I've finally gotten around to drawing "that guy from Assassin's Creed." I haven't played the games yet, but I do like the character designs. For this tutorial I went with a bust-shot, but there's still plenty of detail. Let's get to work!
We're going for a crossed-arm pose, here. Ezio's head is tilted down, and his hidden blades are extended. The gauntlet arm will be in front. No cheating by hiding it behind the arm with the simple glove ;)
Start the line drawing with the M-shape of the hood. From there, we can draw a U-shape for the face and add some of the basic details. I decided to go with a "messy" style for this drawing, and it turned out a lot better than an earlier rendition which was just a little too clean for my taste.
Now we'll draw the collar inside the hood, and the actual hood itself. Start with the main outline. Then add the wrinkles and finer details. The hood is extra wide, so there's a lot of extra fabric bunching up on the shoulder area.
Lay in the basic shapes of the forearms and closed hands. Outline the hidden blades. These shapes overlap the shoulders, so they have to be drawn first.
Get some reference images and draw in the shoulder pads. Each shoulder has a different design, and it's that asymmetry that makes Ezio's costume really interesting.
Sometimes things that should be simple end up being hard to draw for whatever reason. I went ahead and took a photo of myself in this pose in order to get the right placement for the wrinkles on the arms. Go ahead and add Ezio's little half-cape thing.
All the main shapes are drawn, so we can start looking at the details. We'll take a "first pass" at the gauntlet, drawing just the main shapes that really pop out.
Now we can take a second pass and start drawing in the surrounding shapes. It's already starting to look cluttered, but don't be intimidated. Just take it one step at a time and you'll achieve some nice results.
Here are those arm wrinkles I was talking about. Seriously, look in a mirror, at a friend or family member, or take a photo of yourself to get some reference for tricky stuff like this. There are a lot of wrinkles that are easy to plan out in your mind, but sometimes using reference is the best way to handle it.
Here we'll detail the second glove, add the necklaces, and then draw the seam lines on the hood. I know it's a lot of detail, but these seam lines are really decorative and add a lot to the overall design.
Let's take a quick break to look at some basic shading techniques. I apologize if this looks a bit sloppy. To start off, we need the basic building block of the type of shading we're going to use. That building block is a simple thick-to-thin line. There are a number of ways to achieve this. You can use a brush and ink, or a brush and paint. You can do it digitally, using a pressure-sensitive drawing tablet. You can also do it with pencil. The key is pressure. The harder you press, the darker and thicker the line will be. As you lighten the pressure, the line will become lighter and thinner. The idea is to bunch together a lot of these lines to fill in shadow areas. The thick ends of the lines will merge to create black shadow, and the thin ends will allow the shadow to taper and blend into white spaces. You can try crossing your lines to achieve different textures and patterns. I also used the same thick-to-thin lines to create a reflective leather look on parts of the gauntlet. Take a look at the bottom-right example and compare it to the details in the drawing.
Using the technique I just explained, start shading some of the common-sense areas: the inside of the hood and cape, under the shoulder pads and crossed arms. We can also draw in the torso now, and use this shading to indicate wrinkles in the fabric.
Add some detail to the shirt and add a strap crossing the chest. Add a shadow below the first arm, covering the second arm. Then move up and add some shading to the eyes and face, as well as the sides of the neck.
Now we'll attack some of the finer details overall. Add texture to the shoulder pad on the left, and draw a swirly design on the other shoulder pad. Draw some small holes on the sleeve to give it the look of fine linen. Add some small swirly designs to the blades, and some dashes to mimic the look of feathers. Add shadows to the leather glove and below the arms. Take a third pass on the gauntlet details. Following that, use the technique on the bottom-right of Step 11 to give dimension to the leather parts of the gauntlet. This should add a nice reflective quality to those areas.
Phew. That was a LOT of work, but the results were worth the trouble. Since there are more costumes for Ezio, I'll probably revisit the character for another tutorial in the future. For now, I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial. Drawing Ezio should be great practice for future drawings. Be sure to post your work when you're finished. Thanks for viewing!