Metroid Prime: Samus Aran on Tallon IV, Considering Retirement

metroid prime samus, colorized
She has had just about enough.

With each new piece I want to really challenge myself to make impactful pictures and connect deeply with the viewer each time. The challenge with this piece was rediscovering painting and developing a process I could repeat. So I thought some Metroid Prime Samus art would be a neat exercise. Love Samus. She’s neat.

In 2021 when I did my ref sheet and splash page for Sophie, I had actually flat forgotten how to paint. So since then I had been leaning hard on cel shading as a crutch and using as many light tricks as possible to to make those pictures have cool lighting and color. And I would say that my results have been pretty solid over time.

Within this last year, Metroid Prime: Remastered released, and I drew this picture to celebrate:

metroid prime samus, sketched

As it turns out, you can just take pencil sketches and give them a coat of paint. There is no reason you can’t take a sketch you really like out of your sketchbook and then just make it pretty.

While I didn’t record any video this go-around, I still got some valuable insights when it comes to doing digital painting.

  1. A good sketch is crucial no matter what you’re doing.
  2. The real world isn’t just one flat color, and neither are paintings. You have to build up a little bit in each layer.
  3. In the real world, your brush can only hold one color at a time. One color at a time helps you stay focus and make more meaningful render passes.
  4. A background helps. It doesn’t have to be super detailed, but it still needs to be believable.
  5. Layer masks, opacity, and blending modes are your friends.

All the math adds up to some nifty Metroid Prime Samus art, and I’m really proud of what I accomplished here. I hope you liked it too!

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