When I redraw a character years later, it can be fun to compare them and see how much I’ve improved. It can also be…a bit painful, to be honest. One of my most recent pictures was of Midna from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I’ve been meaning to draw her again for a while, but I didn’t get around to it until 11 years later! That’s right, I haven’t drawn Midna since 2010, and my first reaction upon seeing this old picture was…what the heck even is this monstrosity?
I mean, I guess it’s a good thing that I’ve clearly improved a ton since then, but seriously, what is wrong with her?! Nothing even needs to be said. I could just end this blog post here…but I’ll elaborate anyway. Ahem, so I’ve obviously gotten way better at faces and bodies since then. And shading. And hair. Both were done on the same version of Photoshop (I still use Photoshop CS2 on this old Windows XP laptop with no Internet…because my new laptop with a much newer version of Photoshop is not compatible with my drawing tablet, and I ain’t buying a new one until I have to), which reminds me that, all those years ago, I clearly had no idea that you could use soft-edged brushes for smoother shading. There’s also clearly no rhyme or reason to the glowing green markings on her body, which are…not glow-y at all in the old version.
My new picture certainly has a greater depth of colors, which goes a long way in making the character look a lot less flat. Back then, my colors also seemed kind of dull. In more recent years, my colors have gone too far the other way and become a bit too saturated, but I’m working to tone that down. I’ve also learned how to make eyes shinier, and her new pose is much less stiff, as well. Also, in the old picture, very little effort was put into that helmet of hers, and I’m not sure why I made it grey when it’s clearly closer to the color seen on the right. The new one has a more interesting background, too, even if it’s still simple.
I could go on and on about how horrifying old Midna is, but you guys get the picture. (Pun intended?) I would normally never allow Midna’s deformed and hideous doppelganger to ever see the light of day, but since she’s accompanied by a far better version of herself, at least it’s really nice being able to illustrate that my drawing skills are way better than they used to be. Yeah, I kind of feel like I should have improved even more in 11 years, but I also quit drawing for a several-year timespan, so that kind of explains it. Anyway, it’s time to return Midna’s disturbing imposter to the depths of my computer where she belongs. She’s caused enough harm already.