While researching the Ronmanovs and Russia I came across an image of a family sitting around a table outside and having tea which immediately reminded me of the Hatter and March Hare’s tea party from Alice. In the centre of the table was a Russian samovar which is used to boil the water and the look rather unusual and decoartive at the same time and so I thought it would be a good idea to include one in my illustration of the mad tea party. Above are a few sketches I did of samovars in order to get an idea of the kind of image I would want to use.
After sketching the characters of Alice I found characterising the mock turtle and gryphon very difficult as I did not want to simply replicate the look of them from the original illustrations. I eventually decided to use some of the reseach I had done on the Romanovs to help me and ended up basing the characters on people who were involved in the lives of the Romanov children, one of their tutors Pierre Gilliard and the sailors from the Imperial yacht the Standart with whom the children were friendly. I thought this would fit nicely in my illustration as the scene takes place by the sea and a lot of lessons are depicted.
Finally, I have been playing around with the idea of using Russian symbols and imagery to help emphasise the setting and meaning behind my project, one example being the use of Faberge Eggs. I came up with the idea of Alice being trapped within a Faberge egg and thus representing Imperial Russia and the confinement of the Romanov children in their palace; a gilded cage. I’ve also recrated the Romanov double headed eagle crest with a Wonderlan spin, using a flamingo and crowned heart in order to emphasise this.