Pen­cil and ink

Dive into the in­tri­cate and brood­ing shad­ows, as Andy Brase uses line and ink to de­pict a deadly ver­sion of Ezio, the iconic killer from As­sas­sin’s Creed II

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents -

Andy Brase’s game char­ac­ter.

What’s bet­ter than get­ting a chance to draw some of the iconic char­ac­ters from As­sas­sin’s Creed? Be­ing asked to make them darker and por­tray them as vil­lains!

Those familiar with my art prob­a­bly won’t be sur­prised to know that I grav­i­tate to­ward the shad­owy and more mys­te­ri­ous char­ac­ters. This of­ten hap­pens to be vil­lains, anti-he­roes and mon­sters. The As­sas­sin’s Creed char­ac­ters are al­ready quite dark, so this as­sign­ment was right up my al­ley.

Ezio, from the Ital­ian Re­nais­sance time pe­riod, was one of the as­sas­sins I was most drawn to at first. To show this char­ac­ter as a vil­lain, I want to do it in a fairly re­al­is­tic way us­ing mood, shadow and the at­mos­phere of the drawing. I don’t want to make him overly de­monic or bring in el­e­ments that might be to­tally out of place in the As­sas­sin’s Creed world. I’ve al­ways liked drawing stat­ues and think it’ll fit well with this im­age to bring in some el­e­ments that will build up a gothic at­mos­phere.

The fo­cus of this work­shop is on the ink­ing and line work of my Dark Ezio drawing. This piece is made to be pre­sented in black and white ink, so I’ll be ap­proach­ing the art­work in a way so that colour won’t be needed. Hav­ing a lot of con­trast and spot black shad­ows gen­er­ally works well with draw­ings that will be in black-and-white. It gives more weight to the drawing if there are some heavy blacks present.

I’m of­ten asked what tools I use to ink my art. Most of my de­tailed works are done with Sakura Mi­cron Pens. Long ago, when I started ink­ing, I used Rapidograph tech­ni­cal pens, but they started leak­ing and re­quired a lot of clean­ing, so I switched. Mi­crons don’t re­quire any clean­ing up af­ter­wards and they also have more of a flex­i­ble tip than some tech­ni­cal pens. If you’re new to ink­ing it’s al­ways good to try out some dif­fer­ent tools and see what works best for you. Many comic artists and other inkers pre­fer to use a brush and ink to achieve a dif­fer­ent line style and more thick-to-thin lines.

For me, Mi­crons tend to be what I use most of­ten. The fol­low­ing pages will give you a bet­ter look into my ink work. Now on to drawing an as­sas­sin! Andy is best known for his dark char­ac­ter, crea­ture and cover il­lus­tra­tions. Ti­tles he’s worked on in­clude Dark­Sun, Kull, Dare­devil, Swamp Thing, As­sas­sin’s Creed, book cov­ers for Ge­orge RR Martin, and his own art­book/sketch­book ti­tled Ex­or­cism. www.face­book.com/andy­braseart

1 Rough sketch

I start with a rough sketch to fig­ure out the main shapes of the com­po­si­tion. Some­times I do smaller thumb­nails, but in this case I jump into a sketch at the same size that I’ll be drawing the fi­nal. I add a cou­ple of bloody hands near the bot­tom af­ter I’ve done the ini­tial rough.

2 Trans­fer­ring and pen­cilling

When I have the ba­sic com­po­si­tion fig­ured out and ap­proved, I trans­fer this sketch with a light­box to my Bris­tol board for the fi­nal drawing. Then I start pen­cilling in the big­ger shapes, us­ing a me­chan­i­cal pen­cil and HB lead. Once I’m happy with this, I fo­cus on adding more de­tails.

3 Pen­cil fin­ish

In the tighter pen­cil stage I make sure to fig­ure out all the im­por­tant anatomy and com­po­si­tion is­sues. I cor­rect any ma­jor prob­lems with the drawing that were present in the rough ver­sion. Hav­ing a pen­cil drawing with a strong struc­ture will help me to fo­cus on the ink­ing process.

4 Start­ing to ink

Next I move on to the ink stage. I do the most of my ink­ing with Sakura Mi­cron Pens, sizes 005, 01 and 05. I start sim­ply, by block­ing in some of the black shadow shapes in the an­gel statue and on the as­sas­sin’s fore­arm.

5 Spot­ting black shapes

I con­tinue ink­ing some of the black shapes, mov­ing up to the col­lar sec­tion. Be­cause th­ese are small black shapes, I out­line them with a 01 Mi­cron and fill them with a Mi­cron brush pen. To make sure I’m not smear­ing my pen­cil work, I have a piece of scrap pa­per that my ink­ing hand rests on, when­ever it’s on part of the art.

6 Tex­tures to shade

Now that my hand’s get­ting warmed up with the pen work, I move into more of the line work and ink tex­tures. I use dif­fer­ent ink tex­tures to shade and build the shad­ows. I ink Ezio’s shoul­der, keep­ing in mind that I want to give the fab­ric a rough and gritty feel.

7 De­pict­ing the blade fist

Now I de­cide to tackle one of the more im­por­tant el­e­ments in the drawing, which is Ezio’s clenched fist and blade weapon. I ink the solid black first, then build the val­ues with line work, pay­ing close at­ten­tion to line thick­ness, spacing and the light source.

8 De­tails and val­ues

I move on to fin­ish­ing the an­gel statue. Keep­ing in mind the light­ing and the fact that I want a full range of con­trast, I use lines to cre­ate the shad­ows. My lines curve around the sur­face and to­ward the light source most of the time, to give the statue form. I also add nu­mer­ous cracks and marks to give the statue a weath­ered sur­face.

9 Hand de­tails

Next to the statue are the hands of a vic­tim, which are drip­ping blood. I de­cide that the blood will look best as a solid black, and ink this first. I con­tinue to ren­der the hands with line work. This type of de­tail work, like the statue, is done with the small­est size Mi­cron, 005.

10 Fog and wind tex­ture

I de­cide to have the as­sas­sin’s body fade into a fog-like ef­fect. This both adds a creepy at­mos­phere and helps the fore­ground el­e­ments to pop out more. I do this with lines, close to hor­i­zon­tal, that start thick and be­come thin­ner as they go down to his feet. Some wavy lines im­ply the sense of wind. The idea is to have the black shad­ows fade to grey and white to the viewer’s eye.

11 Dark shadow tex­tures

There are some ar­eas on the drawing that I want to add dark shad­ows to, with­out mak­ing them com­pletely black. Un­der­neath the statue, the shadow area could have been done with a black fill, although I de­cide to add a crosshatch­ing tex­ture to give it a rougher look.

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