Monday, June 28, 2010

Becca's Baba Yaga Thumbs

Baba Yaga! What a story! It's like Cinderella meets an evil witch with a house on chicken legs! Actually, that's pretty much exactly what it is! I am really excited to work on this, and I am super excited that Lis will be joining us from now on!

OK, so I'll just run through these. In the first one, our heroine, Vasilissa, is meeting the witch for the first time (the witch rides in a mortar, steered by the pestle... I would make these look really banged up and old). The horse that brings the nighttime is riding by, the chicken leg hut is in the background, and there is a fence made of human bones and skulls. Cool!

In the second one, Vasilissa has just been booted out of Baba Yaga's hut, and is running off with a flaming skull.

In the third one, Vasilissa is entering Baba Yaga's hut for the first time. Baba Yaga is beckoning to her (while climbing a human bone ladder - cool!), and the night horseman is riding in the background.

I am leaning towards the first or last one. Thoughts?


  1. Awesome!! I am jealous you may be painting one of the horses... I wanted to paint one too, but I also wanted an indoor scene, ah well! Hahaha. Those guys are sweet. I think I like the 2nd and 3rd sketch best. The first one might have too much stuff in it, and the horse and baba are too directional... one should be going the other direction or something (or be smaller, so they don't look like theyre running in a race or anything).
    Of the 2nd and 3rd... hmmm not sure which I like best! I'm sure you were going to do this, since these are just sketches, but make sure the cabin is not just a box on feet! hmm I do like the movement of the 2nd one... really tells a story. The third one - maybe bring the girl forward more, so its like... mid-thigh up and she's bigger, looking around kinda freaked out, and the witch behind her beckoning (you can angle the cabin a bit differently so it's not so straight-on, like viewing two sides of the building with a corner in the middle... dunno the terms here hahaha), and have the horseman in the background

  2. Hey! i've been meaning to comment all day but kept getting sidetracked. Sheesh!
    Anyhow, wow these are really crazy! It must be some kinda wacky tripped out story. Haha
    I think for me, I am having a hard time getting into these environments/'s kinda like just stuff everywhere with no real ties putting everything together (other than the text). I think I like the third one best just by the thumbnail. The second could be really cool if you took some new angles on it. I feel like they are all kinda the same flat space with stuff in there. I want to get into this world and feel the tension. MAybe the witch and the girl are interacting. Maybe the skull she's running with is making a cool flame trail.
    It's a bit too sidescrolling game know? throw the fence into perspective, use it as an element. Maybe we're looking through the fence and it's giving some cool silhouetted shapes. Just brainstorming here...I think you can get a really kick-ass piece out of this, but right now I'm not being thrust into the story enough to buy into the mayhem....does that make sense?
    Also, I think that things like the chicken-legged house or the bone staff thingy or the fence....any of it. Could really be thought out and turned into something different and weird and cool. Like not just a box with standard chicken legs, but like a crazy house that maybe is a living thing with these legs that are integrated into it.
    Bah! sorry for my long winded-ness. I want this to be the best piece you've ever done! Rock out!

  3. Thanks for the great comments guys! I totally agree that these compositions aren't all that dynamic, and I've been getting some pretty sweet ideas for ways to make it more interesting. I want to stick with a classic fairytale look, so the perspective can't get too crazy. I'm going with the third one, and I think I'll be bringing the girl more into the foreground, as Lis suggested, and extending the composition upward more, to show more of the wacky house (and make it - and other stuff - wackier). Woo!

  4. hey sorry im late. yeah i think the 3rd one is prolly your best comp. not sure if you guys had read some of the other tales involving baba yaga, but she is a great character that has very strange habits, like she needs to count how many spoons villagers keep in their cabinet. but anyway, i have seen a lot of great baba yaga paintings and not sure if you wanna include this but because it's a house on chicken legs, the house is usually depicted with 1 leg holding the house up and the other leg held up resting, like a lot of birds do when they are resting. i always liked that, but thats just a suggestion if you want to stay true to art history, but if you wanna do it your way it would only set you apart from them. if you want some great inspiration check out Ivan Bilibin, this is his version of your piece :