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How to draw a fantasy warrior step by step

  • Adults 
  • Teenagers 
What you need:

Colour pencils Art Grip Aquarelle, India Ink Pitt Artist Pen S, Graphite pencil Grip 2001 2B, Brush

What better suits the topic of fantasy than a courageous warrior who wields his sword in thrilling adventures with fire-breathing dragons and mighty wizards?

The hero in our picture is just taking the precipitous pathway to a dark castle. Dangers may be lying in wait for him at every turn, therefore his posture is tense and his back is crouched. He is holding his sword and shield as protection in front of his body. His legs are apart, in order to ensure he has a firm stance.

Step 1

To draw the adventurer, first make a preliminary sketch on the drawing paper. It is best to start with a simple stick figure and then add the joints to it. This is important so you can work on a balanced composition of the limbs even in the initial phase, and so your figure will end up with a posture that is as natural as possible. The drawing should not completely fill the A4 paper, because otherwise there will not be enough room for the background later on.

Step 2

Give your figure a little more plasticity by means of basic geometrical shapes such as cylinders. In addition, add the shield, sword and the hands in a simplified form. When doing this, make sure you draw the proportions and the overlaps so that there are not too many lines meeting at one point. Indicate the weight of the sword by means of a kink in the wrist.

Step 3

Now give the warrior his hair, build up his armour and work out the sword and shield in more detail. If the new details give rise to undesirable overlaps, you can improve the position of the limbs a little more at this point. The wrist around the sword is now straightened to lend the defending arm greater strength.

Step 4

In the next step, build up the figure completely as shown in the picture. Now you have completed your preliminary sketch. This will help you to be able to estimate the impact of the small details more effectively. As a result, it will be easier for you to see which areas should later be coloured darker or more strongly with the coloured pencils in order to achieve a result that is as plastic and visually correct as possible. Also, it makes it easier for you to decide which is the most appropriate facial expression, or how detailed the seams should be drawn on the apron.

Step 5

You can make your final alterations to the preliminary sketch. We have made our warrior a little more slender, and also the sword and the shield are now overlapping in order to make his defensive posture more credible. Therefore the shoulder is now also turned more towards the viewer, which is a better match with the dynamic nature of the presentation. Following this, use graphite paper to transfer the subject to a sheet of A4 watercolour paper. Work over the lines again with a fineliner pen and erase the pencil lines that are still visible.

Step 6

We recommend placing your watercolour paper on an unused sheet of paper. This will prevent the structure of the underlying surface (e.g. table panel) from pressing through. On the fineliner drawing, ground out the individual surfaces using the Art GRIP watercolour pencils. When doing this, hold the pencil as flat as possible and stroke it carefully over the paper in order to fill in the individual areas. You should resharpen the pencil from time to time if required. To give a greater impression of depth and three-dimensionality, you can reduce or increase the intensity of colour application at particular points in the picture. You can see the difference in the application of colour on the shield and the hair which is achieved by painting over with a wet brush. This method enables you to create various surface structures.

Step 7

The next step is to colour in all the elements of the figure as shown in the illustration. Don’t forget to vary the intensity of colour application. You can refer to your preliminary pencil sketch from step 04 to see where the darker areas should be. The ability to paint over Art GRIP watercolour pencils with water means you can blend the eight colours provided to create many additional shades, as can be seen on the boots and belts.

Step 8

Now draw in the background image, once again by making a preliminary sketch. Draw a castle which is approached by a sinuous and precipitous pathway. To make the castle look particularly threatening, stretch it out in height and provide it with an unusually large number of pointed turrets.

Step 9

In this step the shadowy outline of the castle is put behind a more plastic pathway and transferred to the final format of the fantasy subject by using a grid. To do this, draw the castle again neatly and smaller in the required position on a new sheet of A4 watercolour paper. If you place your preliminary drawing from step 05 over this, you can see how much of the pathway is still missing from the foreground, and how wide it must be in order to be noticeable behind the figure.

Step 10

When you are colouring in the background with watercolour pencils, it is best to choose complementary colours in order to reinforce the surreal impression of the drawing. Applying the colour dry onto the watercolour paper gives the pathway in the foreground and the rocks the requisite rough structure. Now also work over the path with a little water. After that, ground out the clouds using the watercolour pencils and paint over their surfaces with a moistened brush.

Step 11

As soon as the surfaces of the clouds have dried, apply a little red around the castle. This gives the impression of an unsettled atmosphere.