Welcome to the first installment of the Weekly Sketch-off. One of our new contributors, Joe “I have no pseudonym” O’Hara, is a fellow artist, and suggested that he and I team up every week to do some fancy art type stuff. Every week, we will each pick a character from video games, movies, comics, cartoons, or whatever, and then we both will draw sketches of those characters. Joe and I have markedly different styles, so it should be a most interesting look at how different artists can interpret characters. Feel free to leave feedback and suggestions for future character choices. And now on with the show.
This week, I (Deprava) chose Ashe from League of Legends. Sagramore and I play LoL pretty much every weekend, and sometimes podcast guest Sethrakles and I play it almost every evening. Ashe is not my favorite of the ranged AD champions in the game (that would be Miss Fortune), but she is the ranged AD champ I tend to play most often. So I figured she was a good place to start.
Joe on the other hand picked Red Robin from the new 52 and the DC reboot, and I’ll let him take it from here. “I pick Red Robin from the New 52. Tim’s one of my favorite characters and I think his costume is a horrible throw back to Liefeld and the 90s. My goal is for us to attempt to make this crap look good as this character thoroughly deserves.”
Deprava’s Notes: Ashe has several costumes (called “skins”) in LoL, so for my sketch I chose the Amethyst version, her newest skin and one I just picked up myself in game. I didn’t examine the model or the splash art before picking the skin to draw, so it was quite the shock to me when I discovered just how complex her bow design is. That thing has multiple recurves and armor plates and junk all over it, and proved quite difficult for my more simplified style. I did what I could, but I’m not proud of it. Oh, and the reason the bow is straight is because she has unstrung it. Unstrung bows tend to be straight, and the curve comes from the string pulling the bow arms back and creating tension.
As for Ashe herself, my initial idea was to draw an action pose, but I soon discovered that, when it comes to bows and archers, there is only one possible action pose: drawing the bow and preparing to loose an arrow. Since that is the pose for all of Ashe’s official art, I decided to abandon that angle and try something else. I thought about the bow itself, and Ashe as a professional archer, and hit upon the idea of portraying her cleaning and maintaining her weapon. I think the end product captures a pleasant moment, quite the contrast from the angry action poses so prevalent in LoL art. Her costume was fun to draw (but for the stupid Power Girl-esque boob window), and the pose was one I had never done before.
Deprava’s Notes: I don’t really follow superhero comics, and pretty much all of my experience with Batman comes from the 90s animated series and the movies. So when it comes to Tim Drake, pretty much all I know is the version of him that is in the last season of the animated series, where he’s a younger Robin and Dick Grayson has moved on to become Nightwing. So that was where I started. I took the design from that show, made Tim a little older, and did what I could with the costume. I have no idea how old Tim is supposed to be in the New 52, so if my age portrayal is wrong, my apologies. This is the Tim I know, so it was the Tim I was comfortable drawing.
The costume itself was not terribly difficult to adapt. Don’t get me wrong, it’s completely ridiculous and has a plethora of Liefeldian belts and pouches, but it’s not overly complicated in terms of color and line. Since I don’t draw discrete musculature, nor make all of my surfaces shiny and reflective, I had an easy time of getting down the feel of the costume. The only major hang-up was the cape-glider-wings thingy. I had no idea how to incorporate it into the pose I picked, so I just said, “Eff it,” and gave him a traditional cape with the wing thingy’s color scheme. I like to think I accomplished Joe’s goal and redeemed the outfit somewhat.