Monday 10 September 2012

My Sketchbook - Designing Miniature Sets

As many of my readers are aware, I am living in New Zealand at the moment, working full-time as a miniaturist with my own business - Pixie Dust Miniatures - which supplies miniature scale set pieces for films and music videos and scale miniatures for collectors all over the world. When I'm not dealing with admin for my company or indeed working through commissions, I work on my first short film - 'Myrtle the Witch' (more posts about this here). The sets are built in one inch scale (12 times smaller than real life), as are the handsculpted clay characters, and the rest is being done with a little visual effects magic.

I dug out some of my notebooks from my suitcase as I am starting on Myrtle's kitchen this week. I'll be making it in sections so we can get the camera in there and I'll be working in MDF, foam-core, clay and other mixed media. It'll be pretty cool - can't wait to make some headway!
Decided to share some of my earlier designs - they're seriously rough though. I am able to do super detailed beautiful pencil sketches... but when I get really excited about simply getting a design down on paper right away, this is what you get. Better (more finished) artwork will be shared soon.... ;)

If you can tell from my rough drawings (including a bird's eye view angle below), Myrtle lives in a roundhouse a little like the ones my ancestors built in Iron Age Britain before the ruddy Romans came along. It's in a forest and built among trees, with many of the trees weaving into her home and incorporated as furniture. Don't know much about roundhouses? Then I suggest you acquaint yourself with the works of the devastatingly gorgeous and fantastic Neil Oliver (sigh) and find out more. Really quite fascinating.

Oh, and in other news, I got a (custom made) motion control camera slider over the weekend.... damn exciting... already done some tests shooting miniatures - may share some in a few days.


Blake said...

SO exciting! I have always been very very interested in stop motion! I have special editions of all of my favorite stop-motion films and I always watch the behind the scenes footage for like..... HOURS AND HOURS. I can't wait to see some clips and things!

Anonymous said...

thats so werid ive been drawing stuff like that, i would love to know how you organize your miniatures for you craft space, maybe you could do a post like that one day

Caroline McFarlane-Watts said...

Thanks Blake! I'll start putting some of my tests on Vimeo soon... :) Caroline

Caroline McFarlane-Watts said...

Hiya 'Vetkzelek', I'd love to see your drawings! Especially if they're similar to what I'm doing - it's always fun to see similar work, similar perspectives. Sure, I can write a post on organization... however my workspace is a crazy mess just now. ;) Caroline

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