Sunday, October 30, 2011

Witchy Woman...

Today's character is Sypha, a witch vampire hunter from the Castlevania series. Again, a character I know nothing about, so after the sketch scroll down for a little character lesson from my friend Quinn (comic book writer and Castlevania aficionado)

Before that, I want to get all "artsy" on ya'll. This kind of drawing at first glance can look pretty simple in comparison to the last two. However when you take a subject and break it down strictly to line, you then give that line a LOT of responsibility. That single line needs to convey form, depth, texture, weight or gravity, motion, even mood. That can be a lot to ask for one line, but when done well, you are able to capture all of that and more.

Cartooning is by definition conveying form with only line. During the Renaissance a cartoon, or line drawing was made on a large sheet of paper then transfered to wet plaster for painters to apply a fresco on top. They used the "cartoon" as a map, or an underdrawing for structure to then apply a more rendered painting over it. The painting becomes the finished product, the cartoon was just a step in the process. In a more modern sense we associate the same term with Disney movies, Looney Tunes and the like. It has grown from newspapers, comic books, tv shows and movies to what it is today.

I learned from a professor I had at college to respect the simplest drawing, because it is using far less than it could to tell you what you need to know. That the artist who created it respected those lines and knew how important each one was for the drawing to work.

I run into this everyday, with every face I draw. A simple line drawn to high or low, to the left or right, just barely "off" will completely change a person, or their expression.

In this sketch I wanted to keep it to just lines, give a lighter feel to the drawing it self, but more just a study of line.

Castlevania Week: Sypha - 119

“I fight Count Dracula, but am I the hero? Or am I just as black-hearted and false as he is?”

I just rambled on....pretty incoherently and not even about the character this time. For a more capable description here are Quinn's comments on Sypha:

"Sypha is a magic-wielding witch who ironically works for the Church. She made her first appearance in “Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse,” imprisoned as a statue until her captor the Cyclops was defeated. Not only were her magic spells incredibly awesome (a huge fire blast, ice crystals that allowed frozen enemies to be smashed, and homing lightning balls), but her true sex wasn’t revealed until the very end of the game when her hood fell back and her long blonde hair fell out. How cool is that?

Many fans know that she and Trevor eventually got married, and my comic book treatment really explores that emotional journey. She starts out as a very prickly, bitter person with a ton of emotional baggage, but once her terrible past is revealed it’s not so hard to see why." 

This Portion of Quinn's comments is sponsored by
Check out Quinn's work and projects there.

Original Art for Sale - $30 + $6 shipping
9x12 Ink on Bristol Board.
To Purchase, email subject "Sypha" to


  1. Wow, what an interesting read. I never knew all that history about cartooning in the Renaissance, and your essay on line was fascinating. Fantastic drawing, I love its ethereal feel.

  2. Quite an art class mate! :D
    Very interesting read.
    And style helps to portray Sypha(which is actually supossed to be Cypher, but got translated that way when the game was released), she always felt like a ghost to me(she even looked like that on the cover of the game), when you first meet her she was a statue, and aren't aware of her gender not until the very end of the game, so she's definitively a mysterious character and this style of linework works very much in line with that.