Originally posted on the MA Character animation course blog, published May 25th 2015.
Since this project has such a short time limit I’m trying to make life easy for myself by making simpler character designs than I normally do. I never been particularly good in drawing character designs especially not human characters, I prefer drawing animals and most of my humans look very much alike each other. I also tend to base my human characters of images and references which make them semi realistic and hard to animate. Therefore I decided that with this project I was going to make much simpler characters that was more based of basic shapes and had less realistic features. I still had to do some research to find out what the characters would look like to match the time period.
I don’t have one single main character, the old and the new nurses are acting as the opposite characters. I also have one character that actually lived in the time period and was a important force in the change, the matron Mrs Wardroper (middle picture).
I got my story idea and inspiration for the characters from this one picture that Julie helped me find at the London Metropolitan Archives. It’s from a play that the hospital staff set up in the late 1800s or early 1900s where they themselves are making fun of the extreme difference between the old and the new nurses.
My first character design attempt where way to complicated. I would have serious problems making these move with all those details.
So I started researching a bit and started to come up with something simpler, the new nurses where the easiest as they are literally a uniform with a head on top. They also look very alike in all photos I’ve seen.
I was told that the new nurses where fine, but the old nurses needed to be uglier. So back to the drawing board.
I started basing them of people gurning as well as toads and eventually, I found my old nurse, a nasty bitter looking old witch