Yay! Mister Lion from The Lion and the Mouse is here!
Now that he has joined the crew I feel as if I have known him forever. Making the exact Lion that I envisioned was great! I took my mind to interesting places for inspiration. My main source of inspiration was a lion that used to live at the Camaguey Zoo in Cuba. He was old and very quiet, I never heard him roar, not even once. I remember people yelling and throwing stuff at him but there he was, quiet and patient. I felt such a connection with him. People's lack of sensibility made me mad, but he was just so calm about it. I could imagine him thinking: poor people out there, they think that I'm stupid but I think that it's the other way around. I'm not going to get mad at them, I'm just sorry that they're so lost.
The moral from The Lion and the Mouse fable is that mercy brings its reward (the lion) and that there is no being so small that it cannot help a greater (the mouse). So I needed to represent a good lion able to exercise mercy. I wanted him to have a more adult presence but with a nice childlike touch.
Believe it or not the key element was: the eyes. I made some large eyes in the beginning, then medium size but they didn't work at all. Then I made these tiny eyes and he became instantly what I was looking for. You know, like people who wear glasses that make their eyes look a lot smaller. That effect makes people look smart and more mature.
To give my lion a little bit of power look I made him a simple vest and a respectable hat. A police hat (sort of) with a tiny crown badge on the front because he's the king. Now he's complete and almost ready to jump into the stage (which is in the process of being cut).
And now: I will start making the teeny tiny little mouse. I am loving the very idea! :)