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

Once again, from CastleVania: Symphony of the Night, Maria Renard (as illustrated by Ayame Kojima.) My rendition was done with an F and 4B pencil, and was actually drawn in one of those “sketchbook” things that I’ve been meaning to use.

After the last update, I was contemplating re-rendering a number of the early images appearing on this site for the sake of showing progress, and this was one of the first candidates that came to mind because ... well, I’ll use anything as an excuse to look at Kojima’s artwork (on a related note, I strongly recommend you dear reader, ditch this amateur’s site and check out Kojima’s artwork for yourself.)

Still here? Okay, fine. Your loss. Anyway, not only was this rendition drawn from the computer screen (my first attempt was from a print out), but the file I used was also of a much higher resolution.

And since I’ve been meaning to work on my lines for years now this time I left it in line-only state, and I’m quite proud of the linework (if nothing else, it’s light years beyond my first attempt.) The proportions are more in check this time around, the pose looks more natural—more relaxed— and I included the owl on her shoulder in frame-left which works as an appropriate counter-balance for all the ribbons and flowing hair in frame-right (don’t ask why I left it off on the other render. I don’t know.)

Initially, I didn’t have high hopes for this render. I was in a really bad mood when I warmed up and then laid down the initial lines with the F pencil, and thought for sure it was turning out awful as a result of my mood (that, and the vast number of significant corrections I found myself making ... but, hell, that’s why you draw with a lighter pencil to start with. Look closely. I didn’t do much erasing, so you can still see them). I was so convinced I was doing terrible—on the verge of scrapping this render entirely—that at one point I brought up my previous render of Maria to compare the two. And only after I saw them side-by-side did I step back and say, “yeah, actually, this new one isn’t half bad at all.” It’s funny how emotion can screw with perception.

A few days later I came back and finished up the groundwork and applied darker lines. Pretty much all the lines recieved soft-lead treatment with the exception of the pattern in Maria’s outfit. In Kojima’s original color render, it appears white against the dark green fabric. Leaving it in the hard-lead F was my way to simulate that in a line-only drawing. Miscellaneous trivia: the lines in the Owl’s wing—the individual feathers—the 4B pencil strokes were the only lines laid down for those. Preceeding them was just a general outline of the space it had to fill. As a bonus, she fills out my 9X12 page nicely, and is positioned on the page reasonably well (not represented in this electronic image because I had a long battle with the scanner that barely let me get this thing into an electronic format ... but that’s another long story.)

Also Available: Maria Renard, Take One