Being currently on a story board job with a tight deadline, I have been doing a lot of drawings lately on my graphics tablet. However I continue sketching ideas down for my MA, mainly traditionally.
As I am trying to draw a visual of the castle seen earlier, I have started thinking about small details which would enhance the concept. The trees in the courtyard for instance, would be a beautiful addition to the whole castle if there was some colour to them. They could have flowers or fruits, and researching different types of trees, I decided I liked the idea of having orange trees. The bright fruits bring a note of brightness and contrasts with the blue roofs. Moreover, they are not necessarily massive which is what I would be expecting to see in an inner courtyard.
I played with the idea of having bare trees but found the result to be slightly creepy. However it then led me to think about the seasons and how the whole atmosphere would change with the seasons and the events in the story. For example, if the story began in summer, everything would be bright reflecting the events in the story where all is well in the world. However as things start to go awry for the princess, autumn settles in, and trees become bare. Hence when she flees during the night, the shadows of the seemingly dead trees can add to the idea of danger and urgency the princess finds herself into. When everything was well, the setting was dreamlike, but as her world collapses, the setting changes drastically with darkness and worrying shadows. This idea, in theory, could be applied to all the genres.