Favorite Characters: Professor Ratigan

Professor Ratigan, the villain from the Disney animated feature The Great Mouse Detective, loves the spotlight

Professor Ratigan, the villain from the Disney animated feature The Great Mouse Detective, loves the spotlight as the second in the Favorite Characters series.

Every hero needs a villain, or at least that is how it works in the moives. And just as Sherlock Holmes had Professor Moriarty, Holmes’s Great Mouse Detective counterpart, Basil of Baker Street, had Professor Ratigan. So I figured that since I started off the series with the hero, I might as well follow him up with the villain.

Laura said, “Why are you drawing the bad guy?” For me, Ratigan is one of those bad guys that you almost like. He is a sharp dresser, he has a fun song, he is light on his feet. And he has the voice of Vincent Price, which is hard to beat. Eventually, however, he starts to show his true evil intentions, because he is in the end the villain, and as such he must meet his fate.

Don’t Be a Villain

While artistic stories often work better with a villain, it does not have to be that way in real life. Yes, there are some people who could probably be classified as villains, but that does not have to be you.

However, there can definitely be heroes in real life. And they do not have to have super powers, either.

Make a conscious effort to be a hero. How can you do that? By doing things for other people. Find things to do for others even before they ask for your help. Find people who have needs that you can fill, and then fill those needs as best as you can.

Do things for others without expecting something in return. Don’t do something just because you want that person to do something for you. Do something just because you want to help and to serve.

Treat others the way you want to be treated, instead of treating people the way they treat you. Look to give help instead of looking to give retribution.

And do it all out of love. Love each other, because we are all going through this life here on earth together. Be motivated by love, so that it actively makes you want to do something.

Be a hero, because someone needs it.

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. - James 2:15-17

Love One Another

About the Artwork

This artwork is similar to the previous Great Mouse Detective art, but it is also quite a bit different.

For one thing, while the other had thin, crisp lines, this one has bolder, roughter lines, due to the use of a different inking “pen”. This rougher line goes well with Ratigan’s villanous personality, as he is very much rough around the edges despite his well-dressed appearance. Plus, the rougher lines keep a little bit of the rough look of the sketches that I always start with.

Here is a look at my starting sketch of Ratigan:

Professor Ratigan Rough Sketch

This sketch was mainly to work out size and placement. I did not include his cape and tail in the sketch, but I added those in the final line drawing. And his face needed a bit of refinement for the final version, too.

Also, as promised in the last one, I used a different background style for this one. Instead of using a watercolor style, I started this time with flat colors, adding some textures on top of it to look like a stone floor and a wood wall with some lines and watercolor overlays.

And then I added the spotlight, just for fun, as it also mimics a scene in the movie.


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About Burnsland
Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.