Drawing Process: Dr. Petrol

Hey everyone! I figured now is a good time to post some of my current process for drawing. Today’s process is of a character I’ve been developing: Dr. Petrol. They’re part of a biological incident clean-up crew, and that’s about as far as I’m at for backstory so far.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the photos and explanations!


My initial step is to do a doodle from imagination to puzzle out general form and colors. The original design is from a pixel drawing I did for a game I was prototyping last year. As you can see, this looks pretty rough and the only thing I really like about it is the general anatomy.

The next step is the sketch. I just look up refs as I need them, as I go. To start with I found a photo of a guy posing with a flamethrower and copied the pose with a basic stick figure drawing. I might do a more detailed post including those later, but really I just play around with basic shapes and slowly add more details as I refine it.

The whole point of the sketch is to get the basic framework and details in without worrying about how messy it is, as I can always erase extraneous marks before painting.

After the sketch, I add color with my watercolors. This is because my current ink isn’t completely waterproof and I’d rather not create a mess. Painting before inking is also good because it lets me consider shading and general shapes without worrying about staying within my lines, too.

For the colors, I start by doing a light wash of each area and then I come in with a darker pigment to add shading once the previous layer is mostly dry. I like keeping them fast and loose, without worrying about how good it looks. As you can see, this step looks horrible due to how loose and rough the whole thing is.

Following the colors, I add line art with a brush pen. This really brings the drawing to life and makes the colors pop more thanks to the contrast provided by the black line art. The key points with this are: Try to keep the lines as long and flowy as possible; Have a light and loose touch with the brush; Don’t try to be perfect.

I’ve found it’s better to have fun making a thing than try to be perfect and push limits too hard, as this way I’m more liable to come up with something playful and interesting. And, most importantly, I feel good about having done it.


I hope this process post has helped! If I do another I plan on adding more in-between photos so you can see my process better.

Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you on the next post!


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