I drew this Shadow Man sketch back in 2015. I THINK I used Sharpies, but it’s been 5 years since I drew this. So I don’t remember. But this was drawn in a Strathmore sketchbook, which is my sketchbook of choice. I just prefer spiral-bound papers. Things that lay flat make me happy.
The motif of a pure black shadow being with white eyes happens A LOT in my sketchbooks. Part of this is because I’ve been inspired by the Heartless in Kingdom Hearts for a long while. I dig the monster designs in that series. (Then again, I like drawing monsters.Obviously.) And when I was a teenager playing that game for the first time, the image of a pure black shadow with creepy, pale eyes burned its way into my subconscious. It’s haunted me ever since.
But I also REALLY like adding details to costumes, like border designs. (Like the ones in this illustration). If I ever see zentangles, or Eastern European costumes, or Islamic patterns, I am ALL OVER those. What can I say? Patterns are fun.
So I sketched this to play with high contrasts: black and white, simple and detailed. It was fun to draw!
…I want to draw more things like this, actually. Maybe I’ll make it my Inktober theme? (Holy heck I need to pick a theme for Inktober this year. I keep waffling between several good ideas).
BUT I WILL say – this sketch could be considered a proto-Mocktaw.
Mocktaw are the black shadow creatures from The Legend of Jamie Roberts. It’s my weekly webcomic about a genderqueer pirate and friends adventuring in a land full of dragons. If you like this guy and want to see more like him, check out the comic.
The Woman of the Woods is a character I created for Rosetta and the Swan, my retelling of Swan Lake. (The version I’m working on is set around a fictional equivalent of the Baltic Sea. Also it’s the prince who is turned into a swan).
In my retelling of the story, the Woman of the Woods is one of many countless wise women who reside in The Woods. The Woods themselves are enormous and ancient. The people who live in Rosetta’s kingdom know of ONE Woman of the Woods – the one pictured above. She is hardly ever seen in her human form. Usually she is only spotted as a bear.
However, this particular Woman of the Woods has close ties to the royal family. And it’s she who blesses Rosetta with the ability to talk to animals.
All of this is to say…she’s available as a hi-resolution download. Check it out either on Patreon or Ko-Fi (she’s available for download on both platforms).