Of Fan Art and Inktober
Updated: May 18
Goodness, it’s been a while! I’ve found with the craziness of school and my oldest daughter’s volleyball schedule, Instagram has been the easiest way for me to connect on social media. I do plan on getting into a better blogging routine, though. Thanks for being so patient.
This past week, The Princess Bride celebrated its 30th anniversary. This movie had a huge impact on me as a child. I first saw it when I was ten years old. Aside from the fact that Westley became my first movie character crush, I loved the romance, the swordplay, the hilariously quotable quotes (which my family still quotes to this day…often), and even the totally 80s soundtrack. As an adult, I read the book and loved some of the extra backstory, especially Inigo and Fezzick’s stories and their journey through the Zoo of Death.
Since many people online were celebrating the anniversary of the film with artwork, gifs, and quotes, I thought I’d pay my own tribute with some fan art. I’ve already shared the finished product on my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, but I thought you might enjoy seeing the process of my artwork from start to finish. 🙂
I began with finding photos from the film online. I’ve always loved the look of Westley and Buttercup at the beginning of the movie, so I chose some movie stills from that part.
Buttercup’s original image HERE.
Westley’s original image HERE. (P.S. This is pretty much the exact moment my little ten-year-old heart swooned and fell in love with Westley.) 😉
I almost hesitate to share these images, because it will show just how far mine are from the originals. I’ve always struggled with creating accurate representations of realistic subjects. Still, I thought it was time to challenge myself a bit and see what I could come up with.
Above are my original pencil sketches from the drawings. Not perfect representations by far, but not as horrendous as they could be. 😉
I filled them in with my “Pigma Sensei” ink pens by Sakura, using the 0.3, 0.4, and 0.6 points.
I also checked my proportions by holding my art up to the light and looking at it from behind. This is something I’ve done since I was a little girl. If your drawing doesn’t look too wonky backwards, it means your proportions are close to spot on. 😉
The next step was erasing all of the pencil. Then it was time to start coloring in.
I began by giving both of them a basic skin color with Copic marker.
I decided it was time to work on the pictures individually now. I never used to be a fan of coloring things in, but Copic markers make coloring so much fun. I love experimenting with layers of color and shading to make the drawings come to life. Here, I’d just started with some extra layers of skin tone and some lip color.
Next, I colored in her eyebrows and irises and added some cheek color. The real Buttercup didn’t have this much color in her cheeks, but I felt my Buttercup needed it.
Once I’d gotten her skin and face the way I wanted it, I started working on her hair. I used layers of light blonde, very light gray, and some dark brown underneath. I’d noticed in the original photo that there was a lot of dark brown on the roots and lower layers of Buttercup’s hair.
Adding some more golden tones gave her hair the color I was looking for.
I colored in her dress next.
All that was left was coloring in the background. I kept it simple with a single color, but tried to keep it similar to the color scheme of the original photo.
I realized that even though the hairline in my drawing was closer to the original photo, it didn’t translate well. You’ll notice in this photo that I decided to bring her hairline down a bit.
Now it was Westley’s turn. One thing that struck me in the photos was how much gray was in the shadows of his face. I’d never used gray on face shading before, but decided to try it. I used it in the natural shadows and also to hint at his five o’clock shadow.
Then I went over the gray with skin tone. I think it turned out nicely. I also colored in his eyebrow and iris and added his cheek mole.
Next, it was time for his hair. I started with the same dark brown shading for the shadows and roots.
Finally, I moved on to light gray and several different shades of golden brown to complete the look. I also colored in his shirt.`
The last step was coloring in his background. As I did with Buttercup’s, I kept it simple with one color, but tried to match the background of the original photo.
Here are the two pictures together.
And here they are with the colors adjusted.
Overall, I’m pleased with the way they turned out. There are little nit-picky things here and there I’d like to change. Buttercup’s eyes are crooked, and her forehead looks a bit weird because of a line of hair shading I did. Westley’s neck ended up more curved than it was in the photo, and his eye isn’t quite right. They don’t look exactly like their movie counterparts…especially when you put my drawings next to the original photos. 😉 But art is all about learning, improving, and being willing to try new things.
Which brings me to something I’m super excited about. During the month of October, many artists participate in “Inktober,” an event which encourages artists to draw all month long. You can either do one picture per day, one picture every other day, or one per week. You can choose your own picture themes or follow the official Inktober prompt list if your creative juices are lacking. The point is to challenge yourself and have fun. I first heard about Inktober through one of my favorite YouTube artists, Art a la Carte, in this video. It sounded like a fun way to grow as an artist.
If you’d like to join me on this Inktober adventure, you can read about it on the official Inktober web page or the Inktober Facebook page. And there’s a great summary video by Inktober’s founder, Jake Parker, here.
I’m super excited to try this. Will any of you?