Monday, April 5, 2010

How I draw my zombies - the Easter Bunny

A few people have asked in various places about what methods I use when doodling these little zombies so I thought I'd show a bit on how I do them, using the Easter Bunny zombie as an example. They're not exactly fancy, as you'd have seen already, and the methods I use evolved with one primary goal in mind - speed. I'm doing one a day and (as surprising as it may sound) I have a day job, life, etc. so I need to make sure I can meet my zombie quota without too much trouble.

My tools are: one iPod Touch, one copy of the Layers App.

Every one of them is drawn on the iPod with my finger. Of course, anyone with an iPhone can also use the Layers App. The Brushes App is also pretty great but I went with the Brushes App because of the slightly scratchy look I can get from some of the brush choices in that one. It suits the whole zombie thing.

And here's how I do them -

1) The sketch.

Using a transparent grey, I just sketch out what I'm looking for on a layer. I do this very roughly. I'm really only looking for a general guide. Like this -

As crappy as that.

2) The line.

Then, I make a layer above that and draw the outline. I tend to do the main lines with a very thick brush because I like how they look when shown quite small. They could go much smaller, like making an avatar out of them or something, and still be pretty clear.

The brush I use for the outline is this one:

I usually use a very dark brown. Not as harsh as black but does the same job. At the beginning, I varied the line colour a lot but it led to a real inconsistency in the look.

So I draw the line -

That actually looks pretty close to black there. The big thing I have to remember here is to do it on another layer. The amount of times I've done it on the same layer as the grey is ridiculous. So different layer, like this -

3) The basic colour.

At this point, I delete that rough sketch and put a new transparent layer under my line layer for my colour. Using just a basic round brush, I get the main flat colours.

Then I add the most basic of shading. I keep it basic for speed and clarity. Usually, whatever way they are facing is bright, their back end is dark. Like this -

From there, everything else is just about getting the detail and texture.

4) The detail.

I move on to a different brush at this point. The speckled round brush. I find that gives me the best texture, almost dirty, like fingerprints.

With this brush (not as transparent as in that pic above) I use the colour select tool to select the areas of shading and then shift the colour a little darker, blending the changes in tone. I deliberately keep this a little rough, or else I'd lose the texture that brush gives. By adding little darker or lighter dots in places, it gives that slightly dead or sick look. And I add the details - blood, etc.

Really, this is just finishing it off. I usually stick fairly closely to the shading I did in the previous stage. And I end up with a character like this -

And there he is. My little Easter Bunny. The process doesn't really change no matter who I am doing and is always pretty quick. They don't stand up to close scrutiny but, at the size I post them and with the nature of the characters, the rough look works.

There isn't a huge amount to say about how I do the backgrounds but I'll do another post covering that end soon.


Brian said...

Love the zombies - thanks for the 'behind the scenes' peek at how you do them. Keep up the great work!!

Too Many Zombies said...

Thanks, Brian. Glad you're enjoying them.

Janice said...

Interesting... :)