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Lesson 8: How to draw metal for swords, weapons armor and more

Drawing metal is an important part of fantasy drawing. Often you will have characters that wield swords or armor any any other type of metal object and you want these to look like metal. It is fairly easy to do because metal has some easy to simulate characteristics. This lesson also reinforces the method we use of starting with the rough outline of an object and filling it in step by step.



A drawing of a sword

medieval knight helmet drawing A

Step One: Draw the basic outline of your metal knight helmet. We are just roughing in the outline shape of it. Notice how the bottom of the helmet is an oval that I drew all the way around. You should do this. All subjects break down into simple shapes like tubes, cones, circles and ellipses. As your drawing progresses you can simply erase the parts that don't show.

Medieval Helmet drawing B

Step Two: Now draw in the various internal shapes. The more you look at your drawing the more you will see. You will want to refine the outlines that you did in step one. That is a good thing. Erase those lines and modify them as you see fit. Drawing is a process. You are continually improving what you draw as you go along. Don't be afraid to erase lines and move them.

Medieval Knight Helmet Drawing - C

Step Three: Let's darken this up by adding some light pencil lines. Add more pencil lines to the darker areas. Along the bottom left of the helmet is a dark spot and on the left of the hump at the top. Of course the inside of the helmet is very dark so I have added a lot of lines here - and I used a crosshatching of pencil lines.

Medieval Knight Helmet drawing - D

closeup of the medieval knight helmet

Steps Four and Five: Now use a smudging stick (Tortillon) to gently smudge the lines into soft and smooth gray areas. Make strokes with your smudging tool in the same direction as the curves of the helmet. Look for the spots that are in shadow and the areas that show changes of direction in the helmet. Finally, use an eraser to take out some of the gray areas - these are the highlight spots where light shines on the metal. In this drawing there are highlight spots at the top of the helmet on both sides and along the rim at the bottom. A close up- The important thing is to remember that light will play on the metal in uniform ways that accentuate the shape. The top of the helmet shows this. And remember that there are three different tools in drawing metal:

  1. The general gray of the metal - rather uniform in shadeThe darker areas of the metal which show shadow and bends in the metal
  2. The highlighted areas that show reflecting light - you make these by erasing out the grey pencil areas.

Continue on to lesson 9 Drawing our first human


Drawing Dragons: How to Create Fantastic Fire-Breathing Dragons In easy-to-follow, step-by-step detail, Drawing Dragons teaches you all the tricks and techniques you'll need to create your own amazing dragons. You'll discover how to draw all types of dragons using nothing but a pencil. Drawing Dragons shows how to bring to life fierce warriors and bearded ancients as well as baby hatchlings and protective mothers. It also features a special section on adding claws, scales, horns, jewels and other unique details to your dragons.

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