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Uploaded: January 2, 2014
Artist: Catlucker
Difficulty: Advanced  Advanced Skill Level
Steps: 25
Updated: January 2, 2014
P.O.V: 3/4
Favourited: 3 times
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“Rambo” is an action film series based on the David Morrell novel First Blood and starring Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled Vietnam War veteran and former Green Beret who is skilled in many aspects of survival, weaponry, hand to hand combat and guerrilla warfare. The series consists of the films First Blood (1982), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rambo III (1988), and Rambo (2008). This tutorial is strictly done in pencil with blending stumps and a kneaded eraser. I hope you enjoy this. And please fav, comment, or even click on Like. Thank you.

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how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone

How to Draw Rambo, Sylvester Stallone

how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 1

STEP 1.

This tutorial is completely in PENCIL! Let's start with the tools. I'm in love with the Monolith 9B graphite pencil sticks. It's nice, black, smooth on the surface and makes such great dark lines. And a No.2 pencil isn't bad either--great for details and light shading. The great thing about .7mm mechanical pencil is you never need to sharpen it... just change the lead when it runs out. Kneaded erasers are charms. Kneaded erasers can make great highlights like the pupil's catch lights, or shine in hair. But you need patience with it because you need to mold it & sometimes you have stroke a few times before getting your results. Blending stumps do just that... blend and so does tissue paper for large areas.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 2

STEP 2.

The picture that goes with this step shows two different ways to hold your pencil to acquire certain effects. OVERHAND: Holding a sharpened pencil in normal writing form with fingers in the middle or near the lead gives you great control and thin/detailed strokes. UNDERHAND: Holding the pencil at a 45 degrees or near level to the table with end of pencil under your palm with pencil on the flat side, gives you large shading coverage. With the No.2 pencil, you have the exposed lead side to shade with. But for a wider swath, use that Cretacolor Monolith graphite pencil with no wood casing. The whole sharpened portion is all lead, like in the step's picture. Practice the toning values to help you with control.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 3

STEP 3.

The strange crescent shape on the oval is just a reminder that his hair will be there. Also the red bisecting line and blue lines in the next picture are to help with eyebrows, eyes, nose and mouth placement. Right now, drawing in the general shape makes it easier to sketch in the details later.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 4

STEP 4.

FIRST PICTURE: If you are doing a professional picture and need accuracy, this has helped me tremendously. This is MY TIP of the day and it is LONG! Skip it if you want to. Those crazy lines help with placement too. Don't get me wrong, I mess up majorly most times. What? I can hear you say, "Your pictures are near perfect!" Not when I'm working on them. If you feel something strange in your gut about your picture, put it up to the mirror. That'll tell you. Also take your reference pic and put it in the mirror too... what a big difference! To measure out where the features go, take an envelope, piece of paper or a ruler (straight edge)... anything to vertically represent your line placement and try this: Take your reference pic, put the straight edge against the edge of the smile line and see where it lands near the eye. Then do the same on your drawing, if it doesn't land in the same place, adjust. Don't give up. Take a deep breath and work slowly. It's like molding clay. SECOND PICTURE: You've erased the guidelines and other distracting lines. Your picture won't look exactly like this, but remember my picture is only a guide... that's it. Now we are going to start with shading.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 5

STEP 5.

You've erased the guidelines and other distracting lines. Your picture won't look exactly like this, but remember my picture is only a guide... that's it. Now we are going to start with shading and building on the hair.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 6

STEP 6.

Again, in the 1st & 2nd picture you are still building on the hair, drawing in lines for hair strands. Do this with your No.2 pencil.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 7

STEP 7.

In this picture, sketch more details on his cheeks, chin, & folds in his neck (adam's apple).
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 8

STEP 8.

Start shading with a pencil, even a No. 2 pencil will do well. Shade diagonally around the eyes. Also fill in the eyes, leaving some highlights. Fill in the eyebrows darkly with diagonal lines.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 9

STEP 9.

Now it is time to add details to Rambo's headband. Start with horizontal lines that follow the headband. Then make fingerprint-types of patterns. Try clicking on the picture to zoom in for line details.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 10

STEP 10.

You can see closely how the shading progresses. Note that the hair falling into his eyes is included. 1. Eyebrows & eyes. 2. Shading & shaping begins. 3. More lines and looking at the reference. 4. Darkening the eyebrows, eyes, & more shadows to match reference. Notice how the iris is slightly covered by the upper lid. Also the reason for so much shading around the eye is because it is sunken in a socket. TIP: When shading, in a corner or darker edge area, start dark then allow your stroking to become lighter as you progress out. This works in small stroke progression or circular shading.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 11

STEP 11.

Click on the picture to see the headband patterns. Continue to shade on his face and nose.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 12

STEP 12.

Here you can more easily capture the shading progression of the nose. No. 3 is the blending, which slightly smudges details. No. 5 is darkening with No. 2 or 9B Graphite Pencil & bringing out the details.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 13

STEP 13.

Continue to shade on the side of his face and mouth.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 14

STEP 14.

Work your shading down to his neck and throat.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 15

STEP 15.

Here is the shading progression for the lips. In picture 2, you can use the 9B graphite pencil to add darkness to where the lips meet. Picture 5 is the end result of blend and highlight/darkening details.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 16

STEP 16.

Shade the side of his headband, darken his wet hair strands. Also add some dot-like texture to the side of his face.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 17

STEP 17.

When you start darkening the hair, you'll notice doing it in layers gives a realistic look. Darken as you go along, looking at your reference. Continue to shade in his face more.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 18

STEP 18.

Add more hair strands on the sides of his face. Continue to shade a bit darker adding more depth to cheeks, under his nose.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 19

STEP 19.

As you have darkened his hair, add mid gray to the white areas (do this lightly with your No. 2 or Fine pencil) on his face & neck. Also shade in his headband in the patterned areas.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 20

STEP 20.

HAIR & HEADBAND: Click on this pic to see how the headband & hair strands have progressed in drawing and shading. It is not as hard as it seems. It just takes a little more time for that extra "umph" to your picture. I carried the hair strands over the headband. Then thickened the strands to make it look wet. NOTE: If your headband patterns tend to fade after blending in the shadows. Go over them again with your pencil to give that sharp & fresh look. You can highlight & take away lines with your kneaded eraser.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 21

STEP 21.

When you follow the arrows as you fill in his hair, it adds realism. Why? A realistic texture is added to your hair using this technique. The hair shouldn't appear flat. Also knowing where your light source is helps with knowing where your highlights & shadows are.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 22

STEP 22.

The blending stump can work miracles for your picture. Use the skinny, tiny one for small areas, like around the eyes, in the nose and mouth. The larger stump can blend larger areas, even the cheek areas and skin tone area. Now if you want a really smooth and can risk that area to appear lighter, use some soft tissue. That really breaks down the graphite lines to a smooth finish. I've used a blending stump to darken the light hair areas.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 23

STEP 23.

To add more depth & texture, take your eraser & add light hair strands (highlights). Also dot on his face & T-shirt to give that speckled look. For depth, shade more with your pencil to add darkness to his cheeks, also make dots to add that blood & mud texture.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 24

STEP 24.

You are always looking at your reference to get close as possible to the tones. Keep darkening his hair, headband, shadows in his face. If an area is too dark, lighten by dabbing with your kneaded eraser.
 
how to draw rambo, sylvester stallone step 25

STEP 25.

I've darkened of his face and hair more. Add the background darker near the edges. Take your kneaded eraser and make a round flat bottom to dab in those round headlights. It is easy & makes wonderful special effects. Notice how Rambo blends in with the background. Being a stealth warrior, he needs to be nearly invisible in his environment. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial featuring the talented writer and actor, Sylvester Stallone.