In order to bring more life to my characters, I have been continuing to just sketch them out so that I can capture them completely and not struggle to draw the for my final illustrations. All of these images are rough and showcase quick sketches I did in order to achieve this before I moved on to composing my illustrations.
As I’ve continued my research into the Russian Revolution and the Romanov family I have continued to make connections between them and Alice in order to tell the story, most notably with the characters. The Hatter for example is inspired by Rasputin as discussed previously, but I have also now developed the character of the March Hare and have decided to portray my version of the character as a representation of Prince Felix Yuspaov who was involved in the assassination of Rasputin. Their tea party is also inspired by the events of Rasputin’s murder and this is something that I will hunt at in my depiction of that scene as well as the reputation of Rasptuin with the nobility.
I have also been questioning whether or not to have the caterpillar inspired by Lenin. I made this connection because of the research I have done into the symbolism of Alice and the phallic shape of the caterpillar representing a sexual threat. I thought that this threat could be more representational of the doom surrounding the lives of the Romanovs and the questioning of “who are you” representing the question of what side Alice is on, the monarchists or revolutionaries.
The Duchess also gives the impressiong of a predatory sexual threat and so I decided to base her on the nobility at the time leading up to the revolution who were hoping to make marriage alliances with the Romanov duaghters, thus reflecting greed which I thought would be suitable to the advances of the Duchess. Orignally I did not want to base the King and Queen of Hearts on Nicholas and Alexandra, however I came to the conclusion of them being a characterization of the view the public had of the royal couple, particularly when Alexandra was thought to be domineering over her husband. Finally, the White Rabbit I really stuggled to characterize but I thought he could be an embodiment of traiditonal Russia, or just Russia itself as the Romanov girls were very naive about the world and did not know much about life outside their palace and their curiosity can therefore be reflected within Alice’s when she follows the rabbit down the rabbit hole.