This was the first Visual Development painting that I did for ‘Pixie Hollow Games’ (line art by Ritsuko Notani; art direction by Fred Warter).
This is an early piece of “Rumble” concept art. Rumble is Glimmer‘s partner on the storm team and the antagonist of the story. He’s not really a villain but it was fun to be able to play with some classic “Disney Villain” qualities while designing this character.
Our original vision for Rumble was sort of a Disney Fairies version of John Travolta’s “Danny Zuko” from Grease. He evolved into a more athletic, David Beckham type by the final film, but I’m still a fan of this original version.
Read on for more insights and detail images…
Here’s a frame from ‘Pixie Hollow Games’ that shows the final versions of Rumble and Glimmer together:
Ultimately, the character looked too villainous. I think it might have been our director Brad Raymond who said that he didn’t want the character design to telegraph “BAD GUY” too strongly. And that’s a really tough call to make. Something I’ve learned from watching our directors is how not to settle for “good enough” and to always remain open to a better solution.
…in this case, “better” was “more true to the character” and “more honest” and “more believable.” That’s something you learn with persistence, years of experience and by surrounding yourself with great collaborators.
Something I forgot to mention in my post about Rumble’s team mate Glimmer is that their “Storm Team” costumes are made of black and white irises. A lot of the Fairies characters have costumes that are made of flower petals but this is the first time we’ve ever done a costume with an iridescent effect.
That was insanity. I became an expert on the black iris – how it changes appearance depending on the angle at which you are viewing the petals. There is always a ton of brush mileage involved in the VisDev paintings I do for DTS, but this one has more than usual.
Once I committed to that transient, speckled texture, I realized that I couldn’t get away with any significant use of the scatter brush because it just didn’t follow the forms accurately enough. And when I tried to use the Warp tool in Photoshop, it warped the individual speckles as well. Ugh. I basically became a pointillist for a week.
I’ll be posting more ‘Pixie Hollow Games’ development art here in the near future. Stay tuned!