These are examples of mine and Katy's set designs for the first illustration for the 7x7 book. Here we have created the models out of paper and used real objects such as the pint glass and the religious ornament. I was really pleased with the way everything looked when we got into the studio and finally constructed the whole thing. I think we were both pleasantly surprised, especially when we took some photographs while playing with different lighting effects. I think that's the way me and Katy work best with an element of surprise and not knowing fully what our final images will look like.
The idea was to build the village that is described in the story. So we wanted the church to be the main focus ( that's why we placed it on a higher level) and then we created all the little characters. We put the main character in a pint glass because in the story it mentions him going off to the pub instead of chosing to accompany his pregnant girlfriend to the church, which is where we've placed her placed her.
Katy also drew the family that the main character surveys when he is sat outside the pub. He is supposed to be watching the family with a kind of dread as he is seeing that as a vision for his future. Also the Punch and Judy element is present in our set, as it was in the story with Punch being hit over the head with a baby by Judy.
We also liked the idea of making the village quite Gothic, mainly because of the religious theme and the idea of Gothic churches.
Again we experimented with the lighting and we were trying to project a stain glass window effect over the entire black and white set. I think this created a brilliant sense of mystery and atmosphere to the images, some of which we've succeeded in making look slightly creepy. We also had the advantage of creating these amazing shadows, we were especially happy with the shadows from the trees as they are so clear and sharp.
The only downside to these images is the detail of the drawn characters is lost in the pictures, which is a shame, so I think the next step would be how to move it on further. . . perhaps working with them in photoshop or illustrator. . .