Maria Renard
Maria Renard
(Original Artist: Ayame Kojima.)

One of the side characters in the Playstation version of CastleVania: Symphony of the Night (a playable character in the Sega Saturn version), Maria Renard (originally illustrated by my favorite artist working in the gaming industry, Ayame Kojima.) She has one of the most distinctive styles, and I just adore the artwork she puts out for them ... especially the more elaborate paintings she does for the cover art.

My little render here was based off one of the character illustrations that I pulled off the CastleVania Dungeon’s artwork section. Overall, I’d say the image is pretty faithful to the original (though, nowhere near as good) and captured a pretty decent level of detail considering I drew this image much smaller than what Ayame Kojima, no doubt, did.

Still, it has three glaring flaws. One, I drew the cut of her outfit wrong. It should be much higher (either that or cleavage should be showing.) Two, the line work is a joke compared to Kojima’s—her lines flow gracefully and effortlessly. There’s a confidence visible in her artwork that’s severely lacking in my render. On my drawing, look at Maria’s sash and the ribbons in her hair—look how timid and rigid those lines are. And three, the shading is inappropriate for a black & white render. At the time I wanted to stay as true to the original source as I could, but in retrospect I should’ve taken more liberties on account of the difference in the mediums—Kojima rendered Maria in color using inks and (I believe) water colors. Mine is just B&W pencil (more accurately: shades of gray.) I should’ve rendered darker shadows to give the image the level of contrast to make up for the narrower palette.

But, hey, I always get nervous and timid when drawing something originally done by a better artist. Just look at my attempts to draw Chuck Jones.

Also Available: Maria Renard, Take Two