October 10th, 2007

For some odd reason, a half-dozen people like my artwork of video game characters. Sometimes. I’ve decided to post one of my fan art methods because this blog needs more visual content. Instead of putting it in a tutorial that explains how you should do it, I’ll make a truetorial that shows how everything usually goes wrong.

Wendy MilanStep 1.) Reference

First, you need to gather some visual reference. Internet image searches can help a lot but depends on the character’s fame. If you’re drawing a popular character like Master Chief or Lara Croft, you’ll find buttloads of pictures (and loads of pictures of their butts if you don’t turn on ‘Safe Search’). If you decide draw someone from an obscure SNES side-scrolling beat-em-up, you’ll probably just find a few random graphics on a fan site ran by some crumb bum. If you can’t find the pose you’re looking for, you’ll have to get your own reference. Pause the game if you have it or take a screen capture of it like I had to here. I do a sketch of the pose a few times trying to get all the limbs in the right places and add my own spin to it. This is also a good chance to get some of the surplus fail out of my system.

Wendy Milan 2007 - Crappy EditionStep 2.) the First Attempt
After days of almost drawing the picture and then remembering that I had to do other things for about 3 other people, I wait until Saturday, a day where I’m usually stumbling around like a zombie from an accumulated lack of sleep. I take a first attempt at it that to solidify a few more things. Sometimes, it’s a mess of lines that I plan to go over later or just note not to do things like that. With maybe 4 hours of sleep in my system, the first attempt here is horror beyond imagining. It is so ugly that I spend the rest of the night thinking of giving up drawing forever and ever. At least once I think about awkwardly jumping out of the second story window head first with the futile hope that the odd impact would break my neck and kill me instantly. Anything to not think about how I drew that. I crawl into bed, curl into the fetal position and fall asleep while listening to “Living Inside Myself” by Gino Vannelli hoping that tomorrow will be a better day*.

Wendy 2007 - pencilsStep 3.) the Second Attempt
After six hours of sleep, I take a second shot at the picture while noting everything that didn’t work the first time. The torso width and big boots match the sprite better even if it’s weird to see her with a realistic face. More adjustments are made to those weird shoulder pads after I see how they look in other animation frames. After I decide that I don’t hate how it looks, I break out the .08, .05 and .01 Micron pens and begin to go over the pencils with ink. Wendy Milan 2007 - inked This one turned out okay but there’ll still be digital fixes to be made. I tried to avoid giving her muscular legs, but I’m rethinking this one now. I’ll probably have to fix that. I’m not happy with the big, goofy boots now, so I’ll tone those down. Her face gives off the exact vibe that I want it to and I like how the ponytail turned out. She’s a cutie-head who looks like she’s posing for a picture which also plays into one of the ScrollBoss-related reasons I drew this. I can’t too much time on it because I still have a lot of work to do with upgrading the Illmosis site with funky-fresh functions and features. So the amount of further effort that I put into this will be determined by how much attention it gets where I post it. No, I’m not an attention whore, but I let feedback and interest decide what I’m working on when juggling multiple projects that need to be prioritized.

That’s it for part one. Be sure to tune in to part two whenever I get around to finishing the pic.

Edit: Part 2 is now ready right here.

* – Yes, that’s a joke. I just got to a point where I put the picture to the side and watched Kool Moe Dee on Soul Train. Besides, the window has a screen that can’t be moved. So there’s that, too.

5 Responses to “Truetorial: Video game characters pt. 1”

  1. hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    bigger boobs!

    yeah FTW

  2. Thanks, MICROmor!
    I’m going to post the full-color version on Sunday, so you will see her in color soon.

  3. I use visual referance also. For the details you cant just magically pull out of youre ass, its what you do. Taking a second look is also always a good idea: most artists have a hard time contending with their own egos so they dont want to admit to themselves it doesnt look right. Either their just too close to it, or their in denial: either way its bad for the ‘growth’ of the artist. In my opinion, you can never really learn enough about art, because NO ONE knows it all. It’s like a street fighter trying to get to that next level of fighting excellence. Nice work, man.

  4. I fully agree with you about the ego thing. No growth can come from being too afraid to admit mistakes. I still have to write the part two to this, but I made even more changes before I colored it in with one change coming from early feedback. This post exists just to show that I don’t just crap this stuff out (even if it looks like I do).

    Thanks a lot for commenting, FnW.

  5. […] In the last unexciting episode of Truetorial with the spunky Wendy Milan being fully inked. I scanned the pic in pure Black and […]