Alright after some running around dealing with Kinkos, thumbdrives and .pdf files, I finally have everything in one spot now.
This is my Steampunk version of Little Red Riding Hood:
To understand how I got there, I’ll take you on a brief look at the evolution of Lil’ Red. When I was first messing around with the idea of a Steampunk Little Red Riding Hood, I did alot of visual research. ALOT of research. I was definitely seeing enough goggles, corsets and top-hats to last a lifetime. I wanted to go with something that had Steampunk overtones, but wasn’t just a cookie-cutter boring version that’s been done over and over before. Here are some of my earliest sketches of what I had in mind for Lil’ Red-
As you can see, I was tossing around the idea of having a ninja-like Riding Hood, with the goggles and scarf covering most of her face. I decided against that because I wouldn’t have been able to show as much emotion as I wanted to in the different scenes and it would have (to me) felt bland and a cop-out character design-wise. I definitely loved the idea of a hot-water bottle jetpack though, and the ladybug v2.0 you see up there is the jetpack design I decided to go with, even though I messed around with a few other options, just to see how they would look. I also messed around with twin fans on a metal hood for Red Riding, in the last picture there. It ended up being too bulky for my liking, and plus I wanted to go with a younger version of Red Riding Hood.
This is what I call a “color tornado”. As you can see, the ladybug jetpack design is different, and she’s also sporting a leather helmet along with the goggles and traditional hood. I also loved the idea of giving her long red hair as well, the animator in me thought it would look awesome to have that ponytail trail behind her as a secondary animation, even though it’s just a storybook and wasn’t going to have any animated parts. I call it a color tornado because I wanted to show a line of motion throughout the page, regardless of which direction or where, and have the images scattered throughout the page only sparsely colored. I wanted the color and motion of the character to work in harmony and lead your eyes around the page. I hadn’t found a steampunk/ Victorian type font that I liked yet when I was doing this, and only wanted to have some cool letters to be sprinkled on the page.
For my story, Little Red is an inventor like her Grandmother. She wants to be just like her when she grows up and because of that, is always tinkering with machinery or reading one of “Granny’s” books when she has free time. To illustrate this, I wanted to give her a sensible outfit that she could actually work on stuff in without getting her clothes ripped or dirty. Classic Steampunk colors are Brass and the color Brown, so I went with those colors for her main outfit. I made the broach that holds her hood on blue, to bring out the brightness in her eyes. Like myself, her head is enormous (I still have the habit of having my characters share my big-head pain) so I gave her an extra long/large hoodie to accommodate it.
I used the leather airmen helmets from World War 2 as as reference and basis for Little Red Riding Hood’s helmet. I know that with a jet pack it wouldn’t really protect her at all but I thought it was a cool addition and helped with the Steampunk feel. I added freckles for the cute factor and gave her a utility belt to hold the imaginary tools she would use when working on the different machines. I don’t really know why I added the bars to the sides of her boots, I just thought it looked cool.
That will do it for this edition of the Character Spotlight, next up is the Big Bad Wolf! Stay tuned, I’ll have that for you all Thursday afternoon. Thanks for all the support, I wouldn’t be able to do it without you guys and I can’t wait to show you the fully completed Steampunk Red Riding Hood!