One thing that annoys me a lot about askgladosandsniper is, that since GLaDOS is hanging from the ceiling, she will always have a blank space below her. This results in the following things:
- I rarely can draw the speechbubbles above her, which means I have to draw the dreaded “hanging speechbubbles” which are an aestetic no-go in comics
- It’s very tricky to draw her in the background without making her look like she is very tiny and actually in the foreground.
It’s fun though, drawing GLaDOS is a real challenge. Not just because machinery in general is hard to draw, but also because in-game, GLaDOS is mostly defined through her voice, since she has barely any mimic and only limited gestures.
A challenge is good when you want to become better.
As an artist who’s found good challenge in drawing GLaDOS as well - and you’re doing a pretty good job as it is - I have a few suggestions to help.
It took me a long time to really, really sort GLaDOS out. I didn’t start drawing Her well cause robots weren’t my forte. Just people in crazy outfits. I’m always improving how I draw Her though. So I like helping people who might be having trouble with our favorite robot overseer.
First I’ve got to counter your thought that GLaDOS has limited movement and emotiveness. She actually is pretty emotive…in Her movements.
Swaying, head movements especially, the way Her optic casing moves are all signs. If you watch the Core Transfer scene, you’ll notice GLaDOS sways like an angry snake during it - agitated, furious, and unable to really do anything other than threaten Chell and Wheatley. When She’s in control earlier, Her movements are more calm and stately, with plenty of expressions with Her faceplate and optic to go with the snarky remarks.
(Wheatley take the expressiveness of inanimate robots even further, as he’s a metal ball and yet has a huge range of expressive movements. I can’t credit the Portal animators enough here.)
How does this play into drawing pictures of GLaDOS?
What you can do is study the Core Transfer Scene, and the Caroline Deleted scenes. Note GLaDOS’ emotions at that time and how She’s behaving.
You’re right that most people won’t always BE face-to-face with GLaDOS, just Her voice. But since you’re having to draw comics with the chassis in it, those are things I’ve found really helpful.
Here’s a couple of examples of how to put it into a simple freeze framed images that might inspire you. :)
This comic I did a while back during the Poker Night 2 craze shows something of what you can do with GLaDOS’ “expressions”—
She has a definite eye-rolling position with the optic housing seen during the Core Transfer scene, and all of Her movements are very fluid unless She’s startled. (Try watching when the Announcer mentions the Core Transfer for the first time. That shocked jerk is so damn fast you almost don’t even SEE Her make it. And it’s difficult to screencap.)
Screencaps are also your friend. I’ve used a few from friends for my Tumblr icons for a while, and quite a few can be emotive:
Annoyed. (And eye-rolling.) Note the lowered stance, too.
This one I manipped the shit out of but I felt the direct held-up stance fits “angry” pretty well.
Not sure why that one’s tiny but it makes me think of “Curious” pretty easily.
Quite a few people post GLaDOS screenshots in the #GLaDOS tag, so you might find yourself some good pose references scattered about. I’ve got a bunch of GLaDOS reaction pictures (under #GLaDOS reaction pics , I think) that might give you inspiration too.
From one artist to another, I hope you continue to have fun drawing GLaDOS, and getting new ideas for your comics. I’ve enjoyed seeing them pop up on the GLaDOS tag these days so please keep doing them!