As we were developing our pre-production piece, we liked the idea of a magical painting and wanted to find a style of art that would be interesting to recreate through animation. We wanted something to contrast the live action film and so focused on more impressionistic and painterly styles. When we found the work of Leonid Afremov, we were inspired by his colorful paintings and decided to use his artwork as our primary reference for artistic style.
In addition to this, we also referenced his other works to get a sense of the level of detail in his figure’s faces:
We also looked for references for what the texture of the brushstrokes might look like, and how they behave when they come out of the painting: