Thursday, 30 December 2010

New Bedroom Idea and Some Thumbnails

This is roughly the same idea as my other bedroom drawing except with a more interesting composition. I have also gotten rid of the silly hand under the bed as recommended. I have tried to make it clear that this is a modern home.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Another Random Idea and Some Thumbnails

I decided to give my attic idea another try. I have replaced the main point of focus to this Dog Cage that I found an image of. I have still included the strange Buddha Teddy idea it is looking ominously into a mirror in a more side-lined position. I have included some other details like the pile of mobile phones falling out of a battered old box. This was inspired by a sequence in the novel The Strain in the book the characters encounter a large pile of mobile phones in an abandoned subway tunnel. This image struck me as being very uncanny in its tone. There is also a pile of shoes and a suitcase stuffed with clothing. These things are meant to imply that there may be some kind of creature in the cage being fed humans. Also images like the piled up shoes have ominous associations with genocide. I have also tried a more interesting composition, the POV is more first person.

 Some of the compositions with the POV looking up into the loft would have probably been more effective.  

Dog Cage

I’m still not totally happy with this idea. I think there is too much going on and there is no real focus. I think I preferred the bedroom idea even though the composition needs to be more interesting. I want to develop the bedroom idea using thumbnails and more images for reference. 

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Random Idea

I was trying to think of something to make my idea relate better to the uncanny. I was looking at old statues when I found this Buddha, I thought it could be made to look very sinister.

At first I was going to use the Buddha as a new focus point but I decided to merge it with my teddy idea. Below are some quick ideas, I think the teddy in the Buddha mask is fairly effective. 

I have also done a quick sketch of my Buddha Teddy in a bedroom scene I think it is a little bit more effective than my attic idea. I wanted the room to look like a parents bedroom and I tried to imply the Teddy has killed the parents. Its not exactly subtle but I prefer the basic idea to my attic idea. 

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Essay Idea

I have been thinking about what to do for my essay and I have decided to write about Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho or The Birds. I chose these films because Alfred Hitchcock’s work seems to have lots to do with the theory of the uncanny. They are about normal environments being corrupted somehow. I also thought about Hitchcock’s Rear Window but, although I have seen it, I’m not very familiar with it.

Final Concept Progress

 This is still not finished but I have worked into it a bit more.

Photoshop Text Experiments

In last weeks Photoshop class we were learning how to create realistic printed text using rasterize, here are my experiments.  

Final Concept, So Far...

This is my final concept art so far, its not finished but I wanted to put something up for my online review (I hope i'm not to late). I changed my image to black and white because I didn't like the colours i was using. At first this was just so I could use a multiply layer to change the colours. But I think the black and white is fairly effective so i may keep it.   

I started using this golden colour but I felt it was to warm and welcoming. 

This is the drawing I am using as a guide.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Director: Roman Polanski
Writers: Ira Levin (novel), Roman Polanski (screenplay)
Staring: Mia Farrow, John Casssavetes and Ruth Gordon

The plot of Rosemary’s Baby revolves around a young couple that move into a new apartment in New York. Peculiar neighbours who, at first, seem very friendly surround them. When the wife Rosemary (Mia Farrow) falls pregnant she begins to grow very paranoid for the safety of her unborn child. The paranoia begins controlling her life, as she becomes suspicious of her neighbours and even of her own husband (John Cassavetes). She believes her neighbours are members of a satanic cult of witches, and they want her baby.

Rosemary’s Baby is a fantastic film on many levels the plot is engaging and the main protagonist is relatable. Mia Farrows performance as Rosemary could be considered the backbone of the movie. The audience naturally engages with her character because of her vulnerability in this horrible situation. This is especially noticeable in the later portion of the movie when Rosemary is heavily pregnant, and at her most vulnerable.  Although she is vulnerable, her resilience to the horrors she is facing for the sake of her baby is very admirable.

Unlike the other two movies in Polanski’s apartment trilogy (The Tenant 1976, Repulsion 1965) the threat against the protagonist turns out to be real. In the other two films the characters are imagining the threat due to their own psychological demons rather than literal demons. The movie is however fairly ambiguous to a lesser extent, the possibility that Rosemary is imaging everything is there until the final act.

Nothing paranormal is ever seen in the movie with the exception of one dream sequence. Even in the final scene of the movie when the baby itself is revealed we don’t actually see it. Rosemary’s reaction and the ominous black crib is what make it so incredibly creepy.  It is noticeable that this idea of not showing the monster has been repeated in other movies such as The Blair Witch Project (1999).

Fig. 1

Rosemary's reaction to the demon baby

Perhaps the most horrifying thing about this movie is the fact that the characters are so believable. Rosemary and her husband seem like a realistic young couple. The nosey neighbour (Ruth Gordon) is especially unsettling because she is a believable neighbour. Most people have probably known someone like her, someone who is extremely friendly but a little self imposing. The characters believability helps the audience accept the more extraordinary things that happen in the film. Roger Ebert said in his review of the movie that its scary “because we can believe them as women who live next door to each other, we find it possible to believe the fantastic demands that the Castevets are eventually able to make on Rosemary” (Roger Ebert, Oct  2004).

To conclude Rosemary’s Baby is a fantastically effective engaging thriller due to its subtlety and great acting.


Ebert, R, 2004,,


Fig. 1, Rosemary's Reaction to the Demon Baby, [Rosemary’s Baby Roman Polanski], At:


Friday, 10 December 2010

More Thumbnails and Random Ideas

Whilst surfing the internet looking for pictures of old teddy's I came across this image. I came up with the idea of having the old teddy looking at a photograph like this of itself but when it was new. 

I couldn't decide how to pose the two objects, because I felt it was important to see the teddies eyes, and it was also important that the picture was seen.   

In the thumbnails below you can see I have attempted to resolve this issue using a mirror.

 I randomly came up with this Rene Magritte style surrealist element of a toy train emerging from an old worn cardboard box. It is supposed to resemble a train emerging from a tunnel.
 In this last thumbnail I came up with the idea of using the toys in the attic to subtly and symbolically tell the story of why they are there. I used the toy train idea combined with a toy car to suggest that there had been some kind of collision. There are two dolls in boxes in the background that are intended to symbolise coffins. And finally the morning teddy looking at the portrait of itself and two children is further evidence of a tragedy involving the demise of two children. I liked this idea at first but now I think its to morbid and not very subtle. I think it would be better if I made it more simple and left its meaning more open to interpretation.    

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Vampire Portrait

This has nothing to do with our current Unit 3 work but I thought I would post it anyway. I was basically just experimenting with Photoshop and trying to be more painterly. I did it on one of the days I was stuck at home with no internet because of the damn snow (hence the cold colours I guess).

Original Line Drawing

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

I have recently begun reading the novel The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan the plot revolves around a Vampire invasion of the United States. I have only just started reading the book and I’m hooked. I wanted to talk about it because there are a few things in the begging of the book that I think relate to this project. The book opens with a fantastic tribute/modernisation of Bram Stokers Dracula. A Boeing 777 touches down at JFK Airport and stops dead, all the widow shutters are down and all the lights are off. Nobody can see the inside of the plane and they have no idea what happened to it, it is very unsettling. In the book it is described as a “sleeping leviathan” or a “beached wale, dead or pretending to be dead”. Later on, the characters are in the cargo hold and they find a mysterious long black box (coffin) covered in old writing from an unknown language and it is half full of dirt (just like the in the hold of the Russian ship The Demeter in Bram Stokers Dracula). I thought it was extremely striking having this creepy ancient gothic artefact in the very modern environment of an aircraft cargo hold. There is also a very creepy sequence inside the main passenger seating area, it is fall of lifeless corpses. It is especially eerie because the only sound that is herd comes from the mobile phones of the dead (obviously because concerned loved ones are trying to contact them).    

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


This is probably a bit off brief because it is more to do with character design. I wanted to create an old teddy as the main focus of my attic scene, however I ended up going a bit nuts. 

I thought it would be interesting to contrast the fabric-textured teddy with these horrible-organic tentacles. I like the idea of aliens or monsters using the teddy as some kind of vessel. This is too blatant for this project but I thought it was a cool idea anyway.

First Thumbnails

These are thumbnail drawings for my attic scene idea. Some are hard to understand because they were drawn very quickly.

These first two thumbnails are my earliest and are a bit generic. They were meant to show the creepiness of the dark rectangle attic space. 


These thumbnails are inside the attic and I have incorporated my teddy idea.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Old Attic Scene Objects

I have collected images of things that I could use in my attic scene idea. The objects are a bit random at the moment, I tried to find things that look old. I had the idea of using the clutter in the attic to vaguely tell the story of the person who lives in the house.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Old Teddy's

I have collected some images of old teddies. I like the image of the old neglected teddy bear because, to me, it suggests a lost or abandoned childhood. I like the texture and exposed stitching, it gives an impression of fragility, as well as the obvious creepiness. They would work in an attic scene because it is the obvious place to find abandoned toys. 

Inside The Attic Influence Map

I decided that my scene could be set inside an attic because, in my opinion, it is the scariest part of any house. It’s cold, dark and it could be full of creepy old toys like dolls and teddy’s.
The inside of the attic for me was always a mystery when I was a child; it was the one part of the house that I had never seen this, to me, made it a little ominous. 


This is Teddy's by Jenny Harman-Scott. It is very creepy because it plays on childhood fears of things like toys that come to life. I'm not sure how well this image fits into the uncanny theme of our work (because the teddies only vaguely resemble humans). There is something about the eyes that gives them an extremely disturbing suggestion of consciousness. I also like the dark sepia tone colours used in the painting it adds to the creepy atmosphere.