To draw Muhammad Ali, we should first sketch in 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 out a basic stick figure shape such as this one. The right arm should be bent upwards, and the left arm should at his side. Our illustration will be an homage to the famous photo taken when Ali fought Sonny Liston. These lines don't need to be perfect as they are simply guides.
Next, we should draw the basic human figure. Doing this will help ensure that the figure is proportionate when we add muscle tone and clothing later on. You do not need to include details such as facial features, but be sure to include the construction lines of the head. Ali is a heavyweight boxer, so he should have a bulky build. Draw the basic shape of his large boxing glove on his right hand.
Now that our construction lines are in place, let's draw the eyes first. They should exemplify competitive rage. They should be looking downwards (at his opponent on the ground), but they should be tightly squinted. His eyebrows should be pointing down in the middle, creating creases above the nose. Draw plenty of folds and creases around the eyes as well. Since his mouth will be drawn open in a following step, his eyes should appear to rest somewhat high on the face.
Use your vertical construction line to help place the nose. The nostrils should be flared wide. Like with the eyes, the nose should appear to rest a tad high on the face.
His mouth should be wide open as he is yelling at his opponent to, "Get up and fight, sucka!" His upper teeth should be protected by a smooth mouth guard, but we should clearly see all of his lower teeth. The lower teeth create a horseshoe shape inside the mouth. Draw the lower lip as well as long vertical creases on either side of the mouth that emerge from the corners of the nostrils.
Now draw the contours of his face and jaw. His chin should be very square. Since his mouth is open, the diagonal lines creating his jaw should be fairly long.
His left ear should just barely be visible to us at this angle, but we should be able to see his right ear clearly. The ears should rest a bit high as well. If you held a perfectly horizontal ruler up to the image, the earlobes should roughly align with the creases under the eyes.
His hair should be short and uniform. He's a boxer, after all. It should be very coarse. You don't need to worry about drawing individual strands, since it will be blacked out later on. The corners of the hairline should recede back ever so slightly.
Now draw his right arm bent upwards. It should be pure muscles. The shoulder and upper arm muscles should be especially prominent and large. The muscles in the forearm should not be massive, but they should be very well toned.
Draw his large boxing glove pointing upwards. The glove is made of two large sections - the thumb and the fingers. Sort of like a large, padded mitten. It should be making a tight fist, creating some creases where the thumb is bent over the fingers. Draw straps tightly wrapped around the wrist.
Draw his torso, much of which is covered up by the arm. We should, however, get a clear shot of his large chest muscles. The skin should be very taught, creating a few thin diagonal creases on the upper chest pointing towards the head. The bottom of the torso should be cut off at the waist by the waistband of his shorts. We cannot clearly see his neck at this angle, but draw a few tensed muscles near that area.
Now draw his left arm hanging by his side. Much of it will be covered by the right glove, but we should still be able to see most of the shoulder and forearm. Draw a few muscle creases.
As a final step in the penciling process, draw his high waisted boxing shorts. They should have a thick waistband, and the top of the shorts should have numerous vertical creases in them, as these shorts are very loose.
We are now done penciling the image and we can now ink it. Use a Micron marker or a brush and India ink. Carefully go over each line with patience and be sure not to accidentally ink any unneeded guide lines. A brush works great for inking muscles. When the ink is dry, erase your pencil marks with a kneaded eraser.
You can add more depth to the image by giving it shadow. Establish your light source and use black ink or a fat tipped black marker to shade the opposite side of each major muscle and some of the folds on the shorts. Much of the lower torso and left arm should be blacked out, as well as the area beneath his head. Black out his hair and the waistband of the shorts.
If you need to make any corrections, use white ink or opaque white paint. You can also use it to add highlights if needed. And that’s how you draw Muhammad Ali! K.O., suckas!
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