Duration: About half an hour!
Kirby is a precious angel and if you say he’s cheap to use in Smash: you’re right.
Last semester, I took an animation course at my university, and my professor would always say things like, “This piece of animation is really interesting because they only used fills.” One such piece is Phantom Limb by Alex Grigg. It’s a really beautiful piece. If you notice, most of the lines are essentially implied by these shapes. There’s no “actual” line work done in these pieces. I think the effect is really beautiful and simple and just gives pieces a really whimsical feeling.
So I thought to myself: “Self. You gotta give this a try! What’s cute and whimsical and can be drawn using fills in Photoshop?”
With cute, whimsy, and the elliptical marquee tool in mind, I bring to you: Kirby!
Drawing with fills for this was so easy and so fun! I started out by just using the elliptical marquee to draw a selection:
I filled that sucker with a pink gradient and moved it to the center of the screen:
The gradient fill tool is a beautiful thing, my friends. I kept using the elliptical marquee tool to create little fills and things and that’s how arms and legs were made! After I made one fill, I would simply drag it down to the “layer” button, which would make a copy, and I would put it in a place that made sense. Check it out:
In making this lil Kirby, I’m really understanding the importance of LAYER PLACEMENT. To really get the full effect of making Kirby’s arms and legs look like they were “behind” him, so to speak, I had to put those layers behind the original circle. As for his facial features: those layers had to be ABOVE the OG circle.
Again: for Kirby’s expression, I just made one set of eyes and “layer copied” them and moved things around. Super simple stuff:
The little blush-cheeks were super fun to draw and made Kirby look v. cute 🙂
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: background! I just chose two shades of blue and painted that sucker behind Kirby (I put that last layer before all of the other ones) and I think it added a really nice contrast between Kirby and the rest of the image:
As I said earlier, this piece was so much fun to make! It’s super simple, and I think as I get a better handle on creating fills I can make some really interesting pieces. A challenge for next time: go a little bit more intense with my colors/contrasts. Kirby could definitely do with more intense values; however, this muted pallet does work with his cute self.
A brief note on fan art: I think imitating your heroes is a really important part in learning how to create your own style as an artist. The more you try and recreate your favorites, the more you’ll find what you like. With Kirby, I find that simple yet iconic character design is what I strive for as an artist. Also just making things that make you go “Awww!”
That’s all for now! Comment below with your fav Smash characters!!