I’m happy to introduce the most recent free line art for you! Today’s star is Ariel, specifically from the Part of Your World Reprise.  Like I mention in the video, I love that song (though to be fair, I love practically every Little Mermaid song). Especially from the Broadway musical.

Anyways…I ended up really happy with this drawing, mostly because of the coloring. While I hope you’ll download this line art and put your own spin on it, here are generally the Copic colors I used:

(Without thinking I started cleaning up my markers before writing down exactly which colors I had out. The ones I’m not sure about have a little ‘?’.)

Hair: R59, R39, R46

Skin: E000, E00, E01

Eyes: B41, B45, B39

Shells: BV04, BV08

Tail: ?

Fin: G00

Rocks: W3, E18, E99, E39?

Ocean: BG72, BG75, BG78

Clouds: G00, W5, W7, BG72, BG75, B39


To clarify from the video, I used the clouds as a way to tie everything together.  As you can see from the list, I used colors from her fin, eyes, and the ocean unify the different elements. Because her hair, shell, and tail colors are solely used on their respective aspects, they stand out against the background.

In hindsight, I would have made Ariel’s pose more dynamic. She’s a little stiff, but I hope you’ll still like her. You can find Ariel and my other free coloring pages here, or on the navigation bar above. If you share on Twitter or Instagram be sure to tag me (@ZeldaCroft). I’d love to see your coloring!


Do you want to color Ariel? What other coloring pages would you like to see? Let me know in the comments!

This week’s art actually arose out of some confusion.  I heard about a drawing contest from Crunchyroll, who was celebrating having one million premium members.  As a premium member myself, I wanted to participate.  Not to mention the GIGANTIC prize pack of anime movies, game systems, merchandise, and more.

The contest said to draw ‘Hime’ in a creative way.  Easy enough.  I know drawing a chibi isn’t especially creative (at all), but it would be fun and is what I was inspired to do.  So, naturally, I started drawing Hatsune Miku.

For those of you who know these characters, feel free to laugh at my mistake.  I audibly laughed myself when I realized.  Maybe my over-tired brain translated Hime to the ‘H-’ in Hatsune and ‘Mi-’ from Miku.  I wasn’t super familiar with the latter character, but Hime?  Ironically, I read her 4-panel manga every couple weeks.  I just never paid much attention to her name.

After registering that I confused Crunchyroll’s mascot character for a Vocaloid video game one, I decided to finish Miku-san and start Hime the next day.  I came up with an actually creative idea for Hime, but I felt sick with a cold before I could get started.  It was also the last day of the contest.

I don’t claim to be able to draw in an authentic Japanese style, but I like this chibi.  She has a little bit of my style to her, and is cute and simple.  I thought of doing some kind of background, but figured she was better left with a little drop shadow under her back foot.

Having never played a Vocaloid game, I don’t know if she succeeds totally as her character.  From reference pictures she seemed to dance and be joyful on stage.  That’s what I tried to capture.  Also her hair.  I see why it’s iconic- it’s also fun to draw and color.  Parts of her outfit were surprisingly intricate, so I simplified or omitted some to keep with the typical simplicity of chibis.

As a side note, I looked up her music during my research.  A lot of it is a little too ‘electronic’ for my tastes (she is an artificial vocal synthesizer, after all), but it was still nice to listen to.

If you’d like to see more chibis from me, stay tuned; I’ll be teaching a class to local homeschoolers next month.  In that blog I’ll share with you what I taught them, including tips and resources for future chibi drawings.

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!

Navi: Helpful or Annoying?

In celebration of Breath of the Wild’s release, I’ve decided to do a mini “Zelda-thon”.  I’ll have Zelda book reviews and fan art over the next few days, so be sure to stay tuned!

Of course it wouldn’t be a celebration of the Legend of Zelda without Navi, so I thought she’d be good fit to kick off this little Zelda-thon.  Love her or hate her, she is a very integral part of one of the best Zelda games (in my opinion and many others).  She’s also the first partner Link has had in a game.

Zelda Universe has a long article about her that fully analyzes the character and opinions about her from fans.  It’s interesting to read, and goes surprisingly deep into her personality and contributions to the player.  Essentially, from a poll run with their fans it rated Navi as an okay figure who is both helpful and annoying.

I know my opinion of Navi has changed over the years.  As a kid, when I just wanted to do what I wanted to (as in, fish for hours trying to catch the elusive beast-fish), her constant reminders that Saria is in trouble or I need to hurry to somewhere else were bothersome.

Colored Pencil Navi on Toned Tan Paper

But I’ve come to really appreciate her.  Her design is beautifully simple, and is now filled with happy nostalgia for me.  Playing through Ocarina of Time 3D, she’s actually quite helpful.  If you want to know the names and weaknesses of your enemies, she’s your girl, er, fairy.

About the artwork itself, I’ve been wanting to use my toned tan paper from Strathmore for a while now.  And after completing this Friday’s artwork (coming soon!), I really wanted to make something fairly simple.  It was made with my Prismacolor Premier colored pencils.  They have a soft lead, which is great for building up gradients and lightly applying tone.

It only took about an hour to complete.  I could easily have kept going with the gentle shading of her aura and body, but I was reaching a point of potentially overdoing it.

A little personal story for you:

My first Zelda game was given to me by my mom.  It was along with a special silver GameCube, and quickly became my most played with, most loved gift.  The game itself was actually a compilation of the Legend of Zelda, The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and a special demo for the upcoming Wind Waker.

While we lost the GameCube later to an electrical surge, I still have the game today.  It started a lifelong passion for me, and is a major source of inspiration.  While I’m thrilled to see how great Breath of the Wild will be, those last three will always hold a special place in my heart. *sniff*

So, what are your thoughts on Navi?  If you’ve played the game, did you like her or not?  If you haven’t played, any thoughts on her character design?

Inktober 2016: Day One

Today’s art star: Batman!  I’d never drawn him before, so I was excited to try something new.  I was inspired to go with a similar style to his animated appearances, where his eyes are just white shapes.  To go with that I put white rim lighting on his him.

Batman Inktober 2016 Day One

Although Batman is known to be stoic, I decided to give him a snarl.  The sort of look he might have before stopping some frustrating bad guys.  I wanted to capture the grimness of Gotham abstractly, so I used my Copic cool grays to add rain in the background.