The next stage of my development is to create concept art, plans and elevations for my character's environment.
My idea is that she inhabits a giant skull which forms a cave. It will be covered in various plants, branches, wildlife, etc. to show that it's an ancient relic which has existed, undisturbed, for a very long time. It will also be coated in crystals (similar in appearance to apophyllite) which reflect the undercurrent magic.
a very rough concept I drew in Photoshop
For reference and inspiration, I've gathered a few images of wildlife and skulls. I will also use the photographs I took earlier from the museum.
I like the burnt colours and textures found in the skulls on the central image. This, combined with the open-jawed structure of the other skulls, will form the basis of my skull cave concept. I spent some time drafting ideas for what the creature might have actually looked like, so that I can more specifically decide the shape of the skull.
Earlier in the development process I was advised to find a specific type of tree to use as a reference, so that I might gain ideas for the more defined details of my character and also her environment.
I've been drawn to these images I found of a tree called "curly filbert", and also the "corkscrew hazel". The intricate, curled form of the branches is very beautiful, and makes it look like the sort of tree you might find in a fairytale illustration, or a Tim Burton picture. I would like this style of tree to be prevalent throughout the environment and on my character.
The "hanging" leaves on the corkscrew hazel are particularly aesthetically pleasing!