This project, from my Figure in Illustration class, was to redesign an existing character and create 3 sheets showcasing different looks. I chose Hiccup from the Dreamworks movie "How To Train Your Dragon'' (specifically HTTYD 2). Hiccup has always been a favorite character of mine and placing him in a modern, realistic setting was an exciting way to showcase his adventurous personality that emerges in the sequel.
In this new design, Hiccup is an athletic and thrill seeking individual seeing the world with his best friend Toothless (now a cat rather than a dragon). My goal for all 3 looks was to reference the original character as much as possible, while still making something unique and believable for our world.
The first sheet is a hiking design, suitable for Hiccup’s travels through mountain trails with Toothless by his side and making sketches along the way. An important factor for all 3 designs was an accurate portrayal of a leg prosthetic that is both modern and appropriate for the activity shown. On this sheet Hiccup has a prosthetic used for trail hiking, showing realistic traction and support, but also an aesthetic reference to a dragon's claw. Toothless also has a bright red prosthetic to reference the tail built for him by Hiccup in the movie. The color palette of this sheet, earthy tones with a red accent, is inspired by Hiccup's flight suit in the second movie. Many of his accessories and the symbols shown were also included as fun Easter eggs for the viewer.
This sheet shows Hiccup's mountain biking look, now with a biking specific prosthetic that safely attaches to the pedal. The color scheme of his clothing is a reference to the cool green glaciers that make up much of the landscape in HTTYD 2. Other details include Toothless's harness (reference to his flying saddle), and Hiccup's helmet that portrays the head of a dragon Toothless.
The skydiving sheet was inspired by Hiccup's self proclaimed "dramatic flare" as well as the gliding suit he made to fly along with Toothless in HTTYD 2. The jumpsuit and helmet are inspired by the movie’s flight suit but with brighter colors and modern materials. Hiccup is wearing a simple prosthetic for this look as I imagine he'd remove it before the dive anyway. (bonus Toothless looking on safely from the ground.)
Early process work included a mood board where I decided that the phenomenon of adventure cats would be the core of this project.
By using myself as a model I was able to get the poses and clothing needed for reference. (All except the skydiver.)
For the final illustration in this project, I chose to show Hiccup in the landscape he was exploring. I wanted this landscape to connect the modern realism of the redesign with the fantasy of the original story. There are hidden images of dragons in this landscape, as if it were made up of their fossilized remains from an ancient time. The glacier is in the form of the giant Bewilderbeast, there is a faint silhouette of the queen dragon as the mountain, the top of Stormfly's nose sits in the foreground as a perch for the cat, and appropriately Toothless is the peak where Hiccup is sitting.
I imagined this illustration as a classic National Park poster, possibly created by Hiccup himself, as he sits looking at the view with his sketchbook.
A digital photo composite (featuring my cat Fiona as a model) began the planning process. From there the drawing was transferred to paper with a physical watercolor and gouache painting. This painting became the base of the final piece and was further refined digitally.
Also included is the final poster text. After the piece was finished and I was trying to come up with a park name, I came across Vanaheim. Vananheim is a location introduced in the HTTYD show Dragons: Race to the Edge, which has a similar concept of a dragon graveyard. I thought it'd be a fun reference to include in the park name.