Drawing Razoff 9 Years Later

G’day, folks, today we are comparing two pictures I drew of Razoff from Rayman 3, a rather…eccentric hunter who dwells in the Bog of Murk and who seems to dream of one day owning a “Rayman-skin rug”.  My older picture is from 2012, in which I was inspired by Razoff’s many portraits.  (Yes, the guy’s mansion is decorated quite profusely with pictures and statues of himself.  Suffice it to say, he’s got an unhealthy obsession with his own mug.)  My newest picture was done quite recently and includes one of my very rare backgrounds.  I thought Razoff’s mansion would be a great place to practice some lighting and shading because the place is lit by all manner of fireplaces and candle-bearing chandeliers.

“Unlucky and unwise is he who risks entering my domain.” – Count Razoff

First off, it’s quite obvious that my backgrounds have gotten much better.  The old one is very sparse and has very little in terms of lighting…or detail.  The most “depth” I gave it was making the back wall a tad blurry to imply distance.  It’s clear that the new background is a great improvement and even has lighting from the fireplace and some good shadows which help to give the illusion that our dear hunter is lurking in the shadows.  (My spellcheck wants to replace “dear hunter” with “deer hunter”.)

Ahem, I also didn’t seem to understand the importance of making the character the focal point of the picture back then, as Razoff from 2012 is much too small.  For the new one, one of my finishing touches was resizing the whole background and making it smaller so that Razoff himself would gain a greater focus.  Furthermore, I didn’t color my lines back then, and what’s more, I had the audacity to use the line tool for unnaturally straight lines!  Artistic blasphemy!  No perfectly straight lines can be found in my new picture, which is all the more important when drawing for the often zany world of Rayman.

Coloring has also been greatly improved.  Shading in the older picture is barely noticeable, and what little can be seen has this “muddy” look.  I learned from a tutorial once that shading looks better if you use a color that is one step lighter or darker than the base color.  I know I’m not explaining that very well, but one example is using purple as shading on Razoff’s red clothing instead of, you know, just a darker red.  Or orange as a shadow on yellow objects.

As far as the character himself goes, the most noticeable difference is the face and hands.  In the older picture, his hands look a tad deformed.  And I’m not sure why his “snout” bends downward like that.  In the new picture, his face seems less generic (even if it’s still pretty simple), plus his pose is a bit more dynamic (again, it’s not much, but at least he’s not merely…standing there).  Though I must say, I will never be able to draw Razoff’s weird, short legs properly.  No wonder I didn’t include them this time around….

“You will look perfect in my living room. Stuffed and mounted on my wall!” – Count Razoff

Some of my greatest artistic weaknesses at the moment are backgrounds, angles, complex poses, and pictures with multiple characters, among other things.  Every now and then, I try to challenge myself to draw something that is beyond my comfort zone in the hopes that it will no longer be a weakness of mine.  For now, I’ll have to be satisfied with the hope that this new drawing is at least a step in the right direction.

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