Pen and Photoshop
Here are some exploratory sketches I've done for The Wind in the Willows. The first two are very early roughs for Badger and Toad. The third pretty much represents the final design for Mole and Ratty. I'm currently working on a gouache painting based on the this sketch.
The final drawing is a size and shape comparison for the two main protagonists. At this stage I was trying to get a feel for the personality/motivations of the characters and how that would best be represented by shape.
Ratty's design evolved through dozens of drawings that filled my sketchbook. One difficulty was trying to pin down his shape so that he looked like a water rat but still maintained a lithe and athletic skuller's shape. I looked at several reference pictures of water rats and built his design from that reference point. I did the same for Mole, although his shape came to me much quicker. Its not too hard to stylize moles since they already look like cartoon characters.
The challenge now will be to portray the rest of the gang with an equal amount of stylization while still retaining their animal qualities. After that, I'll start working on Background and object designs. Ultimately I would like to do a few illustrations. I would also like to attempt some designs in a more traditional storybook pen and ink/watercolor style. Anyway, thanks for looking.