Getting Some Right Brain Exercise, Sketching Video Game Characters


The last handful of posts I made were “back in time” topics (1, 2, 3), sharing some old sketches. An observations from this series was that my drawings were a bit more creative and off-the-wall back then. Many of my recent drawings have been portraits of real people, mostly my family and especially my kids. Don’t get me wrong; I love those girls more than anything, and I’m glad to be collecting some sketches that they may appreciate some day. But, in these old drawings, I used to let my imagination off the leash quite a bit more. I think there’s something to be said for trying new things and trying to diversify a bit, as well as getting the right side of the brain some exercise.

So, I thought I might hit up some fictional characters…and a great source of inspiration for me is always video games. I’ve always been a huge fan of video games, going all the way back to my childhood. When I was around eight or nine years old, we got the original Super Mario Bros. and a NES, and from then on I was hooked. My favorite genre is definitely RPGs (see my post on Final Fantasy for photographic evidence; the best gift I’ve ever received was that game). I haven’t played any games lately, but there is one coming out soon that I’m pumped about. It’s a remake of a game from the 1990s called Secret of Mana, which was one of my all-time favorites. I thought about sketching characters from that game, but decided to try something else since I had a few from that game in the “back in time” posts.

It’s been a long time since I’ve played it, but another extremely rich source of characters and potential inspiration is the Warcraft series. Warcraft has a ton of material, including online games, some real time strategy games, and an apparently terrible movie (I never saw it, but heard it was quite bad). I decided to go for it, and see what I could whip up. Although my goal was to get imaginative, unfortunately I didn’t go completely down that path. It would have been cool to fully create something from scratch, but I couldn’t let go and trying without a crutch. For inspiration, I looked up some game graphics as a reference. I used online resources, specifically humanoid and to get a feel for how characters look and what I might want to sketch.

If you’re not familiar with Warcraft, it’s pretty similar to Lord of the Rings-style fantasy in a lot of ways. It’s got regular humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, monsters, and so forth. The big difference is that in this storyline, the monstrous creatures aren’t necessarily bad guys. Humans and orcs are at war, but you can play either side. I only did a few sketches, but here they are:



Jaina Proudmoore, from Warcraft


Random explorer, Warcraft inspired

So, there you have it! I got some orcs, elves, and humans on paper. It would have been nice if I had completely made these up, but still not a bad effort with a bit of video game character inspiration. I had fun with these though, so I may try branching out to some other games.


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