CRIMSON ARENA 3-The Grimm Posters
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Hello everyone and welcome to the third Crimson Arena. This challenge is meant to push you to the limit and out of your comfort zone and make you produce a kick ass piece that goes straight to the top of your portfolio.

This months challenge is the The Grimm Posters challenge. Your job is to Design a movie poster based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales.

You can go with a popular tales like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White or you could go with a personal favorite or some lesser know ones like The White Snake or The Riddle.

Remember to read the stories even if you feel like you already know them. There are usually subtle differences between the Grimm stories and the Disney versions you are a costumed to that may inspire you.

List of the brothers grimm fairy tales

We are emphasizing CHARACTER, COMPOSITION and everything it takes to make a good movie poster.


-Must design a poster based on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm

- Image must be designed as a poster formatted to a vertical rectangle, with a well thought, interesting composition.

- Studies pertaining to finished illustration MUST be shown with the piece in order to be eligible to win. Studies MUST include compositional comps and thumbnails

- Studies MUST BE RELEVANT to the character design and/or elements used in the illustration.

This month's guest judge is the Amazing Alex Negrea who will look at your work and offer feedback to the winners of the Challenge.
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My Sketchbook

I shall live forever or die trying.
Woo! So pumped for this one. Alright people, here are the Do's and Don'ts of what we're looking for.

For the don'ts this video pretty much covers everything we do NOT want to see:

For what we DO want to see, here are some examples of well put together or cleverly done movie posters that catch the eye. Take these as inspiration:

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very cool, think ill give this a shot. didn't know this was a thing and i always regret i never got into the bloodsports.
Yay, I was already awaiting the next challenge and now the theme is just something I really like, so I think I'm giving this a try this time! I'm really excited! (:


Nice theme. I think i try it this time.
I went through the list of the grimms tales till i found one i liked. In this case i decided to try somthing with "Snow White and Red Rose" or "Schneeweisschen und Rosenrot" as it is in german. It has nothing to do with the Disney Snow White.
What i liked in this is that there are two young woman, a bear and a evil Dwarf. So i have bears and dwarfs as good study objects and young ladies are always good to know how to paint. In this case i have to make certain their fashion will reflect the names. What really scares me is the poster part - i have totally no idea about fonts and stuff.
But i made this first (hopefully of a lot) draft using some silhouettes i had from older work and made a new one fro the bear.
I only post this to set myself under pressure. Now i have announced i join in - so i have to do it. ;)

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Awww yuss :D can't wait to get started. It's gonna be tricky not to fall into the shitty section of movie posters, and even more hard to get something original (*whispers* making mega minimalistic posters isn't original ... at ... all) .

Also it's awesome how you colored the "amazing" along Alex Negrea's name XD. Looks like it's his wizard magician show name " The Amazing Alex Negrea and the Leap of Death " (*whispered*he actually is a wizard of tablets)

had some time at hand today and made studies of bears and dwarves to extract what i have to keep in mind when doing them.

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@Tul: i'm not a big fan of mega minimalistic posters either. And the Amazing Alex Negrea is Definatly a Wizard.

@Wolkenfels: Nice Choice. i can't wait to see what you come up with.

...btw guys i just had to post some Drew Struzan Posters....i just had to.
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My Sketchbook

I shall live forever or die trying.
Spent a good while reading through a bunch of the Grimm stories and I decided to go with The Golden Bird. A lot of the main elements in the story are animals which is something I neglect drawing so i thought it would be a good excuse to push that into my studies. Trying to avoid the kinds of stuff that was mentioned in the video is proving to be challenging because those things are so comfortable to automatically jump towards. But I have managed to jot down some rough thumbnails that I did directly after reading the story to keep the way I initially interpreted it fresh. Though I'm working on studies and another set of thumbs right now.

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Sweet stuff, Mikkelmulr.
Did some comp sketches too yesterday but was not very happy but now watching yours i see i have overlooked the variations i can have if i have a look from above on a scenery.

BTW very happy i did some silhouettes last year so i could easily put them as placeholders in the comp thumbs.
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My favorite right now is #3

Today some dress tests. not sure for what kind of dresses i go - more rural german, glamor our medieval. so far i like the first and the last best. Any suggestions?
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Nice work on the dress tests! (: I like first and last best, too. The dresses in the middle look more like ball gowns to me, although it's really only the red one. (not sure about the fairytale atm though, maybe there is a dance evening in some way or another...)

So here I am with my composition sketches and first studies. I decided on a tale I liked a lot in my childhood: Story of a boy who went forth to learn what fear was. I had a stong idea about my picture in mind already, but I'm glad I watched the vid about the movie posters, as my idea was some kind of floating head variation (as seen in thumbnail one). It's actually the first time I try to work out such different composition thumbs, and I'm not sure, so far I like the first one bottom row the most. I wanted to include more enviro though because it's something I need to work on, hm. Anyway, I did some skull studies today because I'll definitely include a skull somewhere in the picture.

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I actually sat down again and did some more elaborate thumbs and thought about some different ideas/combined ideas. I think I should first think about what kind of movie I'd like to see about the fairytale...I think you can make it a pretty scary movie or maybe even more a comedy...

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My fav is kind of number one still. Although I'd like to paint details of the face as well but with this bright centre there I smell contre-jour light.


Wolkenfels: Noooo dirndl please :P But if you go with those, don't make them too silky or they will look like those cheap 20€ imitations, instead of the real traditional version. Personally I think the medieval versions, they look lovely, and I like how they complement each other with the white either on the inside or the outside of the dress.

Cyprinus, Thumb 1 is dynamic due to the shift, but I also like 4 - you could play with a more graphic approach with those nice shapes in the background. But yes, I think deciding on a genre is important here.

SketchbookDeviantartArtblog | Portfolio
Every feedback is appreciated!
I'm digging thumbnail number 6 the most now. Might feel like a safe bet. Even if they're placeholders I would experiment some more with gestures and poses. As with the fourth thumb, you could probably move the bear behind them as a silhouette, or even have it below them as a stylistic thing. Maybe it would look too much like the "do not want" posters though :p

I agree with Lyraina, I think the medieval dresses look the best.

Nice thoughts! The undertone of the movie would still be quite serious I think. I like the first composition in your newer drawings. Looks a bit mysterious and dramatic with that hard light. You could easily add more elements if you wanted to aswell, so it's a good point of origin! Love the skull gate :D

I really fell for the story named Godfather Death. Probably just because of the name, but it clicked visually in my imagination. The story has two scenes which I thought would make cool covers. Which are when the old man meets death in the woods and when the physician heals the king. Might be heading in to a more illustrative territory though!

Starting off with some Doré compositions for that sweet, sweet value

And the first compositions

Couple more comps that felt a little more movie-poster-like the previous ones felt a little too illustration based. Still not really sure which I'll go with, or if I'll collage come elements of them into one I like.

Cyprinus - I agree with the others that number one is really nice and dynamic and definitely stands out from the others. That said I also really enjoy the fourth one. It has a wonderful playfulness to it and the style really suits the shot. very fitting for a fairy tale.

Bjulvar - I was really tempted by that story myself, it has a ton of wicked elements to play with in the design, most of which definitely come through in your thumbnails. Looking awesome. Something I considered as a poster idea for that story was the decision the man had to make between god, the devil and death as the godfather. That choice set the rest of the story in motion and avoids giving too much away. Something I'm trying to avoid myself are spoilers because I hate seeing posters or trailers that give it all away.

Wolkenfels - I am way too German to give an unbiased answer xD so I leave that to the others to help with.

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Been brainstorming and studying entries. Thanks for showing that video Forrest, it put my mind in the right place.

Started too generic I think.

Did some studies of modern posters.

Thumbnails based on studies.

Checked out the video and saw that I had studied unoriginal posters, tried to come up with something new that pops out to people.

I will render this out and hopefully wont ruin the good comp.

Critiques welcome, dont know shit about poster design.

Did a couple dress designs and fox/ bird sketches to get a better for the anatomy. Dress wise I think I'm feeling the middle one the most, but I'll probably bang out a couple more, don't know crap about dresses lol Prince designs are up next along with a million mat studies, may stream those tomorrow so that I can embarrass myself with an audience xD

Hope everyone else is working hard!

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These are thumbnails I'm doing for Little Red Riding Hood

Oh dam the guest judge is Alex Negrea! Wish I knew about this earlier.


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