To draw LL Cool J, we should first sketch out some basic construction lines. Use a 2H or harder pencil and sketch very lightly so that the lines are easy to erase later on after we ink. Sketch the basic shape of the head, neck, upper torso, and shoulders. Be sure to draw crisscross construction lines for the center of the face, the eyes, nose, and mouth. He has a very muscular build, so keep that in mind.
Let's start with his eyes. Be sure that they align with the horizontal eye line of the face. They should be half closed and make sure that the iris and pupils are looking in the same direction as one another. The eyebrows can be raised slightly. Draw thin creases under the eyes as well.
The bridge of his nose is very straight. The bottom of the nose should be half way between the eyes and the location of the chin. While you're at it, draw the indent in the skin that is below the nose, but above the upper lip.
His mouth can have a faint smirk on it. Be sure that his lower lip is larger than his upper lip. The upper lip should have a sharp V shape in the center of it. Be careful and make sure that the mouth is properly aligned with the nose. Use your vertical construction line for help.
LL Cool J sometimes has a thin mustache above his upper lip. Take your time drawing the small individual whiskers, rather than one solid line.
Draw the contours of his jaw and face. He has a very strong, square jaw line and high cheek bones. Draw a thin curved line for his right cheek bone on the side of his face.
His left ear is not visible from this angle, but we need to draw his right ear. The top of it should align with your horizontal eye line, the bottom should align with the bottom of the nose. Give him a diamond earring stud if you wish.
To make things a bit more interesting, draw him wearing a backwards baseball cap. The bill of the hat should be pointing back. Draw a few vertical stitch creases in the cap.
Draw his neck, the back of which should be protruding from beneath his right earlobe. The opposite side of the neck should be beneath his chin. Draw a few vertical lines in the neck for muscle and the Adam's apple.
We will later draw him wearing a form fitting tank top shirt, but first we should draw his chest as if he isn't wearing a shirt so that we can properly draw the muscles. He has a very muscular build with large chest muscles. His shoulder muscles on the sides of his neck are also very large bumps.
Now draw his upper arms and shoulders. The shoulder muscles are large and rounded, as are the portion of the upper arms that are visible. His right shoulder is roughly as wide as his face, if you want to use that as a reference.
You can now draw his form fitting tank top. You will need to erase some of the chest muscles we drew in step 10, but leave some creases to represent muscle shape beneath the shirt.
If you'd like, you can give him a large necklace hanging from his neck. In this case, I drew a series of small metal cylinder shapes connected together. Notice how it curves sharply at the bottom where it rests on the chest.
He has a large tattoo on his right shoulder depicting a microphone with a royal crown at the top. Cursive words spell out "Mr. Smith" across the front of the microphone.
We're now done penciling the image and we can move on to inks. Use either Micron markers, or a brush and India ink to do your inking. It's best to use Microns when inking the tattoo. Carefully go over each line with patience and be sure not to ink any guide lines. When the ink has totally dried, erase your pencil marks with a kneaded eraser. You should now have a perfectly black and white image, but we're not quite done yet.
You can add a greater sense of depth to the image by giving it shadow. Use either a thick felt tip marker, or a brush and ink to do your shading. Establish your light source and black out the opposite side of the figure. The areas of heaviest shadow should be beneath the jaw and on the side of the face. But make sure to leave a thin line of white on the side of his face to help the image "pop." Also be sure to also add shadow beneath the upper lip. Also black out the hat.
And you're done! If you need to make any corrections you can use white ink or opaque white paint. You can also add highlights if needed, like I did here on the hat. And that's how you draw LL Cool J! Keep it real, my friends!
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