Merlee and Merluvlee Diptych
These two ladies are characters from a very unpopular game called Super Paper Mario—one of my favorite games. What this title lacks in polish it makes up for with charm in strides. The fun and (mostly) well-written characters have a lot to do with that. Merlee and Merluvlee are two ethereal ladies who assist Mario on his journey to save the world. Since their designs are rather simple in the game, I wanted to draw them with true human proportions. Overall, I decided that a mirrored diptych would be the most fitting way to depict them.
Each figure and her accompanying accessories are pictured in the same pose and composition but flipped, and their names are featured above them in Berlin Sans FB, a frilly typeface that reflects their majestic attitudes. They are surrounded by objects that are associated with each of them: Merlee by rubies, the InterNed, her Gnaw, and flies; and Merluvlee by her ceiling decorations, her crystal ball, and the Training Machine.
I wanted to work with an art style that I was not used to. The linework throughout is generally colored to blend with its surroundings, but it varies depending on the surroundings: darker if they're in the shade, and whiter if near a light. I left the brushstrokes visible out of an effort to push myself to be content with "imperfect" finishes. This ended up making the diptych look "made" or "painted," like a real diptych.
The idea of using a diptych composition also coincides with the characters' ties with the religion of their world. As diptychs were made for churches and chapels, it seems only natural to depict these ladies in a similar way.
In the end I was content with the results, and I'm happy I could give these fun characters from an unsuccessful game some love.