Studies of the subject before taking it to the board just to see what can, cannot, and SHOULD be done with him. I thought about giving him the angry warrior face, but turned it down simply because his personality ain't like that. Looking at it, it was for the best as the scene between the three characters wouldn't have worked out as well with an angry face. As is, those who know him well will know that the depiction used makes a lot of sense.
Preliminary Pencils. The face is was actually sketched out twice on the board as the original drawing just wasn't doing it. It's very important to listen to your gut on these things at times, if it don't feel right SCRAP IT. Start over. MAKE IT RIGHT. If I had kept it the way it was beforehand I'd have hated it forever and ever. Sure there's always the feeling of there being room for improvement in everything but anything more than that is not the kind of feeling you want to have at the end of a project. At least, at the minimum you'd try to avoid that at all times even though there are those situations where it's unavoidable. Fortunately, this isn't one of them.
Some close ups of the details. Quite a bit of .1 and .5 pen work for the hatching. IMO this can be some of the most fun stuff to do on pieces like this. It's actually quite relaxing. One nice thing about hatching with lines like that is that it lends so well to the coloring, especially with making the shadowing that much easier to deal with.
It's times like this that I remember what it was I liked about pen and ink long time ago. Especially on illustration board where you don't have to worry about poking through paper if you're too hard on a stroke.
Anyway, this small deal is based off the latest Zelda title, Skyward Sword. Granted this was the first Zelda that I didn't get on day one so I had to do a little Youtube research to get an idea as to how to approach it. What I chose to do was place the entire picture on Skyloft, with the important landmarks in the back, while incorporating some humor with the fairy and Fi. (bonus points to anyone who knows WHO the fairy is...) His attention is on the kissy fairy (for good reason, it's nice to have hearts!) while Fi is getting shielded off. And just like Fi, she goes into mathematical analysis mode while showing mild disgust (I know she's SUPPOSED to be emotionless, but she damn well shows some at the end of the game. Creative license folks). And before anyone brings it up, I know she doesn't have arms, but the scene wouldn't work without them. Again, creative license.
I used the color pencils on the characters and such since they laid down a smoother pigment, while using the color sticks for the background. Reason why is because the game itself uses a filter for background elements that texturizes it somewhat like a watercolor painting, and while the sticks weren't going to get the exact effect it would still be textured enough for that to make a difference.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable and challenging project to do and I hope my recipient enjoys it as well.
Artwork is produced with Staedtler pigment liner, Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens and Prismacolor Pencils and Artstix on 16 x 20 illustration board.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and all characters and properties © 2011 Nintendo.