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How to Draw Semi-Realistic People, Sherlock Holmes
Step 1. First of all, how are you supposed to draw a person in semi-realism if you don't know how they look like? COLLECT IMAGES OF THEM. AND IN DIFFERENT ANGLES AS WELL. Viewing a person from different angles can really affect how they look like. Take note of how THEY look like, not how YOU WANT them to look like. In other words, draw them as they are, not in your anime/cartoon style. Going here and there on the art side of the internet there are many really well drawn anime drawings of Sherlock, but as you know, anime styles tend to enlarge eyes, make really small necks, tiny lips, etc. which is pretty much the opposite of Sherlock's facial features. First thing you do, check the features of who you're drawing.
Step 2. Great, you've got your references. Now you have to find the defining features your person. The reason I chose Sherlock/Benedict was the fact that his features were reeeaally defining. His face is very different to my usual art style which is anime. His eyes are narrow and small, unlike anime which generally have huge, round eyes. Another thing to consider is that his eyes aren't very reflective. Of course all eyes reflect light as they're naturally glossy, but pale irises aren't the best to see reflections in whilst darker coloured eyes are more obvious. AN IMPORTANT THING TO CONSIDER! Eyes are VERY important features of a person! If you draw their eyes wrong, it will most likely end up not looking like the original person at all. Also, have you noticed Benedict's cheeks? They're rather pointy. Anime artists, please don't ignore his bony cheeks when drawing semi-realism because it's also one of his defining features. His nose is also rather bony and medium sized, so don't draw those pointy 80s-90s anime noses. Definitely, noses are hard to draw and can make your person look like he's a pig or he has trouble breathing, it's alright. Many people including me have trouble drawing noses. It just takes practice. If you look at Sherlock's lips, you'll see they're pretty uniquely shaped. The top of his lip is a bit M shaped, and he has tiny dents at the corner of his mouth. Note by the light that despite his lips being pale, they're a bit plump too.
Step 3. Eyes are super important so we'll focus on that for this step. Sadly I still don't know how to draw eyes from a profile view so we'll stick with front view for now. Eyes can define personality as well, just like in cartoons and such. I haven't watched BBC Sherlock but by looking at him I can tell he's not the friendliest person to meet. Why? His eyes are narrow which sort of implies the "shifty eyes looking around" sort of thing, and the colour of his iris are an ice cold blue. The fact that his eyes don't reflect implies that he isn't "normal" and therefore not the easiest person to get to know. So, narrow eyes it is! For goodness' sake, don't draw his eyes big like the bottom example. They're too big for Sherlock and his pupil stands out way more obviously than in that example, where it sorta fades in with the iris. And irises of eyes aren't chopped off like that to add for shine. If you're drawing the shine on a semi-realistic eye, you draw a LITTLE circle inside the iris. Also just don't draw that sort of eye in semi-realism generally, even if it is the right shape. The reason is that it doesn't "close" on the inner corner of the eye. If that's the right shape of the eye, close it off. You don't have to completely, like the other examples but at least have a small enough gap where the inner flesh of the eye would be. And don't forget to include eyebags and wrinkles if the person has them (and shadows underneath their eyebrows if their eyes are deep in the face). If you don't, they will look like someone who came out of a Square Enix game with massive doses of botox. Tip for eye anatomy: eyes are generally an eye apart. In realism, the eyes would also be an eye's distance away from the edge of the face but since it's semi realism that rule doesn't completely apply.
Step 4. Here's a comparison between my semi-realistic drawing of Sherlock and my anime styled drawing of him (which was done from memory - also a bit rushed). Let's spot the differences. Semi-realistic Sherlock has detailed hair including individual strands. Anime Sherlock has clumps of hair collected together and is a bit pointy at the ends. Semi-realistic Sherlock has narrow evil-eyes. Anime Sherlock has teenager eyes that are pretty open (in this example, it's obvious that semi-realistic Sherlock is an adult, but anime Sherlock can be counted anywhere from a teenager to an adult because of the eyes). Semi-realistic Sherlock also has a pointy jawline and oval face. Anime Sherlock probably won first prize for the smoothest jawline and has a pretty round head. He also has the most generic eyebrows in the world. Make your drawings look too generic and they will look reminiscent to other characters.
Step 5. This was an old abandoned drawing of mine; never finished it. But this is a good example of why you need to collect images of different perspectives of a person. Good luck trying to draw someone in profile view if you don't know how the nose bridge looks like. In this case the perspective is more of an upper angle view, viewing down onto Sherlock's face. Obviously not much of the features have changed other than the fact that the nose is closer to the mouth and the mouth is closer to the chin. But even so, you'd have to learn how the face of a person works in different expression and angles to get it right. For this drawing, Sherlock's eyebrows are more lower than usual to imply malicious intent, but his smirking mouth means that he isn't angry, more like he's plotting to destroy Earth or something.
Step 6. Last example of semi realism: Kili (Aidan Turner) from The Hobbit! This one's a bit contrasting to Sherlock so I thought it would be a good idea to do this as well. Eyes: somewhat big, large irises and pupils. His iris is dark enough to be coloured the same colour as his pupil but is very shiny (though the reflection isn't shown in these reference images specifically). Plump lips like Sherlock's, Kili's lower lip is larger than his upper, and his mouth line doesn't have gaps between them (while Sherlock's mouth had a small space in the middle of his mouth line). He has a wrinkle when frowning. His nose is sort of like Sherlock's, being bony and medium sizd but the outline is more easily seen in light than Sherlock's. His jaw is slightly rounder and smoother than Sherlock's as well. Kili has a scruffy beard, as well as elf ears too. While Sherlock's hair is more neater and curlier, Kili has long flowing hair which looks like it hasn't brushed in years. His eyebrows naturally arch near the outer lengths, and his eyes are deep in his face along with eyebags. Deep analysis is needed if you're gonna suddenly jump from anime to semi-realistic, but like I said, it gets easier once you understand how to do it! I hope this tutorial helped and good luck! Practice makes perfect :)
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December 30, 2014Artist: IdontknowanyoneDifficulty:
January 1, 2015P.O.V:
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Ehehehe ^^; how long has it been now, half a year at least? Sorry for being inactive for that long... Anyways, here's a tutorial obviously different to my Touhou ones - semi-realism! It's a bit of a difficult style to learn, especially if anime was your main art style for a couple of years (cough me cough), but once you get the hang of it and how to weave your way around it, it's easy as pie! Our model for today is... BBC Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch)