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Pixel Tutorial - Drawing Wraiths

A topic by imonk created May 19, 2022 Views: 530 Replies: 2
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Today we're drawing some wraiths! What are wraiths? Simply put, they are phantoms often wearing hooded clothing such as robes or cloaks.  Similar to a Grim Reaper but not necessarily with a scythe or skull. Their clothes are tattered and worn out. If you look on Google or Pinterest you'll see them often emitting magical glows. They are intangible so they often appear emerging from foggy clouds. Knowing these details we can start experimenting. I'll display some of my favorite reference images here.

So as you can see, they fit the description. To draw a wraith, it's pretty simple We draw some silhouette representing their dark tattered robe. We can illustrate this from the side or front. Here you can see the hood then the sleeves. The bottom is spread out because that will be the fog that the wraith is emerging from. Make sure he has a little hunch. 

Then we add more shading.

Once shaded enough, we add texture to the clothes. This could be scratches and tears, or cloth folds. I also think this is a good point to give him some hands if you want.

Lastly we draw in some blobby clusters and dots for the clouds rising underneath!

So that's how to draw the base sprite. At this stage you can experiment with different poses such as hovering forward trying to grab the "player" or levitating since you probably have some idea of how to render him from the front and side view. If he's the floaty type, it will probably look more natural to project the fog sinking downward like a soft jetpack stream.

Once you get comfortable wraith drawing simple standard wraiths in various poses, you can start adding extra features if you want. Like I said earlier, they look great combined with magic effects. These could be the ability to cast spells, launch magic projectiles, summon other spirits, wield magical gear, the list goes on and on which adds a ton of opportunity to get creative. If you want endless ideas for these guys, I highly suggest browsing "dark fantasy wraiths" on Pinterest and pinning some of your favorites but here below are a few different examples of how we can go about this. To keep things simple, I only use blues and greens but magic can be any color really. Remember that since the magic is glowing, it projects a small range of light onto the wraith so you might have to recolor the lighting on the wraith accordingly.

So that's it for this tutorial! I hope you learned a thing or two about wraiths and try it out. I hope to see your attempt at this tutorial and I'll be back with another one in the near future! 👋


So cool. I love the lighting effect


Agree, I think that makes it look a lot more complete.

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