While I was wrapping up the final touches on my Ultima VI map at the end of 2016 I was already brainstorming how to go about making a map of one of my other all-time favorite RPG video games, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
If you’d like to skip ahead to see the final result, see the images at the end. Otherwise, read on to find out how it was made!
Ultima VI is one of my favorite games of all time. It was one of the first PC games I ever played. It was installed on my mom’s computer by my brother in law, and I stumbled on it by accident one day. I didn’t have any manuals or maps or anything, so I was going in blind. I think that kind of added to the appeal. I wound up drawing a map of my own on graph paper with quite a lot of detail using nothing but the in-game sextant and sailing around the coasts of every landmass.
I’m a tremendous fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000. When Joel Hodgson launched a Kickstarter (now concluded) to bring it back I immediately pledged money. When Felicia Day was announced as the new Mad (or more accurately, when the information was leaked days before being officially acknowledged) I was over the moon, because I’m a huge fan of hers.
I decided to take a break from some of my other creative projects and draw some fan art of Felicia’s new character, Kinga Forrester.
The drawing measures 4×6″. It took approximately (very approximately) 30 hours over the course of about 2 weeks. As with most of my stippling projects, I used a Sakura Pigma Micron 005 (0.2mm) pen, as well as a brush tip for filling in the larger black areas.
I took frequent photos with my phone of the progress and turned them into an animation. I really like watching this, seeing the sections fill in like fluid, and details being tweaked in older areas. I’m going to make a point of trying to make these animations for future drawing projects.
I started with the face because I am not very confident about or practiced in drawing people, and if I messed it up I wanted it to be easy to start over. In terms of my skill and comfort levels, inanimate things are easier to draw than cartoon people, are easier than realistic made-up people, are easier than realistic actual people, are easier than realistic actual attractive people, are easier than realistic actual attractive people where I’m applying totally different lighting to the drawing than from the source photo I’m working off of. So I wasn’t very confident in how it would turn out. I feel pretty good about it considering my managed expectations. Perhaps in a few months I’ll be able to look at it more objectively and form a better snap assessment, but right now I’m pretty happy with the results.
I’m a fan of Geek & Sundry, creators of various geeky programs on YouTube and Twitch. During this past Halloween they changed their Twitter name to “Eeek & Spoopy,” and I was inspired to do a little drawing.
Color pens: Sakura Pigma Micron 05 (0.45mm) and brush, Copic Multiliner SP
Outline pen: Sakura Pigma Micron 005 (0.2mm)
Paper: Strathmore medium 80lb
Time: 2-3 hours
World Order is a Japanese electronic music group with a mesmerizing dance style that evokes the movements of precision machinery. This song, Machine Civilization, is my favorite, written about the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster of 2011.
It’s approximately 3 inches wide. Very small. I used a magnifier during most of the process.
The biggest enemy of stippling is impatience. There are many areas in this drawing where I was impatient to fill large areas, and it shows as grittier, clumpier shading. The nicer areas are the ones where I took my time and placed each dot very purposefully. In those areas the dots are evenly spaced and smooth and just generally a lot more attractive. It’s especially hard to maintain in areas where the tone changes continuously, because then the dot pattern changes continuously as well. It’s an evolving skill.