the first time I saw it, purchased that page for my wife as she loves ducks. Cheers


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