TFA Bumblebee Portrait

(Sorry for the belated post. It’s supposed to be up here yesterday, but I have a sore throat starting last night)

Seeing how the OP portrait is a success, I decided to expand the subject and draw another portrait based on a similar style: TFA Bumblebee.

Of course I did plan to draw Bumblebee in a close up like the OP piece. However, as far as I know, Bumblebee is an incredibly expressive chatacter, and a close up would limit the gestures. So I decided to redraw the sketch and change it to mid-shot. Regrettably, the original sketch is not recorded.

New Pencil Sketch

Just like with the OP portrait, I finished the outlines, both fine and thick, before proceeding to ink the black parts. Compared to OP, BB has more black parts, and therefore, the filling part would require more effort from the pens. Still, compared to OP’s black parts (drawn with a brush pen for efficiency and convenience), BB’s black parts are filled with 0.5 and 0.1 pens for better outlook.

Inking (Lines only)
Inking (with black parts filled)

Of course, I did not look at Chris Riddell’s illustrations entirely when drawing the portrait. Once I looked at it however, I realized that I had misjudged how Chris Riddell drew the shading. I used to think he added many lines and crosshatching to add the layer of texture, but through the rereading of his illustration, I realized how he only shades and crosshatches in areas that needed it (eg. an enclosed space, darker areas of an object, objects that are shown to be worn down by time), instead of just adding crosshatching in random areas. Those that did not need shading (eg. faces, upper part of the objects) were not shaded at all.

Drawn by Chris Riddell
Drawn by Chris Riddell

Because of this, the shading of Bumblebee seemed inconsistent and at times unnecessary. I had drew OP well, but that’s because it is a side view of a head, rather than a 3/4 view of a mid shot. Without much clear and careful planning in terms of 3-D form and weight, the portrait seemed less 3-dimensional in shading.


Still, the artwork looks passable, and at least I understand the necessity to think the objects as 3-D instead of flat, 2-D design. Once my sore throat is healed, I would consider drawing more of these portraits in different poses and compositions. Hopefully, I would get a hang out of drawing intricate shading.

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