Tag Archives: pencil drawing



What’s up, friendly people. I have been liking to draw spacefighters recently. They’re a nice test case of hard surface lighting and contrast. I’m mostly content with this example, which was done in Mypaint with Ramon Miranda’s pencil brushes and some Bob Marley playing in the background.

I think I somehow leveled up in hard surface drawing, perhaps because I really invested the time to shade all the greeble and put in the highlights and deep shadows here. I did some actual lighting on the wings and cockpit. I’m quite happy with it.

I multiplied the layer with a copy of itself at 50% opacity. This keeps the hue better than doing it in Curves and creates nice dark shadows, which you usually won’t get with graphite shading due to the nature of the brushes and the material they imitate.

Now to take things into perspective.


Yep, perspectivic transfer using grids. Automatic foreshortening. It’s another thing I’m trying to get good at. I do character studies too, but as always I could probably do more.  Oh well.

I wish everybody a happy spring equinox if that means anything to you (it gets warmer hopefully.)


Our heroine has a face


Had to be done one day. It turned out better than I thought it would; I’ve been dreading to draw these guys – Scout, Esperanza, and the other main chars in the game. I’ve seen them before my inner eye for two years. This isn’t anywhere near good, but one has to start somewhere. Iteration will probably improve these character portraits. I’ll just have to draw them again and again in different poses and from diferent perspectives. And I need to look at reference more.

Drawing a character from your imagination and nailing it is very hard.

She’ll have a helmet that she can wear in the game as well as various body armour that can be looted from the factions. This light armour vest is just her starting gear.

Not all characters in the game will be Northern European, there are Hispanic, Yoruba, Chinese and other chars in the game. Modern, near-future Europe, if you will. A rich cultural diversity.

Scout is not a beefcake space marine by any measure, but she is quick to think and to adapt and reasonably good at exploring unknown worlds. She is not able to carry terribly much weight, but she is competent with what she can carry. Movement speed will be realistic but Scout can sprint of course.

Since she’s no tank, there is the need to handle confrontations in an intelligent manner and be ready for a tactical retreat if things get too much. The opponent will almost always be stronger than Scout except in the late game after her skill tree gets filled out. She is better at shadowing and eavesdropping on people as well as using social skills to get to where she needs to be.

Scout will definitely talk in the game, she’s got an opinion and she’s not afraid to say it, but she won’t be melodramatic (I’m looking at you Tomb Raider, what did you do to Lara.) She’s naturally good at making friends but her biggest strength – which she wouldn’t guess herself – is inspiring others. This will feature in a big way in the game.

Man, I’m still thrilled for this game.

I swear, no paper


Had to do another one. That should teach me to tone the “paper” first (what paper? digital drawing is weird.)

20 minutes, getting pretty fast.

Twitter art dump: Ears


Some results of my practice. There was more drawing on paper between these digital ones, of course. You can see how they get better from one attempt to the next. It’s magic! I wonder what years of practice would do!

All of these got the anatomy roughly correct (it’s actually not hard once you know how), but some have weird angles or the proportions are off. Quite often, I didn’t pay enough attention to which parts are in shadow, and finally I used too few midtones in the shading. I’m quite fine with #5, which seems to get a lot of things right.

In character concepts, nothing will be this detailed of course, not even in portraits. I still like to learn the fundamentals well though.

All drawn from memory, no reference images. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t stare at people’s eyes and ears all the time, though. I also read in “Drawing on the right side of the brain” quite a lot. It’s such an amazing book. Thanks again to the person who gifted it to me!

I also realize only now how fortunate I was to have great art teachers in school. I was taught in 3rd grade how to draw perspective and complementary colours, in 5th grade I had a teacher who was not afraid to let his students paint a profile portrait(!), slightly later others were asking me to paint hands for them (there was a line), and in 11th-13th grade I had a very good art historian as a teacher who taught us everything from pencil drawing to classical architecture to printing techniques to all the famous painters of the last 200 years. That guy was incredible (also notoriously gay) and I never noticed it back then, although art class was one of those I rarely missed so it must have been good. I know a lot of people stop drawing when they hit puberty. I was lucky to have these teachers, because I might have dropped art and never looked back if it hadn’t been for them. These guys motivated me to draw well into my 20s at an OK level.



Practiced some marker shading using my Herd Trooper sketch. It appears the pencil drawing’s proportions were slightly off. Note to self: Always start with a proper drawing.

Remember to consult your Herd supervisor before worshipping the Star-Eater.


Here’s after I added some kind of armour vest. I think I like the added detail, but I’ll probably make the breastplate more rounded.

Changes like this are now surprisingly easy to do, I think I either leveled up as a concept artist or I just hit upon a combination of brushes and techniques that work well for me. Maybe one and the same. I also like the pencil lines a lot more than the comicky pen outline I used last time. I actually tried cell shading recently but quickly dropped the idea.

The Herd Banshee is going to have her own version of this armour; slightly less bulky and white-on-black instead of black-on-white. The Banshees are also going to use a different helmet.