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How to Draw The Crow vs The Joker, Eric Draven versus the Joker
Step 1. We'll begin by drawing Heath Ledger as the Joker. Each step will be broken up into two steps per step (wait, what?) to save on space. I'm sure it won't be a problem ;) Before starting, I do suggest getting some photo reference from either the internet, some magazine or post, or search through your movie collection and pause on some clear images. Drawing portraits from scratch is not really possibly unless you're either a genius or have studied someone's face repeatedly and are very familiar with it. In any case, we'll lay out the shape of the actor's head here. Heath's head is kind of boxy from the side. The most important thing here is the placement of the eye socket, nose and mouth.
Step 2. Lighten the guides, and we'll begin focusing on the outline of the face. I feel that the eyebrow and nose are an important area. If you can get the nose right, in a profile view like this, that does a lot to capture the likeness of the person. So the Joker's nose is kind of just a simple outward curve from top to bottom. It's also important to focus on the placement of the nostril and the fleshy part around it. If you draw that bulge too high, too low, too long, etc... it will really change the entire look of the nose. So check your reference! As we get to the chin, notice that it's drawn as a simple ball shape that tucks in tightly below the lips.
Step 3. A single line can be drawn as the front of the eyelid, top edge of the eye, and the wrinkle behind on the left. Heath-Joker's eyes are kind of small and beady, so it's more about drawing what's around the eyes than drawing the eyes themselves, if that makes sense. The forehead can be drawn as a series of overlapping upward curves, creating a lumpy appearance. Overlap the lines of the neck as well, though these curves are much smoother. The ear will be mostly in darkness, but try to get some reference of a real ear before drawing these shapes. The ear isn't really made of simple outlines. You have to translate what you see into lines, which is tricky.
Step 4. The eye makeup is what really transforms the actor into a creepy looking fellow. Focus on the upper edge, or eyebrow area, first. Start from the back and draw little forward curve that swoosh up and back, forming little shark fins. As the lines become thin toward the end, you're basically building wrinkles into the eyebrow area. You want to repeat that technique all the way around the eye, though the wrinkles become more shallow in the front. That area is actually pretty smooth, but we need to create a messy outline for the entire eye socket.
Step 5. Up to this point we've used pretty bold, almost cartoony lines. Now we'll start using thinner, softer, more organic lines and marks to create a more natural appearance to the details. The forehead wrinkles, though dark in some spots, are thin and wispy as they wind back and forth. We can outline the lips gently, and then add the main cut of the "smile" on his cheek. In step 5-2, we focus on the scarring around that smile, drawing little square U-curves to create a puckered, wrinkled texture.
Step 6. Continue that scarring technique in reverse on the bottom edge of the smile. Thin lines and marks can be drawn to indicate the natural shapes of the face, such as lines going toward the nose from around the mouth. In 6-2, we'll bring back the bold curves to start laying in the major forms of the hair.
Step 7. His hair being messy makes drawing it both easier and harder at the same time. It's easier because you don't have to get every detail perfect. It's harder because there's more to draw. The main chunks and curls of hair can be drawn with those thick outlines. Use smaller dashes to draw the hairline where the hair meets the forehead and face. In 7-2, we'll outline the basic shapes of his collar and clothing.
Step 8. BAM! That's a lotta red! *shakes head* Fill in the eye socket with black, but notice the areas left untouched around the eye itself. We really want those eyelids to remain visible. The entire back of the head can be filled in black, but as light starts to hit the hair, we want to use a pattern of swooshes and curves to create a hair texture that fades into the light areas. These inner dashes and curves follow the curve of the main lines we drew earlier. Each section of swooshes creates a bend in the hair, or an entire section of hair. By drawing different patches of hair texture at different angles, with different shapes, the hair appears more natural. Notice how the hair above the forehead is drawn with smaller patches of texture to create a lumpy pattern. Also, don't miss some of the finer details of the eye and face I've added here.
Step 9. The same basic type of shading with multiple curves can be used for many different areas of the body. Look at how it's used inside the ear. Then we use it again on the clothing -- but THIS time, we want more controlled smooth strokes. All of these strokes (on each section of cloth) go in the same general direction. The opposing dashes with white space between them create highlights, just like on the hair, but you can see how different curves create different textures.
Step 10. Brandon Lee's face is much longer, thinner and rounder than Heath Ledger's. So as we move on to the Crow portion of the drawing, let's focus on that eggier shape (???) of Eric Draven's head. Once again, find some photo reference. Once again, pay extra attention to the placement of the eye socket, eyeball, and the nose. This triangle nose is just a placeholder, but it's in the right spot. These simple shapes should help you get the main landmarks of the face in their right place.
Step 11. I've always felt that Brandon Lee looks like a cartoon character. He's actually the son of Bruce Lee, the actor and martial artist. Both of them died young, during film shoots. It's like a family curse... or not... So anyway, Draven's face is much smoother than the Joker's. We can draw the entire forehead, eyebrow and slope of the nose as a single line. You can build that line with multiple smaller curves if you need to. Just focus on the curves we have going on. Large forehead. Large inward slope to the nose, ending in a ball shape. I exaggerated that ball a tiny bit here, but I think it looks good. Notice how the bulge around the nostril is also large and rounded, as opposed to the details we saw on the Joker. The chin is also MUCH bigger on Draven, curving out and around the bottom. I'd say the forehead, nose slope and chin are really defining features. If you get these right, it'll already start to look like the actor.
Step 12. Brandon's eyes are a bit larger than Heath's, I think. You can draw the eye a little more open, but we want to focus on all that little detail around the eye again. These curves are important, as they serve as the base for a the reflective texture in 12-2. Zoom in to see the tiny dash pattern going from left to right, and vice versa. The white space between creates a nice highlight. As with the Joker, we'll focus on the upper eyebrow edge of the makeup first. On Eric Draven, though, we'll start at the front and use thick, smooth curves to create a hairier, more delicate shape. These aren't wrinkles. Just keep things smooth and clean.
Step 13. On the left you can see we've continued the black lines of his creepy mime makeup. Very simple stuff, but notice how the lines that appear straight from the front are curved when viewed from the side. They travel along the curved shape of the head. Using just a handful of small curves for wrinkles, we can give Eric an interesting expression. It doesn't take much. The wrinkles around the eyebrows are very important in creating facial expressions. In 13-2, we lay in a bunch of downward scraggly curves for the main strands of hair. On the side and back of the head, I've drawn some blocky shapes that we'll turn into highlight areas.
Step 14. BAM!!! There's that red again! After you fill in the main shadow silhouette, we'll bring back that hair texture from earlier. Draven's hair is still messy, but it's much smoother than the Joker's. There's less interweaving going on here, so we'll try to keep things simple. The curves are mostly straight, and travel mostly in the same up-and-down direction. Things get interesting as we move to the eye socket and use that same texture to create deep shadows around the eye. Start at the front. Pick a point below the front of the eyebrow, an then spread long dashes back across the top of the eyes, and downward in front of the eye. In 14-2, the curves in front of the eye bend toward the nose. Above the eye, we continue dashes toward the right, but we want a highlight area here where the skull bulges out. At that point, we'll use the lower back edge of the eye socket as a starting point and begin curves in the opposite direction. A smaller set of curves bends forward, just below the eyeball. On the lower lip, we use the same type of pattern, using tiny up-and-down dashes to create the texture of the lip, with a shiny highlight.
Step 15. In this extreme closeup, the clothing is almost an afterthought. Just try to get some basic shapes in there and have them be recognizable. We can see the edge of the collar on both sides. The far side can be filled in all with black, except for a thin highlight for the edge. The front portion can be shaded using the swooshy dash technique again. This works great for creating reflective leather. Back up on the face, we want to use small dashes to detail the hairline, and then it's just a matter of dust and scratches across the face for minor texture. This is sort of a battle-damaged version that has some blood spatter scratches after fighting the bad guys. Tiny dashes on his nose help to reinforce that bulging ball shape at the tip.
Step 16. Erase your guide lines, step back, and you should have something like this. Pretty imposing couple of characters, there.
Step 17. Here's a version of the portraits with the detail taken to the extreme. If you compare this to Step 16, you can see how those simpler techniques apply to the more detailed drawing. Many of the lines in this image are drawn with smaller markings, creating a grittier texture. One main difference is the texture around the Joker's eye. I used a variety of hash marks and dash patterns to build up the shadow area slowly. The hair is also much more detailed, but I used the same basic technique to create each section of hair. Just lay in the main curves. Then start detailing. Keep the shadow areas in mind, too. I mean solid shadows. One windy bit of hair casts a dark shadow on whatever's below it. Your swooshes and dashes can creep out from those shadow areas... I think that covers just about everything. If you have any questions, post them in the comments section below. I hope you enjoyed following along with this rather challenging drawing. As always, thanks for viewing!
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May 28, 2014Artist: KingTutorialDifficulty:
May 29, 2014P.O.V:
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I'm not big on drawing portraits, but this was a special request for a faceoff between two visually-similar characters... played by actors who died either during or around the time of filming. This was an interesting image to work on. By the way, I know that the crow in The Crow is literally just a bird. Eric Draven is NOT "The Crow," but whatever. I used multiple photos for reference, including some bizarre 3D digital art of Brandon Lee's face. Anyway, let's get started!