In a few weeks, I’ll be able to watch Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first movie in the Harry Potter universe since Deathly Hallows Part 2 way back in 2011 (wow, doesn’t feel like 5 years have already gone by). Tremendously excited for that movie, not the least of which because JK Rowling herself wrote the screenplay, which means it’s as close to reading a new Potter book I could do without actually reading a new Potter book. Yes, I know there’s also the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child–and yes, I’m definitely going to get myself a copy of the screenplay this Christmas.
Anyway, I have been on retro Potter mode for a couple of weeks now, so I’ve been churning out fan art of characters and creatures from that fandom almost every weekend. I don’t think I’m done yet, so there’s probably going to be Parts 2 and 3 of this post soon. But meanwhile, here’s what I’ve been able to produce. Lumos!
It started out with this drawing of Draco Malfoy. I wasn’t really aiming to be 100% accurate on the likeness; I wanted to make it my own while still clearly showing similarities with the movie version.
You can see how the image significantly changed when I inked it. He kinda looked more handsome in the penciled version and more frat boyish in the inked one.
Eventually, I decided this wouldn’t really be Draco without his thugs Crabbe and Goyle, so I added the two in the background as giant blobs of black ink. I also decided to go with more movie-accurate faces for these two because they’re key to informing the viewer that the character in the center is Draco (pretty neat psychological trick, huh?).
I was really satisfied with how the Slytherin thugs illustration came out and I started feeling in the groove for more fan art. Creatures (and fantastic beasts) are a huge part of the Harry Potter mythos, so I took a stab at Dobby (sorry for the horrible pun, not intended).
I immediately knew I could make Dobby work (another horrible pun–again, NOT intended) after I was done with the pencils. I thought I nailed the form pretty good.
After finishing Dobby, I became sort of obsessed with likenesses. I’ve also been reading my big book of Brian Bolland fan art, and he just inspires me (and frustrates me) with how good he was at likenesses. I, honestly, SUCK at likenesses, so I itched at doing some for these Harry Potter characters that I loved. Sirius Black was one of those, and I thought I did a neat job above.
But like I said, I suck at likenesses. I’m not one of those artists who can sit down with a picture in hand and just start copying like a photocopying machine. By the way, I’m a HUGE fan of artists like those and I actually know one who is otherworldly talented at sitting down and just starting to copy like a photocopying machine. I wish I could be like that but I’m not. But I want to–terribly. And so I tried to do one again, this time of the beloved wizarding professor, Albus Dumbledore. But I couldn’t make a likeness of either Michael Gambon or Richard Harris work, so I decided to try to combine them. The result was Dumbledore-ish but the effort took so much out of me that I couldn’t even finish the whole thing.
But I wasn’t done. Nuh-uh. I had lots of this Hogwarts magic building up in my chest and I was desperate to get it out. Sketched several failed attempts at likenesses before I came up with this drawing of Severus Snape.
There are just so many things that factor into producing a good likeness for me that some days, I could whip up a pretty awesome drawing of the Stranger Things cast in 30 minutes and then other days, I couldn’t draw you anybody recognizable even if I spent an entire day sketching. Oftentimes, it just depends on my mood. If there’s a lot on my plate that day, chances are, I’d be making trash after trash and screaming my guts while I’m at it.
Watch out for more Harry Potter fan art coming your way.