Mansion - concept sketches 1

This is going to take a while: I'm going for a mystery mansion with lots of details. But when drawing these, I realized how little I know about interior architecture. I'll revert to some reference from 2d games - Maniac Mansion, Creaks (where the inspiration came from), the Chzo quadrology - any other recommendations?

Mansion - concept sketches 2

Not quite there yet concept-wise... maybe this should be an old house on top of a huge cave system? Or an anthropomorphic anthill? Need to sketch more.

Mansion - rough sketch 1

I've got the general outline of the structure. I still need to decide what goes into what room and cave. Lots and lots of books, that's for sure.

Mansion - detail doodles - ink

Some spontaneous tryouts of the details I'm planning to use in the mansion drawing. I'm quite happy with the little library (top left).

Mansion - outline sketch

I've started the actual drawing on some nice, thick watercolor paper. Sorry, nothing new or interesting to see yet...

Mansion - detail sketch 1 + detail

The most fascinating aspect of drawing details like this is finding out how little I know about everyday stuff like "what do functioning houses plausibly contain?".

PS: Thanks to @JohanEmpa for the building standards review! 😉

Mansion - detail sketch 4 + closeup

Basement 3 contains a media library with a large model train set and some storage, as well as a plant room and a cryogenic chamber.

Mansion - detail sketch 5 + closeup

The newest cave is some kind of mining lair. Not really sure what they do there... but the walls are nicely paneled with wooden planks.

Mansion - detail sketch 6 + closeup

Someone built an underground camping room connected to a swimming pool tank. Don't ask me, I'm just drawing it.

Mansion - Detail Sketch 7 + closeup

Two new caves: One containing a miniature cathedral, the other a crawlspace labyrinth.

Mansion - Detail Sketch 8 + closeup

One cave is decorated with ornamental chains, the other contains lots of large crates.

Mansion - Detail Sketch 9 + closeup

This cave contains a 1940s newspaper office, complete with a printing press and a pneumatic tube system.

Mansion - Detail Sketch 10 + 3 closeups

The last three caves contain a miniature metropolis, an underwater lake and a throne room (with a little visitor).

The cave sketches are now finished, all that's missing are some above ground details. Then it's time to start inking... 😅

Mansion - final detail sketch - pencil

(Portrait format, click to view full drawing)

That's it: No more changes. Feel free to explore the 50 rooms/levels while I ink this. 🔎

Mansion - Outline 1 - ink

My waterproof fountain pen ink arrived today. I'm really glad I don't have to ink this with nibs...

Mansion - Outline 2 - ink

I'm concentrating on the room shapes, floors and walls first, so I can concentrate on the little details later.

Mansion - Outline 6 - ink

The outlines are done, but I'm going to check if I missed anything before I erase my pencil marks.

Mansion - final outline - ink

Here's the version without pencil marks (and my backup in case things go wrong).

I'm thinking hard about shading, see next post...

Mansion - ink shading tests

The ink I'm using here, Noodler's Black, has some really nice qualities such as being easily dilutable and forming interesting noise patterns. BUT it has an achilles heel: It doesn't work well with masking fluid (both of the ones I used) - it bleeds into it, and the color will go right off when rubbing it off. So I can't use masking here. This is going to be difficult...

That's why I'm testing first. Had I started right away, I would have ruined it the drawing.

Mansion - more ink shading tests

Since I can't use masking fluid, I'm trying out how well I could freehand paint the ground around the caves. It's tricky, but not impossible. But I won't use the same ink I used for drawing: As you can see on the second picture, the ink flow of Noodler's Black is irregular and blotchy. On the first picture, Deleter 2 ink flows much more smoothly and spreads better. But it also dries quicker...

Mansion - Shading 1

The first shading pass, which went really well (and fast!). It's only the local tone of the room walls, but that already makes a big difference. I will now continue to add 2 more darker shades, then do the ground around it.

Mansion - Shading 2

This pass added a darker tone, increasing contrast. All that remains is dark tones and ground.


Mansion - ink (final)
(Portrait format, click to see full drawing)

After 6 weeks, I can't believe this is finally done! Thanks for sticking with me - now have fun exploring the world's deepest iceberg home. Let me know which room you like best!

@lordampersand Love it, though I always thought that a proper well should have a secret room which entrance should be below the water level, and featuring both a skeleton and a tightly sealed chest. So my favorite room is almost there!

#1 the comfortable couch at right
#2 the fridge in the kitchen at -1
#3 the fire in the library at +1

I couldn't choose :) To be coherent with my career I should say the mine.
It's impressive, it's been a pleasure to see it grow and it's a pleasure to see it finished.
Thanks for sharing.

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