Bianca Castafiore
Captain Haddock
Abdullah Ben Kalish Ezab
Professor Cuthbert Calculus
Thompson and Thomson
General Alcazar

Digital oil portraits of characters from The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé.

The Backstory

A photograph of the entry of the Hergé Museum taken on March 1, 2019.

The Adventures of Tintin have been a constant of my childhood. The comic albums and the animated series are timeless classics. Visiting the Comic Strip Museum and the Hergé Museum in Belgium made me appreciate the art more as an adult.

Captain Haddock, drawn on a notebook with a fountain pen soon after the visit.

Getting an iPad meant I could try my hand at learning Procreate. What better way to start than transform the sketch to something with a lot more depth. Worked on these between January and March 2021.

The Inner Circle

Captain Haddock

The first one I drew was Captain Haddock, which is unequivocally my favourite character from series.

Billions of blue blistering barnacles!

Professor Calculus

After Haddock, still didn’t have a plan but decided to give good old Professor Calculus a shot.

Professor Calculus with his pendulum. The image should have been more to the west.

Started posting these on the r/TheAdventuresofTintin as I started finishing them.

Thomson and Thompson

Thomson and Thompson had to be the next. The fact they’re voiced by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg of The Cornetto Trilogy in The Adventures of Tintin feels like a real life callback my childhood to early adulthood.

To be precise… Thomson and Thompson looking suspiciously.

Extended Cut

Rather than doing the sane thing and ending it with Tintin and Snowy, decided to try my hand with some of the supporting characters, starting with Bianca Castafiore. Hergé’s supporting characters in Tintin have so much depth and character.

Bianca Castafiore

The Milanese Nightingale was far more complicated than the ones I drew earlier and it’s clear from the number of strokes it took for each.

  • Haddock: 1362 strokes
  • Calculus: 1611 strokes
  • Thom(p)sons: 2292 strokes
  • Castafiore: 6199 strokes

Not my favourite character, but probably my favourite rendition in this set due to its details.

Prince Abdullah

One of the most memorable characters for me with his pranks. Maybe because he was Haddock’s arch nemesis all along.

« Abdallah, le petit enfant gâté insupportable, j’en connais, et vous en connaissez certainement, vous aussi. »

General Alcazar

This was definitely one of the more difficult ones in the series. The increasing depth and complexity of characters made me appreciate Hergé and path dependence in art further.

Caramba! The chess sequence in The Broken Ear (which was my first Tintin album) exemplifies the General’s personality.

The Core

Moving on to the two constants and a bit meta.


Snowy, Milou in French, is the cutest character by far in the series.

Snowy… looking rather a bit bewildered.


Tintin, our protagonist, with his iconic hairstyle.


And finally, going a bit meta… Hergé makes a lot of cameos in the animated series.

Hergé, carrying a sketchbook with his initials on it.


It was a fun project and learnt a lot on how to use Procreate. Being restricted on what to create in what style was a helpful guiding principle. I haven’t explored using some of the AI machine learning tools deeply, but a lazy effort on DALL·E did get an interesting result.

DALL·E response on the prompt: Captain Haddock from The Adventures of Tintin, angry expression, smoking a pipe, oil painting, digital art