I've done quite a few character design concepts for Cornelius; I've tried to design him so it is clear that he is a veteran of the hippie movement, but so the original character of a sensible, down-to-earth gorilla is also recognisable.
One of the first ideas that I went with was the stringed waistcoat, with headband and necklace displaying peace symbol.
I also looked into hippie jewellery and found out about hemp necklaces; and a lot of them had beads, so I tried Cornelius out with one of them. I also drew him in various poses that I came across in the gorilla research photos. This pose would be good for portraying Cornelius observing the human life that enters London Zoo.
I also quite like the guy's outfit in the Hair- Aquarius video at 0:03 seconds, you can see this video in the More Hippie Photos post. I tried this on Cornelius; this waistcoat will probably be easier to model than the stringy waistcoat.
These are a few facial studies for Cornelius; up to this point, I had only drawn realistic looking gorillas and the brief requires the character to be inspired by the claymation. I played around with the shape of his nose and also giving him drooping eyelids, similar to Dylan from The Magic Roundabout.
I decided that I wanted to use the background peace image from the 'Old Hippie' video, that is also viewable from the More Hippie Photos post. I have combined the waistcoat with a t-shirt which has this image. I have also started playing with the patterns on Cornelius' headband
Once I had finalised Cornelius' design, I drew him in the Lotus pose. I think he will have a t-shirt with the peace symbol, a waistcoat with the rainbow sign, a hemp necklace, a headband and John Lennon glasses. I will probably use the Lotus pose as one of his three poses.
Here is a close up shot of the same character design.
The next stage is to get these on computer and coloured in, ready for modelling.