Hercu-Liz Project: HERCU-LIZ



Very first designs of Hercu-Liz

Very first designs of Hercu-Liz


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The whole concept to how this project was born, constructed and based around my character who is the female version of half-god hero Hercules.

She has no fear.  No mortal weakness.  No remorse for slaying deadly beasts and isn’t bothered when having to clean out the largest, malodorous stables known to man.

I wanted to create a brave, strong and loyal female character to be in the league of influential characters such as Wonder Woman,  Xena (Warrior Princess) and Red Sonja.

Hercu-Liz is calm natured and always there to help, but she is not to be pushed around or taken advantage of.  Step out of line with her and she shall dish out the pain.  When designing Hercu-Liz, I went into deep details of the star-sign that she was born under.  Making her a ‘Libra’ as this is a sign of balance, which shows her heroic personality of right & wrong by slaying creatures to save others.  I also wanted this to relate to Greek symbols, as the horoscope sign for ‘Libra’ is very similar to that of the Geek letter ‘Omega’ (meaning ‘great’ or ‘great O’) which I found very fitting for the character.

I am hoping to include this as a symbol for her, maybe adorned on her breast plate, or shield (if I design one?).  I would like her to wear different outfits during the scenes, even if it is just two or three different designs it could add a bit of versatility to her?

Should Hercu-Liz use or have weapons?   Hercules used a club, sword and bow & arrows in some of his labours, but he seemed to have strangled and throttled his enemies to death most of the time.  Should Hercu-Liz use the same violent approach?





Hercu-Liz Project: The Lernaean Hydra

Hydra art

Hydra art

IMG_4757Another one of my all time favourite mythical creatures is the hydra, an almost immortal huge snake with many heads.  Some portray hydras with two or three heads, where as the Lernaean Hydra that Hercules fought had seven.  Most of the paintings done in the sixteeth-century of hydras were given an almost dragon style look, where I wish to keep it looking more snake-like.  From my designs I wanted from the start to stick with the heads as very distinctive serpents, no ear-fins or beak like mouths as past versions looked.  Even though I experimented with different head designs, I still preferred the straight forward common snake look.

Some hydras also had lion-like bodies, but I really don’t like that method, so I’m am giving my hydra a complete snake form, like my Medusa.  To me this feels more serious, more threatening and more dominating as opposed to a mammal section which to me looks quite silly (apart from ‘King Hissss’ from He-Man, as that worked well).

I spent a great deal of time deciding on how many heads my version the hydra should have?  I originally wanted seven as that is the number of the Lernaean species had, and I was going to add a theory behind this as each one being one of the seven deadly sins.

Eventually, I have gone with five heads as it became too complex and complicated to draw, even still image designs-let alone animating it!

Hercules was accompanied by a friend, Iolaus when they both killed the beast together, however I am not intending to have an extra character help Hercu-Liz with this situation.  Reason being is that it would add more time, and might confuse the viewer as all the scenes are going to be short and quick like trailer clips often are.

I might have close-up shots of Hercu-Liz despatching each head inbetween scenes?

Hercu-Liz Project: Stymphalian Bird

As I mentioned before on the part one of the Medusa project post, I am not fond of drawing feathered wings of birds as I just find them tedious to do.

The Stymphalian Birds were flesh-eating birds of prey with sharp bronze beaks, talons and feathers.  How I am going to try and animate this scene?   I plan to avoid any wing flapping motions as it would drive me mad in the process of this hand drawn scene, so I want to have the shot to be cut straight to the scene of Hercu-Liz having one of the birds in her grasp.  This would be to save any ‘swooping in’ motions as I find it may prolong the short scene too much?


Hercules used a bow and arrows to despatch the birds, but I want my heroine to handle the matter without having to use long range weapons as I want the main character (Liz) to be in every scene.  I could still have a back view of her firing the arrows into the air, or a small image of one of the birds in the distance as she does this?

I’ll have to go back to the storyboards for this, but either way I was very influenced by political artist Gerald Scarfe in the designing of these bird creatures.  Looking through some of his great books like ‘Drawing Blood’ and ‘Monsters’ really inspired me to try and imitate his style in the designs.  Also researching into what breed of bird I can use to work from shall be a test in itself.


Stymphalian Bird

Stymphalian Bird

Hercu-Liz Project: Medusa pt. II

My Medusa design

My Medusa design

Back to Medusa.

After lots of quick sketches and then more detailed versions in my sketchbook, I eventually came up with a final design for my Medusa.  This is the version I liked most, mainly because I overcame the laborious task of animating her serpentine hair, by replacing how ever many snakes she has, into one slightly larger and more aggressive one.

Not only was I satisfied with that look, but also replacing her bow and arrows (which Ray Harryhausen equipped his Medusa with), but rather a giant python to aid her.  It was a tight choice between this or a menacing trident of which I thought would be a great weapon for her.  I think the python pet would suit her more, the trident-although a mean looking weapon, have been used before with characters such as Neptune/Poseidon or even the Devil.  Having the snake as a weapon would be more of a challenge for Hercu-Liz also be a ‘two against one’ scenario.


I really like the idea of this battle in an animation form.  I shall try my best to do this with what skills I have, but I know it won’t be an easy task.