Words cannot express my excitement. I’ve got so many things in the works right now it’s hard for me to find any words. But I’ll try.
If you just want to read about the drawing, you can skip down a few paragraphs. But to mark the occasion, I just wanted to explain a little more about myself and why the Legend of Zelda series is so special to me.
I won’t go into it too much, but the series has always been a bright spot for me. When things weren’t happy at home and I was feeling lonely, video games were a place I could go to feel…different. Better. Not that escapism is always the best thing, but besides reading my books it was healing to go and be a hero.
The Legend of Zelda, with its brilliant scores and captivating stories, characters, and gameplay was an uncontested favorite of mine.
Before I really became interested in drawing, I used to novelize the games. Specifically, I did this as a pre-teen when I started playing Twilight Princess. I’d write about Link and Epona racing across Hyrule Field, or strategically taking down Moblin archers in a hidden village of cats. Maybe I’ll post them sometime.
So, you can understand why I’m looking forward to Breath of the Wild. It looks like it will tell a new story with new features, while retaining the unique feel of a Zelda game. The trailer released during the Switch presentation for BotW was incredibly inspiring to me. I genuinely teared up. Right after, ideas for fan art sketches kept popping up in my head.
The Zelda from today’s video, though, was rather spontaneous. I was looking at a Princess Ruto drawing I had done back when I first bought Copic markers a few years ago. Without really knowing what I was doing, I chose a 9×12 sheet of paper- fairly big for a test run. It made blending more difficult as a beginner, but having a larger image in the end was nice.
Though not intended as a series, I wanted to make another drawing like that one. Especially now that I am more familiar with Copics as a medium. Princess Zelda was an obvious choice, as her personality and character design are so prevalent in the trailer.
So a loose sketch became a more structured one. It was all going pretty smoothly until I started looking at the details of her ‘adventure’ outfit. On one hand, it was cool to see just how much thought went into an otherwise simple design. Like Kotaku wrote in their article on it, the simple touches make it look like a princess’ elegant but functional outfit.
On the other hand, it was an unexpected challenge to get all of those details correct. Because there are still limited images available, I ended up using those and painstakingly scrubbed (minutely fast-forwarded and rewinded) stills from the trailer.
As you can see in the video, I used a yellow color, Y08, on her gold accents, then went over it with another color to make it more golden, with Y28 as the shadows. I didn’t have exact colors to match her gold, but I think what I did comes close. To tie it all together, I used Y08 as the base for her hair as well, though this time leaving it to be a main color.
Once she was done, I turned my sights on the background. There wasn’t much room left around her, but I wanted some notion of BotW’s vast landscape. You can see my test picture on my Instagram; I took the rough mountain shape from reference pictures, and went with a traditional purple to green transition to show the distance. Plus little trees.
The little bushes at the bottom in the foreground didn’t quite turn out how I wanted them too. They still work to separate the midground, though. I don’t have much experience with backgrounds, but that’s something I’d like to change. For this work I think it turned out nicely.
After everything, I thought the sky would be an easy light blue gradation. Nope. I found the perfect blue color, B00, as the lightest. But after I started going along the mountains, I noticed that it was, indeed, dead. Thankfully I scraped out enough color to cover the areas I needed, but the result was streaky. I tried to save it with the other blues, but none of my other colors were close enough to blend with it effectively without ruining the effect.
The focus on slight symmetry gives it a portrait-like quality, I think. Given Zelda’s royalty, it suits her. I don’t know much of the story yet, but I hope my art was successful in portraying her out in Hyrule, concerned about saving her people but still strong. That quality of vulnerable strength is something I’d like to play with in other works, especially with some characters in this series.
So what do you think? Will you be playing Breath of the Wild soon? I’d love to hear in the comments below!