The Princess Archer story is one of my original Once Upon a Time Adventures called The Wonder Tales, it is the story of a Princess called Gwendolyn who is flung by magic to the Land of the Sun and her journey back to her home – the Ninth Kingdom. On this quest she is joined by Kurt the Wolf Boy, cursed by Baba Yaga to be Werewolf, or Wolf, but never a boy, a nervous faire creature Will O’Wisp and their guide Tobisum the Inch High Samurai. You can read their adventures at The Wonder Tales.
The illustration above is a composite drawing of several drawings created separately, and place together in Photoshop. It is quite a common thing to see in the entertainment industry especially on the movie side, it is so they can pull out individual elements for further promotional purposes.
The Princess Archer
This is Princess Gwendolyn, the Princess Archer. She is lost in the Land of the Sun with only her loyal companions, her bow and her wits to find a way home. Gwendolyn is a pretty big departure from my more normal ‘Cuddly’ illustrations to a drawing female human. It is important when creating to push yourself outside your comfort zone from time to time… Otherwise you don’t learn or grow.
Gwendolyn was a huge push outside my comfort zone, so I went a little stylised with her working the Anime angle into the character, slight larger head, big eyes and gave her simple robes influenced from Medieval Japanese designs. I quite like how she turned out.
Tobisum the Inch High Samurai
Tobisum the Inch High Samurai is the Princess Archer’s guide in the Land of the Sun, she first encounters him when he is trying to hide from preying birds under a walnut-shell. Drawing Tobisum was a character I’ve never drawn before, but always had in my head to look a specific way. The entire design is influenced by Samurai Jack with long robes, rigid straight stance and a new eye style.
I drew Tobisum at full size so I put some detail into the Samurai, the plan was to scale him down in Photoshop once I put together the composite image.
Kurt the Wolf Boy and WillO’Wisp
Kurt the Wolf Boy and Will O’Wisp were thrown through the magical portal with Gwendolyn into the Land of the Sun. While Will’O is a very nervous faire creature he has moments of great wisdom, while Kurt the Wolf Boy is a more tragic character trapped in Werewolf or Wolf form, never to be a boy. He is deeply loyal to Gwendolyn risking his life without hesitation time and time again to keep her safe.
These two companions were the easiest of the bunch to draw. Kurt was a really just a shaggy collection of lines in a humanoid shape. I was very scratchy with my ink pen to give him a layered fur effect, and taking a trick from anime I made his eyes larger and more human.
Will O’Wisp is just a flying little dough boy, quite easy to illustrate. However, he wasn’t inked rather created using inktense pencils to give him a translucent glow. I lightly penciled his outline, erased lines more and then drew the details in directly with the pencils.
All the illustrations were then scanned in, backgrounds deleted and using Photoshop merged together, placing each character on a separate layer. I have Kurt standing defensively behind Gwendolyn ready to leap into action, a reduced in scale Tobisum and their feet and the nervous Will O’ placed to balance out the illustration. Then using the clone tool I gave them all more ground to stand on. It all came together quite nicely.
The Wonder Tales
Thank you for taking time out from your day to read this mini-article. You can check out the Princess Archer Once Upon a Time stories on my Wonder Tales website.