Drawing workshop: Ghost in the Shell

Recently I’ve been to another drawing meetup, where I picked a nice little but complicated) drawing of Ghost in the Shell to sketch:

After about 3 hours, my sketch was finished:

At home I did some inking with a fountain pen:

And finally I added some watercolor, which turned out pretty okay..the lips were kinda tricky, were I messed up first and had to put some white paint on it to try again. Next time i’ll have to draw the outline of the painted lips first with a pencil..

I also scanned my inked drawing, so I’ll probably do some digital ink/colors in the future for fun!


Ghost in the Shell – Creating a Cyborg part 1: sketch

For a new project I thought I’d pick something challenging, and I found a nice frame in the opening of the Ghost in the Shell anime from 1995.

I cropped the image a bit and added a simpler grid than I’ve been used to so far, adding some more challenge to get the proportions right:

I picked a moderately sized 40×30 cm watercolor paper for the sketch, and started putting the rough sketch in:

The finished sketch:

There’s quite some dark parts that are unclear, which can probably masked with some dark/black colors..but for now, the next step is inking.

Trying out a canvas

So I had this small canvas lying around that I bought a while ago for maybe 3 EUR. I figured I’d try a sketch/painting on it and see how it worked.

I picked a Bubblegum Crisis screenshot to start working on.

Turns out this canvas wasn’t very suitable for sketching, as it’s a nightmare to erase pencil sketches on it. You can see below the result of some sketching, with previous lines still being pretty clearly visible.

The left eye was a bit too high but I managed to fix that once I started the inking. Fineliners didn’t catch on too well on the canvas, so I picked some ink with crownpen..the thicker lines were a tad easier to apply.

I used some more ink to fill the really dark areas, but acrylic paint didn’t catch on very well; maybe because it’s a really cheap canvas. Another side-effect of the old pencilsketch markings not being erased very well is that they mix with the waterpaint, adding ugly dark blurry effects to the colors.

For now I’ve decided to stop working on the pic and do a new Bubblegum Crisis project on some proper acrylic paper some time later. You can see the last step of the test below:

Cyber City Oedo 808: Gogol

This was a fun quick project I did in a evening, based on this still from the second episode:

I started off with a circle, trying to get the layout of the basics right: ear, visor, nose, mouth:

Second step was adding the rest of the contours. I made the chin a bit too low (which happens often I notice):

Some more details in the sketch:

Adding ink, doing some rough fineliner shadows:

First layer of color:

Adding shadows:

Final pic! I used a thick marker to fill in the shadows and accentuate the lines:


The Curse of Monkey Island – Quicksand part 3: paint and finish

I continued painting my sketch with a first layer for every surface, with the end result being this:

Every color is kinda bright, so there’s a lot of contrast missing..when searching for some background on the original Monkey Island art, I came across a great presentation by Bill Tiller, the lead background artist Monkey Island 3:  How_to_Draw_Monkeys_the_LucasArts_Way.pdf.

Some good quotes:

Use extreme values and contrast to draw the eye to toward the focal point of the action. This will highlight the area in the room that is most important for the player.

Use contrasting and varied shapes in background compositions.
Various shapes next to each other at odd angles are more interesting than like shapes all in a row.

Define the shapes of your objects by positioning them in front of one another, posing them to create positive and negative space and then, when rendering them, use contrasting shades to distinguish one from the other.

The site has some more cool tutorials and is worth checking out, even though it hasn’t been updated in over a decade: http://www.lucasstyle.com/tutorials.htm

I don’t think I achieved the perfect contrast in my final picture, but the end result is still kinda nice:

When comparing to the original, it’s good to notice that the original has a really warm tone; the sand and trees are all a kind of red/yellow, with cool blues and purples used for shadow. I tried replicating this effect, but I think my colors aren’t dark/yellow enough.

Still, this was a fun project and gave me a good insight into the philosophy of the original artist.