Alphabet Patch - First Concept!

One of the main projects for this semester is called the 'Cards Project'. We were assigned 4 random cards at the beginning of this project - the cards give you an artist, a theme, characters and a location.
I received:

Artist - Agata Dudek
Theme - children's pre-school
Characters - letters of the alphabet
Location - allotment

To begin with I was not pleased with my cards as I had never considered doing pre-school animation before but I have since become very excited about this project as I'm getting to try something different. Eventually we are to make a design bible for our concept but so far I have just begun by exploring my initial concept for the animated series and have done some experimental character designs.

I have  come up with an idea called 'Alphabet Patch', it's an animated series of episodes 15 minutes in length aimed at pre-schoolers. It's an educational program designed to teach children the alphabet and about the natural world. 

Above is the title for my series that I designed as inspired by the work of Agata Dudek.

Here are the first character designs I did, working closely with the style of my artist. I wanted the garden gnome not to be typical so I spent a lot of time experimenting. I want the character to be recognizable as a garden gnome but not just the same as always.
There is also a fat cat which I really like as I was getting to grips more with the art style.

Here are 3 of the main characters I designed - first the snail who is the 'bad guy' although he doesn't mean to be, he adds interest to the program. Next is Dotty the ladybug, she is curious and together with the gnome explores the garden learning new things. Finally is Mrs Beanie, she is a chicken and also curious, however she is not very smart or quick witted and acts as a comedic element in the program.

I have not developed the idea very far yet but I am really excited to keep working on this project, I have ideas to make this a stop motion animation but I will have to experiment with the art style some more. I find the art style fun to work in (much more exciting than usual and quicker to express myself with). I've started doing a lot of research into children's TV shows too, especially the 'classics' such as Pingu, The Clangers, Sooty and Sweep, Bill and Ben the FlowerPot Men etc as I would like my animation to have the same charm as these.