Blast From the Past | For the Love of Metroid

It's no surprise that I'm such a fan of Nintendo. The Legend of Zelda is my personal favorite, but Super Mario comes close. F-Zero is also pretty cool, but I think I have a special place in my heart for the Metroid series. The main protagonist, Samus, is so different and fresh than the other bubbly and colorful cast of characters to come out of the Big N. Whether your your a fan of the silent robot protagonist, or the more emotional and human Zero Suit Samus, I'm sure we can all agree that these games are not just good, they're great!
Back in 2002, I believe.
If I remember correctly, this is my first drawing of Samus. It's referenced from the Metroid Prime special comic to appear in Nintendo Power, years back. I loved that style. It was one of the moments when I said to myself, I want to do thatwhen I grow up. Tell awesome stories with even more awesome art!

  • I penciled and inked it with a ball point pen.
  • Inks adjusted in Photoshop
  • Flat colors with the polygon lasso tool
  • Duplicate Inks layer, blur, and lower opacity.
  • Background consists of a metallic filter applied to a cloud render. laziness, I know.
The story of the Metroid series really never stood out to me as being incredibly fantastic. I mean, it's pretty simple. You are a bounty hunter hired to eradicate the parasitic entity known as Metroids. While doing so, you fight the dreaded space pirates, your eternal rival Ridley, and the notorious Mother Brain. What excites me about the series is the character development. Samus' past is always a special treat, and seeing her in Metroid Other M was fantastic. I personally love the human portion of her character.
Then 2004...

In contrast when she's wearing the power suit, it's almost like she's an entirely different character. In the Super Smash Bros. series, she's like a football player. I mean, come on she tackles like one!  Charge up an energy bean and yell to your buddy "Go Long!". haha good times.
  • Simple line art using the line tool. Yes, the linear line tool. click after click after click...
  • Polygon lasso tool to create flat colors and shadows.
  • That's pretty much it, this one was very simple.
I drew this one in 2005
  • Typical process of line art, flat colors, and cel-shading.
  • I really had no idea for a background and I didn't want to "draw" anything. So I used lines, gradients, and filters to create a hallway.
  • To this day I'm not satisfied with the end result. Not my favorite, but I do like the addition of the Metroids.
This was 2006
  • This one is special to me. I inked Samus with intricate design and sharp contrast.
  • Applied flat colors on one layer.
  • Used an Adobe brush with a low opacity to shade the colors.
  • Used the burn tool on the edges to darken up some spots.
  • New layer I brushed some highlights over the inks. With a layer mask, it gives a glow to the edges.
  • Radical blur [zoom] was used for the effect. Action lines were created with the polygon lasso tool on the top layer.
  • I honestly forgot how I did the background. I know filters were involved once again...
I have illustrated Samus for quite some time. More often than not, it features her wearing the Varia Suit. However, my latest image of Samus depicts her wearing civilian attire (with the Zero Suit peaking from underneath). With this piece, I did not rely on Photoshop filters but on manual illustration and brushing techniques. Yes, it takes more time but the effort is totally worth it. Please, let me know what you think. Leave a comment below.
Any imporvements in 2009? Tell me what you think in the comments section below!

A BLAST FROM THE PAST is a series following my growth and development as a digital illustrator. The featured works are not by any means my best, but an example of progression and new learned styles. We are all fond of the amazing work we see from our favorite artists. It's refreshing to know that they weren't always so skilled, nor are all of their works considered "masterpieces". I hope by sharing my early work, I can encourage fellow artists to persevere and work hard to develop their professional styles.

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