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How to Draw Sentinel Prime
Step 1. To begin the underdrawing, draw a large oval shape for the head. Draw a vertical line down the center of the head. Next draw horizontal lines for the eyes, nose and mouth. Using the corners of the mouth as a guide, place marks for the center of each eye. Finally, add some diagonal lines to create the neck/shoulder area.
Step 2. Although this mystery guy is a robot, his design is pretty organic and extremely uneven. Maybe he got beat up. Maybe it's just how he looks. In any case, let's start outlining the major shapes. Begin with the forehead crest. Just draw a lumpy, raisin-like shape from the eyebrow level to just above the top of the head. On each side, draw wavy lines outward from the bottom half of the crest to create the forehead "wings." That "V" shape is common on a lot of old school robots including Gundam. In fact, it's so old school that I'm shocked it made its way onto the final design. I guess he's going to be an ancient Cybertronian or something. There are a bunch of theories as to who this guy is, but -- HEY, stop distracting me! There's more drawing to do! Grrr...
Step 3. Ahem. Next draw a diamond-like shape in the center of the face for the nose. Draw a semi-rectangular shape for the chin plate. Now we're going to start the helmet, focusing on the part that covers part of the face. Start up on the top of the head. Imagine a ribbon being draped over the top of the head and coming down to rest on the cheek area. The robot design is very random, so don't worry about symmetry for now. In fact, try to make it as UN-even as possible at this point.
Step 4. Moving on the the facial features, start by drawing some uneven lines for the eyebrow ridge. Next outline the bottom of the eye sockets. Draw in some crazy, Y-shapes for the cheekbones. The tops of these shapes should match the curve of the eye socket somewhat closely. The lower part of the Y should curve inward, toward the center of the face a bit. Following this, lay in the underline of the moustache, and draw diagonal lines upward and outward from the chin to indicate the beard area. Robots with facial hair?
Step 5. Starting from the bottom here, draw in the line of the mouth. Try to make it lumpy, and not just a straight line. Moving upward, we need to place some jagged shapes between the cheekbones and upper lip. The larger shapes overlap the nose, and the smaller shapes seem to be... coming out of his nostrils... Ok... Above the left eye (his left), draw a diagonal, upward curved line and curl it around to shape out that eyebrow. On the opposite side, draw another diagonal line from the crest to the side of the head, but curve the line downward. The opposing eyebrow curves give this guy some character. At this point, let's fill out the helmet some more. Start by drawing some bowl shapes for the "ears," and then draw larger curves downward toward the chin area. These should connect to the "ribbons" from earlier, which become the rim of the helmet.
Step 6. Now we want to start fleshing out the eyelids. There are plenty of overlapping metal panels here. Draw some S-shaped curves from the bridge of the nose outward. Imagine him having worms draped over his eyes. I know that sounds weird, but it kind of looks like it, right? Right? Sigh... So mystery man has a bit of a bulbous nose. Try to imagine a ball for the tip of the nose. Draw a pair of lines from the bridge of the nose, connecting to the jagged shapes you drew earlier. Add a couple of inward curves on the tip of the nose. In fact, use straight lines on one side to continue the asymmetry. Finally, draw some more S-shaped lines worming their way down from the nostril area to finish up the moustache.
Step 7. On both sides of the chin, draw a vertical, rectangular shape. You can start to draw in the upper lip here, but I'll attack that a bit later. For now, add some detail to that giant raisin on the guy's forehead. The lines can be somewhat random here, but there are three shapes you need to indicate -- two loose triangles toward the bottom of the crest, on either side... and a spoon-like shape rising up from between the two triangles. Add some more curves to indicate the curve of the helmet. Then move to the sides of the head. This guy has horns, kind of like Optimus Prime's. Draw three verticle lines above each ear, bringing them closer together toward the top of the image area. Use some curves to connect these horns behind the ears.
Step 8. Now that most of the large forms have been draw, we can start laying in some detail to really bring this guy to life. Starting with the forehead crest, draw some small, triangular shapes within the triangles from earlier. For *his* right eyebrow, draw three extended Z-shapes across the eyebrow shape. It's literally like if you took a rubber Z in both hands and stretched it open. These angular lines give the robot a very intimidating look. On the opposite eyebrow, use curved lines to continue the asymmetry. It still looks like he's raising his eyebrow a bit. On the lower eyelids, we're back to wavy, worm-like S-shapes that match the curve of the eye socket. Use smooth curves on one side and jagged, angular lines on the other. Continue working on the lips, which seem oddly broken, and formed from small metal panels... Oh yeah, he's a robot. And yet, he has these two snake-tails dangling down from the sides of his moustache. It's like a... how do you spell it? Fu Manchu? Draw in the dangly shapes and then lay down some curves to connect the chin shapes together. Before moving on, draw in some loose, rectangular shapes. These will bulk up the neck area.
Step 9. At this point there are only a few facial details remaining. Draw in the line of the lower lip, using curves opposite to those of the upper lip. Wrap some lines around the lip to show that it is segmented. Continue drawing small panel lines downward and into the chin. Split the chin into two panels with some vertical lines. Add vertical curves to create tubes dangling down from the chin and jaw area, making up the lower part of his beard. If there are any large areas of the face that seem blank or flat, try to break up that negative space with some panel lines. From here, bulk up the neck and shoulder area with some boxy shapes. These can be somewhat random, but try to curve the shapes outward, toward the corners of the image area. This will help to indicate the dimension of the body. In the Dark of the Moon trailer, it was unclear as to what the machinery surrounding this guy was. For the background here, we'll just indicate some of that machinery, using geometric shapes to break up the negative space. Draw curves for hanging wires, and we're good to move on...
Step 10. Simple step, here. First draw some dots for the holes in the rim of this guy's helmet. For each eyeball, draw three concentric circles (sharing the same center) around the eye marks from Step 1. This will give us the pupil, iris and white of the eye. I just looked that up, and the white of the eye is called the "Sclera." Weird.
Step 11. Here we need to erase the lines that overlapped the eyebrows and eyelids. Now this guy really looks alive. His eyes are sort of like high-tech camera shutters. Exactly like that, actually. Starting with the ... sclera... draw overlapping S-shapes as a pattern between the two outer circles. This layer of the eye has a rather organic feel to it. The lines are curved and smooth. The iris, however, has lots of little sharkfin shapes pointed inward, like sharp teeth. Try to skew the "teeth" in a sort of pinwheel effect to get that camera shutter feel. For added detail, toss in some tiny curves connecting to the pupil.
Step 12. With the form drawing done, it's time to add some detail. You can spend as much time on this as you want, really. Adding dust and scratches can be very relaxing sometimes. Anyway, there are a few particular items we need to address specifically. First, there's a rather significant cut on the poor guy's nose. Use a squiggly line here, cutting diagonally across multiple panels. Keep it thicker in the middle and let it taper off toward the ends. Next, on *his* left foreheard wing, draw in some alien markings. These are etched into the metal and resemble some sort of ancient language. If you can't get reference for actual Transformers markings, just use a smattering of backwards letters, numbers and random shapes and symbols. Try to give everything that tribal tattoo look. Finally, revisit the facial hair and wrap some curves around the tubes to give them a sense of dimension. Since we're on the same eye level as this guy, the curves will mostly be facing downward, which gives the illusion of these tendrils disappearing downward into the darkness -- the Dark of the Moon! Ahem... Assorted dust and scratches here and there, and that's about it for the drawing.
Step 13. For the final step, it's just a matter of filling in the black shadow areas. Keep an eye out for any overlapping lines. I had to erase some stuff on the forehead wings and a few other areas. Even in black and white, you should have a recognizable representation of this mysterious traveller now. People who appreciate black and white line art might say "Wow, that's cool." Inevitably, however, there will be those who say "I don't understand what I'm looking at." Sigh. For these people, the addition of color usually solves the problem. Anyway, that's it. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. Finished colors are at the top of the page. Feel free to give me feedback so I can improve my tutorials in the future. (Speaking of which, after this movie comes out, I'll try to tackle a full-body tutorial for this character)
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January 13, 2011Artist: KingTutorialDifficulty:
January 13, 2011P.O.V:
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Drawing the mystery robot from the Transformers: Dark of the Moon teaser trailer...