The Witcher Art, Geralt of Rivia
Somewhere towards the beginning of the new COVID-19 home quarantine reality, I finally forced myself to sit down and watch The Witcher Netflix series. I’d heard a lot of positive things about it, and enjoyed playing The Witcher 3 video game, so this seemed like a sure-fire thing. It actually seemed like it could evolve into a similar situation to Stranger Things; something I would almost certainly enjoy that I would procrastinate watching for years. Amazingly, probably in large part to the extra time at home, I didn’t wait quite so long to check out The Witcher. It feels like I haven’t watched a show during it’s prime since The Sopranos, so it felt good in a way to actually catch something at the right time.
The show is excellent! The casting is on point, despite some character depictions being fairly different than in the game. Henry Cavill is absolutely perfect as Geralt of Rivia, with the right look and a top notch version of the distinctive gruff voice. The rest of the cast is excellent as well, particularly Anya Chalotra as Yennifer. Her performance is has a lot of gravity to it and she makes the show feel like it’s as much about her as it is Geralt. Ciri, Jaskier, Mousesack, Triss…I found myself really invested in their stories and the world around them. I was worried the Pulp Fiction-like time skipping would confuse me, but it really wasn’t too hard to follow. Aside from the characters and story, the music is also fantastic; I ended up even buying the soundtrack. Here’s my favorite track Toss a Coin to Your Witcher, which I’ve now got my entire family singing:
With my interest in The Witcher riding high after watching the first season, I needed some outlets for all that energy. Fortunately, I had two; drawing some characters and playing the video game. I ended up finishing several sketches, which I’m going to share in two separate posts. Since I’ve discussed the show in this post, I’ll save a conversation about The Witcher video game series for the second one. In this post, I’m going to share a couple of drawings I did featuring Geralt. One is a close-up of Geralt with Triss Merigold. The second is a scene featuring Geralt with his mentor Vesemir, who wasn’t in the first season of the show, but I read somewhere he’ll be introduced in the second.
I’ll start with Geralt and Triss, discuss the drawing a bit, then move to the next one. In the last section, I’ll include a progression .gif. I’m trying to create more video progressions shared via YouTube, but I actually did these prior to starting the new channel.
The first sketch of Geralt and Triss I think turned out really well. This is the video game version of the characters and I opted for a more muted color for Triss’s hair rather than the ultra bright red she has in The Witcher 3. I also typically let Geralt rock a beard when I play the game, so that’s different than the show as well. I’m really happy with the depth of shadow and perspective on this one; I was even able to shade the dark colors of Geralts armor without negatively impacting Triss’s profile. I also like the expressions here too.
One issue with the art though is the material textures; I really did a poor job on that aspect. It doesn’t look like it, but Geralt is actually wearing armor here, not cloth. I really can’t handle metal/shiny objects well. That’s probably something I should add to the list of things I need to practice on.
This next one of Geralt and Vesemir is solid, but not as good as the first. Geralt isn’t bad, but Vesemir just didn’t turn out right. I couldn’t capture the facial features he has in the game. My version of Vesemir looks like he belongs in Spinal Tap or something. Once again, I struggled with armor surfaces; pretty much everything resembles cloth. I also didn’t really depict the colors very well, as Geralts blue colors are supposed to be more slate than bright blue.
I only have one progression .gif for this batch. Unfortunately, I only took enough photos to make one with the Geralt/Triss drawing. The other only had like two or three, which just didn’t seem useful. As a bonus to make up for it, I’ve included my oldest daughter’s Witcher artwork. Don’t worry, I didn’t let the kids watch the show – but my oldest wanted to work on the same thing. She actually has a version of all four sketches!
Still a ton on tap to discuss, as I’m pretty far behind writing posts. I’ve got another Witcher drawing, another healthcare worker portrait, a new website for reviews, and the artwork from the latest giveaway. Probably even more that I can’t remember! Hopefully, I’ll get back to writing soon and I can catch up a bit.
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Love the soundtrack you’ve included. Adding that to my playlist. I think Triss’s hair is particularly good.
It really is a well-done soundtrack, Toss a Coin to Your Witcher is super catchy. We often find ourselves saying to the kids, “Hey why don’t you toss a coin to your dad/mom?”
Also, thanks for saying so about the hair – I’m satisfied with it too I think. At first, I was a bit worried about diverging so far from the video game version’s hair color. I am definitely not the best at the creative side of drawing, but I do think the more natural red worked here. Being able to diverge from source material is something I’ve tried to work on, but I never know how it’s going to go!
Regarding armour looking like cloth? I think I noticed you had drawn lots of parallel lines.? If you look at reflections in metal they tend to be more block shaped, with maybe one or two fringes of lines around them? Does this make sense?
Ahhh, that’s a good idea – definitely worth a shot next time! That does make sense; it sort of shapes itself by how the light hits it I guess? I feel like this is something I need a fair amount of practice on if I want to really get it down. Have you done any metal-heavy drawings on your site I could take a peak at?
No not really, but when I ain’t scenery I have to do things like metal lamps or other things (sorry that’s a bit vague), metal is similar to glass, the reflections in it follow its curves, so partly it depends what’s being reflected. Look at any shiny surface and you will see what I mean. Your armour looks scratched and scored, maybe following many fights. You can also add dents and broken edges. X
I’m definitely going to need to study some reflective surfaces a bit more. Do you ever use pencil to depict metal or glass? If so, how do you blend it? Like sort of in that square pattern you mentioned? Just curious if there were some tricks to it