It's been a while, but I'm back with a tutorial for the upcoming film "Pacific Rim." I'll be doing all the robots from this film, and maybe some of the monsters as well. To start it off, we'll tackle the American robot, Gypsy Danger.
Ok, let's begin with some guide lines. Wow, even with these simple shapes, the big guy's form is clearly visible. The center shape outlines the head and chest. Next comes the large shapes of the shoulders. From there we have the outer lines of the arms, ending in squares for the hands. The V-shape hovering below will be the pelvis of the robot.
Ok, lighten up your guide lines and we'll start on the line art. I want to get the main shapes of the head and chest out of the way first. The important details here are the neck line and the armor plates that rest on the chest. Once those panels are in place, you can outline the chest plate and head.
Wow, this is starting to look like Iron Man. Let's go over the shoulders, adding a bit more shape to them. In the center of the chest we have two concentric circles. They're a bit squished horizontally because we're viewing the chest at an angle.
Next we'll drawn in the outline of the collar and shoulder blades... at least, that's what I'm going to call them. I have no idea what these armor plates are really for. I guess they protect the neck and shoulder joints. With just the outline, they look like Doctor Strange's collar. Try to keep the outer corners a bit squared off, because we're going to add the edge of the metal later.
For this step, begin by adding the armor shapes below the chest. These line up with the bottom of the rib cage, so they curve downward. You can imagine them wrapping around the back. Next go over the pelvis, adding some more shape. Then we'll move on to the arms. There are two plates of armor on each forearm, and one on the back of each hand. We can change the angle of the plates by skewing the shapes and changing their thickness.
Draw in a square for each bicep. We can also add a blocky tricep on one arm for now. Next draw in the "ribs," which are curved armor plates that wrap around the sides of the chest. Think of it like wrapping a bookmark around a ball.
Since this robot design is so complex, I've simplified things a bit. We'll draw in some blocky shapes to fill out the inner forearms. For the stomach, I've outlined the main sections for you. Later, these will be broken up into smaller sections. I've added some detail to the pelvis.
This is a good time to add the fingers, because they'll be overlapping the legs in a bit. Since these are robot fingers, they need to be blocky. In the interest of time and simplicity, what I did was use just a couple of straight lines on the inside of each finger. One short line for the finger tips. On the back of each finger, I added a V at each knuckle, showing the separation of the digits.
With the hands drawn in completely, we can add the thigh armor behind them. It would be a pain to do it the other way around. You'll want to erase as little as possible, especially if you're drawing on paper. It's always good to think about what's going to overlap so you can make provisions for later elements as you're drawing. Anyway, the armor plates are rectangular, but try to keep the shapes rounded out from the center.
Next let's add some shapes to fill in the joint areas. In reality, these are some very complex areas. I've simplified things quite a bit here. I try to think of them like action figure joints. Balls for the hips. Swing joints for the elbows, etc...
Now we'll get into the details of the drawing. Outline the shape of the visor. By exaggerating the curvy lines a bit, I've made the inner visor shape more accurate. When you get to the color stage, the outline almost disappears, and it's that bright visor that shows up clearly. If that inner shape is has softer edges and points, it won't have the same effect as it did in the black and white line art.
Ok, now we'll draw the edges of those armor plates up top to give them some dimension. They're just sheets of metal with a bit of a curve. I've exaggerated the shapes a bit to make the image more interesting. Add the spiral to the center chest circle. I assume this is part of the engine, but it will definitely light up. It's a major design element on this guy. We can start breaking up the stomach sections now.
For this step we're mainly adding the paint stripes and some panel lines. Try to keep these lines parallel with the lines around them. This can be tricky, but keeping the space between the lines equal is key to having a clean drawing. When your line is wobbly, well... yeah. That still happens to me, so don't sweat it too much. Oh, wait. I'm the one who brought it up in the first place.
Ok, still keeping it simple, even in the detail stage. Each bicep has a smaller circle in the center, with lines extending from the corners to each corner of the larger squares. The curved lines on his left bicep (our right) show the angle of the arm. Moving on, we can break up the segments of the fingers now. Fill in some panel lines on the legs. Add some detail to the joints and forearms. Don't forget the small vents on the face! Those are important.
These are some finer details. Overall, the detail on the stomach and hands is probably most important here. The longer lines on the fingers help to give them that blocky, mechanical look we want. On the stomach, use the first set of separations as a guide and draw curves flowing outward from the center, almost like abdominal muscles. The shapes on the shoulder blades up top also help to break those up and give them a little dimension. The details on the face and visor aren't essential, but add a lot more realism to the drawing. Use a thinner line for these, otherwise the face will turn into a mess. If you're drawing on paper, a thin mechanical pencil would be perfect here. Either a 0.3 lead or felt-tip pen would work. If I was inking this by hand, I would use a 005 Pigma Sakura Micron for the small details. The heavy outlines can be done in an 05, and the inner lines with either an 01 or 02. Does that make sense? Maybe I need to post a drawing tool guide.
For this final drawing step, I started by adding some black shadows to the hips and beneath the rib armor. From them, I decided to use some vertical dashes or hatching to add shading and give dimension to some of the shapes. The shading appears where shapes recede or move away from us, and also where there's a large overlapping of parts. Add some dust and scratches and some final panel lines, and that's it. This sucker's done.
This is how he looks in black and white. There are some details I decided to add in the color stage. There's some paneling around the chest circle, and the number 34 on his shoulder pads. I also did the chest swirl a bit differntly, and added some panel lines here and there. Hope you guys liked this tutorial. It's been a while since I've drawn any robots, so this was fun. Be sure to post your results up here when you're finished. Thanks for viewing!
DragoArt members upload artwork and drawing tutorials! They are also allowed to leave comments on tutorials, profiles, etc. Many more features, as well; it's way better than just being a boring guest!