Three-Quarters of the Ghostbusters

Back in May, when I was in the middle of a flurry of sketches, I had an idea to draw characters from some of my favorite movies. I started with the Karate Kid, did a couple from the Fifth Element, then sort of abandoned the idea. There are a few additional movies I wanted to explore, like Caddyshack, Office Space, and Beverly Hills Cop, but for whatever reason I moved to other things.

Around the time of that Karate Kid sketch, I actually started another from the top dog on my favorite movies list…Ghosbusters! I’ve seen Ghostbusters I and II somewhere around 10,000 times each I think, and somehow I never get tired of them. Occasionally, I’ll read something about how Ghostbusters II is significantly inferior, but I don’t share that opinion. The first one might be slightly better (Bill Murray seemed more engaged with the material), but I tend to regard them almost as a continuation of one movie. So many classic lines in both films! Vigo the Carpathian was just as good as Zuul and Gozer.

Anywho, back to the sketch. I had recently watched part of the first movie, and thought I’d do something from the scenes at the hotel. I started an outline, but as I thought about it, I became convinced that my scene of choice was a terrible tribute to the Ghostbusters. Why? Because it’s only 75% of the crew! My sketch had Egon Spangler, Peter Venkman, Ray Stanz…but no Winston Zeddmore. I started trying to figure out if I could squeeze Winston in somewhere, even though he wasn’t in that scene. Then I thought about starting over, or doing a new one with the full crew. Unfortunately, I ended up getting too discouraged about the entire thing, and moved on to something else.

I came across the unfinished sketch the other day and decided to knock it out. Pretty appropriate for Halloween eh? Ghosts…busting…it’s spooky, trust me. Although I’m still disappointed that I neglected Winston, it felt weird to have an incomplete drawing just sitting in a book. Here’s how this three-quarters Ghostbusters sketch turned out:

The final result was interesting. Usually I strive for as much realism as I can coax out of my pencils. I’m not a pro, so I can never achieve the hyper-realistic images some artists are capable of. But I’ve done decently on a few. My most realistic have probably been a family sketch, Grace Kelly, my two kids, Jason Witten, Patrick Stewart, and Milla Jovovich. Not coincidentally, those more realistic drawings are typically my favorites. Although I like how this Ghostbusters scene turned out, the result is almost in a comic book or cartoon style. It seems to work, but I’m surprised I think that, because it it’s not high on the realism scale.

I think the best portrayal here is Bill Murray/Peter Venkman. The resemblance to Murray is there, and it gives that Peter Venkmann laid-back-sarcasm vibe. Next over is a bit of a mixed bag. I believe I created a pretty solid Egon Spengler character, but a not-so-great representation of Harold Ramis. That’s a strange combination. And finally my Ray Stanz is not quite as good as Venkman, but still basically looks like Dan Aykroyd. Although Ray’s hair and chin are both a little strange.

Last but not least, here’s a progression .gif of how this one came together. this only includes images from the last couple of days. I don’t think I ever took a photo of the original outline from May.

Amdall Ghostbusters progression

And even though he’s obviously not reading this, apologies to Ernie Hudson for running out of space and not planning room for Winston. After all, Ernie starred in at least three movies I love; Ghostbusters I & II, plus the original The Crow. I definitely owe him a portrait. Ha – maybe I could even do an Ernie Hudson series!


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