how to draw a realistic jet, fighter jet

How to Draw a Realistic Jet, Fighter Jet

Step 1.

To begin the drawing, we need to draw four parallel lines across the page. As these are only going to be used as guidelines and will be erased later, make sure you draw them lightly or else you will scratch the paper (and that would ruin the shading in later stages). Begin with the largest line and then add the smaller ones. The uppermost line should be roughly two-thirds the length of the longest line. The longer of the lower two lines should be about one-third the length of the longest line, and the lowest line should be about one quarter of the length of the longest line. The center points of all four lines should be aligned and the lines should all be parallel. This is a pretty important step in the drawing process so you may want to use a ruler to measure the appropriate lengths.

Step 2.

In this step, the first thing we want to do is to break up the longest line into five roughly equal segments. Also add lines joining the ends of the two lower lines together – these should start about 3-4mm from the edge of the upper line and join directly to the tip of the lower line (as I have done in the picture).

Step 3.

Add two long diagonal lines upwards from the edges of the middle segment (of the long line, as shown). These will form the leading edges of the two tail fins. Again, these lines MUST be drawn lightly as they aren't final yet and some portions will need to be erased. Now we move to the second and fourth segments of the longest line. Find a point about two-fifths from the inner edge of each of these segments (so not exactly the middle) and draw a line down to the tip of the lower line. Now find the center points of the lines you just drew and draw long lines from those center points to the tips of the upper line (these form the leading edges of the wings). It’s quite difficult to describe these processes, but hopefully my description makes sense with the diagram.

Step 4.

There is quite a lot going on in this step. First, draw the rest of the tail fins by adding two short lines at the top and then two long lines for the trailing (rear) edge of the fin. Note that the tail fins are slightly wider at their base than at their top. Next, we need to draw the rear wings (horizontal stabilisers) and the trailing edges of the two main wings. The trailing edges of the rear wings have very slight kinks in them, but the rest of their shape should be pretty obvious from the diagram. The trailing edges of the two main wings join up with the leading edges of the rear wings, and they also have large kinks. The cockpit canopy is essentially an egg shape sitting on the middle of the longer of the two lower guide lines. And finally, the nose/forward fuselage of the jet is formed by a large U shape that starts from points between the canopy and the edges of that guideline and comes to a point below the lowest guideline.

Step 5.

We need to add a couple more details before we can erase some of the lines. First, draw a rounded M shape along the uppermost guideline between the two tail fins (this forms the jet exhaust housing). Secondly, add the details around the cockpit canopy as shown. Now we can start to erase some of the lines.

Step 6.

And here I have erased all the lines that we don’t need. This is why it is important to draw the guidelines lightly – you don’t want to have a hard time erasing them, and you also don’t want to scratch the paper.

Step 7.

Now we start to shade the drawing. Begin by shading a rough layer of graphite across the surfaces of the jet. Make the shading on the surface above the left air intake lighter and the shading on the right side of the nose slightly darker. This is because the light source is coming from the left of the drawing.

Step 8.

Now smooth the shading out with cotton pads/tissues. If you are familiar with my tutorials, this process of shading and smoothing it out with cotton pads/tissues should be familiar. Repeat steps 7 and 8 until you get fairly even tones. As I always say, you should be constantly jumping back and forth between shading and smoothing out. Also note that as the F22 Raptor has a camouflage pattern, it isn't entirely necessary to make the shading perfectly consistent.

Step 9.

Now we add some darker shading to the left tail plane, right sides of the jet exhaust housing and the right side of the nose and forward fuselage. Use a darker pencil, e.g. 3-4B, for this process.

Step 10.

Smooth the shading out again, like in step 8, until the tones are roughly even. You will probably need to add multiple layers of shading until the areas are dark enough.

Step 11.

Now we add the more defined shadows of the tail fins and cockpit. The right tail fin casts a long shadow about halfway across the main wing, but the left tail fin only casts a small shadow. The right side of the cockpit fairings are also cast in shadow. Finally, make the shadows on the right side of the nose and forward fuselage even darker. The very tip of the nose has a kind of pinched shape which means that the shadow boundary becomes more defined.

Step 12.

Now we start working on the highlights. Lightly erase a small patch just to the left of the center of the nose. Then erase a longer patch from the left intake all the way to the left exhaust, and a smaller patch along the left side of the right exhaust housing. Finally, we need to erase a small strip along the leading edge of the left main wing. This strip represents one of the many different panels which make up the surfaces of the jet. To erase this strip precisely, you will need two sheets of scrap paper and to place them about 1mm apart. You can then erase the strip between the papers without erasing the rest of the wing.

Step 13.

Smooth the edges of the highlights from step 12 with the rest of the shading. Then we can start to add some of the smaller details to the drawing. There are various vents on surfaces around the jet. There are two vents on the surfaces above each air intake and two dark details just behind the cockpit canopy that are a part of the refueling receptacle. There’s also a darker panel that extends along the leading edge of the right wing (in place of the lighter panel on the left wing). The difference in tone between the two is due to lighting. To draw this, use a ruler and lightly outline the strip, then shade it in.

Step 14.

Now we can start to draw the subtle camouflage of the F22. The camouflage pattern is pretty basic – it is essentially some large blotches of darker shading across the wings and main fuselage surfaces. Just make the borders of the blotches wavy and it should turn out pretty good. The other thing to be aware of is to make the camouflage lighter in areas where we drew highlights, and to make it darker where there are shadows.

Step 15.

Smooth out the camouflage shading with tissues/cotton pads. I've also been shading the air intakes over the last couple of steps. These intakes should be completely black, so shade them with a dark pencil (4+B). But that doesn't mean that you should press harder when you shade – instead, build up the darkness by adding multiple layers. This avoids damaging the paper.

Step 16.

In this step we add the final details around the plane. Firstly, darken the outlines of the leading edges of the main wings and add the small details at their roots (the parts where the wing joins the jet). There are some ‘zig-zagging’ panel lines that lead from the wing roots to the tail of the plane that you may also want to include in your drawing. You may also want to add the gun details on the left side of the main fuselage. Because the gun is housed internally, there aren't many external details to draw except for a small dark patch and two rectangular panel outlines – these are directly in front of the left tail fin at the base of the left main wing. You should also add some panel details to the jet exhaust housings.

Step 17.

Now we are almost finished and just need to draw the cockpit canopy details. The F-22 Raptor has a highly reflective cockpit canopy which can be a bit difficult to draw, but hopefully you will be able to follow these steps without too much trouble. [Step 1] Begin by drawing an arch shape along the center of the canopy area. Shade the sides of the arch shape, making the right side slightly darker, but leave a strip down the middle of the shape (slightly to the left of the center line) without shading. Also shade the nose cone slightly darker than the surrounding surfaces, as shown. [Step 2] Now shade the areas of the canopy outside of the arch lightly, but leave a strip of highlight along the far right side blank as I have done. [Step 3] Now smooth out the shading of the canopy. Also shade the cockpit canopy frame and add some small details to the left fairing. [Step 4] Come back to this step after you have completed step 18. In this step, you just need to add the small pitot tubes on either side of the nose. These tubes measure airspeed on the real aircraft.

Step 18.

Now that the drawing is finished, we need to erase any shading that has gone outside the lines of the drawing. To do so, use the masking technique from step 12 (use a scrap piece of paper to cover the drawing up to the edge to prevent erasing the drawing itself).

Step 19.

Depending on how much of the smaller details you want to include, this is more or less the finished product that you should be aiming for. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and please leave any comments below. Thank you.

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Uploaded: November 19, 2013
Artist: JTM93
Difficulty: Advanced  Advanced Skill Level
Steps: 19
Updated: November 21, 2013
P.O.V: Front
Favourited: 8 times
Artist comments

The F-22 Raptor is the most advanced fighter jet in the United States Air Force. The F-22 is most well known for its stealth capabilities due to the angular design of the jet which reduces its radar signature. For this tutorial, you will need a ruler, eraser, HB-4B pencils, cotton pads/tissues and some scrap paper.