Kingdom Hearts Wallpaper: The Sleeping Keyhole

Square Enix, Kingdom Hearts, Riku, Sora Wallpaper
Square Enix Studio Kingdom Hearts Game Riku Character Sora Character

2560x1440 Wallpaper

Artist Comment

Full description in my journal…it’s really long…longer than usual…

Anyway this is my biggest wallpaper project to date. It’s a combination of vectors and vector mask painting. I’m very glad that I managed to get back into vector mask painting after my technique was thrown into disarray early last year.

(To be specific, it was in April, after this particular wallpaper)

I was inspired by Ravenrogue’s Princess of Heart (used to be on AP, you can see it on Zerochan), Pixiv user Takumi’s Studio Ghibli nouveau artworks and the keyhole sealing sequence in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. So I combined it by placing the keyhole (with the triangles around it, like the keyhole sealing sequence) on a station of awakening, which I re-vectored based off Roxas’s station of awakening and recoloured…based on my own fancy. I just Googled “blue colour palette”, “yellow colour palette” and “orange colour palette” and picked colours from there.

Since it’s KH3D, I picked Sora and Riku from the official artwork and vector-mask painted them. I think I did a good job for both Sora and Riku, except for Sora’s chains and zips, which I had to simplify because I just could not make out the details. I had learnt from my Destiny Island experience (see below) and hence I did them at a large size. Also, I followed the lighting from the official art, so you'll see that there's lighting from both the top and the bottom.

I failed at doing the art nouveau style for the background, so instead, I chose 4 worlds that best represented the 4 insignia that I wanted to include and painted them.

1) Nobody -> Twilight Town
2) Heartless -> Traverse Town
3) Unversed -> Radiant Garden
4) Dreameater -> Destiny Island

Of course, practical reasons, such as the availability of a good scan or the limits of my abilities, came into play when I selected the worlds. It’s why I picked Radiant Garden over Land of Departure. For each world, I did the line art on a vector shape, and after that, I would fill in base colours using layer masks as opposed to vector masking. This is because the line art would be on 50% opacity, so that means the edges of the base colours would be somewhat visible, so I needed them to blend nicely, and that means I should use painting techniques. Destiny Island proved to have the most tedious line art…I spent months on it, and I practically forgot that I was supposed to also colour it in after that. I was working at 800% zoom for this. Folks, please remember that it is important to work in large canvas sizes -.-

Radiant Garden was one in which I got lazy because I had initially coloured it such that the lighting was from above, but to be consistent with the rest of the wall, I had the lighting on the clouds come from below. I’m too lazy to change this; plus, I had accidentally destroyed my group (comprising of the individual layers) for Radiant Garden. It’s a long story, but to put it simply, I risked having to redo everything from scratch, so I decided not to.

Also, I got lazy for most of the clouds. That’s why they look rather stiff. I figured that they were not the focus of the wallpaper so I decided not to bother too much about them.

Finally, I remember Mr. Nomura commenting on the official artwork for KH3D, which is that Riku need not be moving up and Sora moving down; it could easily be the other way. In fact, the official wallpaper has 2 versions; one with Sora and Riku rotated 180 degrees, so that Riku moves down and Sora moves up. I decided to extend this concept to my wallpaper as well; hence you can see that the bottom 2 worlds and their insignia are flipped. The KH pattern on the border is flipped as well. I also created 4 versions of this wall, which are just permutations of Sora and Riku rotated and the background being flipped vertically. Of course, my initial design was of Riku moving up (and Sora moving down) and with Twilight and Traverse Towns on top, so that’s my preferred version.

Layer breakdown:
• Background elements (includes border): 18
• Circle: 78
• Twilight Town: 99
• Traverse Town: 226
• Radiant Garden: 146
• Destiny Island: 165
• Sora: 52
• Riku: 50
• TOTAL: 834

Here’s a list of scraps/resources that I created for this wallpaper:
1) Sora and Riku station: link
2) Sora and Riku reference: link
3) KH Circle PSD: link
4) Background-only version: link
5) Background reference: link
6) Destiny Island line art: link
7) KH Pattern PSD: link
UPDATE: 8) Alternative versions of the version with the insignia can be found on my deviantArt page: link

Credit goes to LadyVictoire’s star brushes.

My final verdict? I’m proud of what I achieved for this project. But as a wallpaper…it’s kind of a failure, isn’t it? Too much going on. I can’t really see the icons on my desktop when I set it as my wallpaper -.-

UPDATE part 2: Valuna suggested reworking the background...but I'm pretty restricted when it comes to repositioning the worlds because I (stupidly) painted them to fit the window sizes...so I removed the insignia, placed a pattern overlay on the worlds and reduced the size of the border. I needed to repaint quite a bit for this even though it sounds minor...>.< If this looks better I will upload alternative versions of this to my deviantArt...
Even though the pattern overlay looks like it's missing from a certain part of the Destiny Island window, it is there...I can see it on my wallpaper at least...

More Kingdom Hearts Wallpapers

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Browse Kingdom Hearts Gallery: Recent | Popular.


  1. Valuna Retired Moderator Feb 05, 2014

    It looks amazing. The middle part is flawless. The vector paint job fits in nicely. It looks really neat. You even created a slight transperancy for the glass window. I must say that this really gives a KH feel (official wallpapers usually don't take this much work or look as good!). The final execution on the outer side...I'm not so sure about. I do really think you did a great job vectoring those parts (I could never hold on doing that). Anyway, as a wallpaper itself...I think it would have been nicer if the borders weren't so thick on the outside...aside from that. the symbols...they somehow are too overwhelming/disturbing. It would be nicer, like the symbols in the middle to have them blend in more. Kind of like 4 seasons? I also don't get this perfect harmony of glass windows because of this. I really love what you did, I just think it's a bit of a bummer that you made distinctive seperation inside a piece that should be entirely as one. Give it a try? I'm not sure if it would look better...but it shouldn't be too much work (despite the fact you already worked on it so much XD)

  2. YHE Feb 06, 2014

    This wall paper is really great.. Its unlike any other..

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