As an important part of Chinese painting, line-drawing has its typical and common characteristics of all Chinese drawings, that is, being impressionistic and stress on the calligraphic style of drawing.
On my first vision of the film, I choose the line-drawing style to create the backgrounds. But I find the line-drawing can’t reflect the nature of the scenery I wish to show.
Then I find ink-wash painting make the elegant and expressive artworks more impressive than the line-drawing style. I have tried, but the results still can’t satisfied myself. So I keep in searching a new style.
The Tangka, or scroll painting, is a special art of Tibetan Buddhism. The pictorial subjects of Thangkas include portraits of Buddhas, stories from the lives of saints and great masters.
The color of Tangka is heavier than ink-wash painting. It can show the art style of Tibetan area. It makes the background design more convincing. So I finally choose this color style for my film.
I find some Tibetan children photos and oil paintings as the reference of my character design. Pema wears traditional dress. The face of Pema turns red because of Tibet is at high altitude and low-temperature area.
Most Tibetan legend has sanctity, people are fascinated by the mystery of the Tibetan legend, but few animation uses Tibetan elements to create.
Mila Son Son is adapted from a Tibetan legend.
Mila is an elf, only pure children can see him. He never grows up, he always feels lonely. He likes playing with children, but the children who play with him will forget way home forever.
The story is spread around Tibetan area, but people there never tell Mila is a bad elf and never too worried about their missing children. They believe people have souls and they can reborn after they died. This is a great inspiration for my film.