Time for another monster tutorial. This time it's the Balrog, from Lord of the Rings. "Shadow and Flame." I'm including both a simple version and a complex version so there's something for everyone to draw. Hope you all enjoy.
Let's start off with the simple version. We'll begin by drawing some guide lines. Large, upside-down tear drop shape for the body. Small circle for the head, and ovals for the hands. Draw a curve for the outer edge of each arm. Then finish it up by drawing the legs.
I have limited space, so we're going to have to move fast on the simple Balrog. To draw the face, begin with a pair of cheek bones. Then draw the jaw bones and chin beneath those. Draw the top of the head, and finally draw a big horn on each side of the head. Draw a bump behind his head, and continue the lines down to the hands. Draw the pointer-finger knuckle, and then draw the inside of the arms.
The Balrog's hands are in a relaxed pose, so the fingers are curled up a bit. Start by drawing the first digit and knuckle of the pointer finger. Then the other fingers are easy to add with L-shaped lines. Finish up by drawing the thumbs.
The Balrog's a bit hunched over, so we're looking at his chest from the top. Draw two curves for the inside shoulder muscles. Draw two curves below that for the chest muscles. Next draw the sides of the body and some wrinkles across the chest. Finish up by drawing some short legs and try to fit some toes in there.
Next we'll draw a big ol' pair of bat wings. Start above the shoulders and draw a small curve upward. Then bring the curve way down to the side of the body. Repeat that second curve to draw the other bones inside the wings. When finished, use small curves along the bottom to close up the skin that makes up the wing.
Draw some jagged, zig-zag lines on the Balrog's arms, starting at the shoulders and working down to the hands. Draw two circles for the eyes. With one line, draw the left cheekbone, the top teeth, and the right cheekbone. Then draw the lower teeth and sides of the mouth. Finish it up with some curves to show ridges in the horns.
When you're finished, it should look like this. Another option for the cracks on the arms would be to trace around the shapes I've drawn to leave white space in between the lines. As it stands, I'll be colorizing the inked lines.
The colored Balrog. I actually like this guy. He's pretty cute. Adding color really makes the "molten" effect work on his arms.
Ok, now we'll start the more complex version of the Balrog. There are various versions of the Balrog outside of the movie version, so I've decided to mess around with the design a little. Let's start off with some guide lines. Very hunched over. Big hands. Big feet. 3/4 angle.
Let's begin the line drawing with the upper face. Note how the cheek bones connect to the front row of small teeth. The nose slits are very high up, close to the eyes. From the upper eyebrows, we can extend that bony ridge out to form one rim of the horns. We'll segment the rim to allow for more texture later.
Draw the top of the head and continue that curve to form the outer rim of the horns. Match your details to the segments from the previous step. Do the same for the inner rim of the horns. Then we can draw the lower teeth. We're looking down at the lower jaw, so we can actually see the back of his front teeth.
Now we'll draw the large, chunky fangs on each side of the mouth. Take a moment to add detail to all the teeth -- ridges, cracks and pits in the molars. Add some extra detail to the horns, matching your pattern with the segments drawn earlier. Finish it up by making the outline a bit thicker.
I just want to take a moment to lay out the basic idea of what how I'm going to detail this sucker. I made this Balrog a bit rockier than some others. His skin is going to be made of rocky scales, and the cracks in between are going to glow like fire or molten lava. The basic concept is to draw a simple shape and then use jagged lines to add some rock-like detail. When doing this on the body, we have to try to wrap these panels around the muscles so they don't just look like flat shapes. The ones facing us can be flat, but a panel on the side of an arm or leg will appear smaller and thinner. As different muscles meet up the panels grow smaller and break up into tiny shapes.
Let's start out with the upper arm that's closest to us. Note how the panels or scales wrap around the shape of the arm.
You can skip ahead and draw the hand, now, using the guide lines as a base. Draw the knuckles first. Then the bones on the back of the hand, the wrinkles in the fingers, etc. The scales near the wrist can be thinner, and more like wrinkles. The back of the forearm can have larger scales. I added a spiky elbow for fun. Finish it up by drawing the triceps on the back of the arm.
Using the same technique, we'll draw the chest and abs. Since he's hunched over, all the shapes overlap. Start with the pectorals and work your way downward.
Since we're going to have a bit of an up-shot on the leg and knee, I decided to jump to the foot now. Start by drawing the claws. Then start adding layers of detail behind them until we reach the base of the foot. We'll see some of the soft padding on the underside of the foot, and more rocky panels on the top.
I realized the foot is going to be very close to the "camera," so I decided to really bulk up the outlines in this step to give a bit of forced perspective. Draw some tall, vertical scales going up the shin and lower leg. Make the outlines a bit thinner toward the top. Finish it up by drawing the kneecap.
For the upper leg, let's start use square-ish scales running up the front, and rib-like scales on the side. Draw some wrinkles in the gap between these rows of scales. Oh, don't forget to draw the butt. He needs that to walk.
Draw in the second thigh and knee. We'll get to the lower leg later... or maybe we won't. I put some fire in there and forgot to draw the lower leg and foot. Oops! When you're drawing this yourself, you might want to add a left foot for the poor guy. It's good thing he lives in a world of magic and fantasy ;) Err, so yeah, there's a hand to draw! The Balrog's holding the handle of his flame whip. I referenced my own hand for this, and I suggest you do the same whenever you draw a character holding something. You may think you have the anatomy memorized, but there are always little details you can add by looking at a real hand.
Draw in the rest of the arm, and finish up the back. Draw a small ridge of scales for the collar bone, and leave a little extra space between the scales on the back.
Draw the entire lower edge of the whip first. We're going to ignore most of the top edge and just have the whip turn into fire. I tend to draw chunky flames, but you can make them pretty if you want to ;) Don't forget to add some fire to the Balrog's back, almost like a mane of hair.
Finally we can add the bat wings to this bad boy. I added lots of wrinkly detail to the bony shapes to make them look extra gnarled. Adding wrinkles and stretch marks to the skin can help you avoid making the wings look flat and empty.
...and there you have it. This is a pretty complex piece of black and white line art. For an interesting effect without using color, you could try filling all the scales with black. That should give it some nice contrast. For now I'll just go with the colors, though. Hope you guys enjoyed the tutorial. Hopefully I'll get to do more Tolkien characters soon. Thanks for viewing!
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