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March 30, 2004
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Drawing a side profile Mecha by V2Buster Drawing a side profile Mecha by V2Buster
By Phil "V2Buster" Kwok

What a lot of people don't understand when they're drawing humanoid bipedal mech is that they have to treat as if it is a bipedal humanoid. The very same drawing rules that apply to the figure drawing you do apply to drawing mechs as well. The only difference is that the mech involves a lot of intersecting straight lines in 3D space, a headache for anyone not well practiced in being able to visualize perspective properly (I'll tackle simple perspective right after this). Another problem is that since most mechs are very intricate in their details, from certain panel line patterns to armor placement, many beginning mech artists pay too much attention to these "decorations" instead of making sure that the figure beneath it is sound and letting the details take care of themselves. So, without further ado, let's take a try at drawin a mech with a simple figure that has a decent amount of surface detail to demonstrate the way I find works for producing good looking profile pics for mechs (being able to draw action pics builds on the things learnt from this lesson).

IMG 1)
Start off lightly sketching a stick/skeleton to help visualize the figure as a whole. Is the pose what you want? Are the proportions from joint to joint and mass to mass correct? Will the picture fit in the space you want? etc. You can also start to block in certain parts at this stage as I have. With Gundam type mechs as I'm doing here, often the calf is exagerrated while the thigh is shortened slightly, as is done here.

IMG 2)
Now that the pose is correct, we can start to put the armor on. Don't worry about the detail on the armor yet, just make sure that all the amor have correct reference points and that all their perspectives are properly lined up.

IMG 3)
Start sketching in roughly where you want the details to go. Don't worry about getting them perfect now, cause then you probably won't get them perfect later. Find the right time to peak, so to say.

IMG 4)
On top of your rough sketch, start putting done your good lines. Let the feel of the sketch guide you, let the design flow and come out by itself. Don't force any parts where they don't belong. Be careful to balance negative space(white) with positives space(black lines). Once you've finished, you can get rid of your sketch lines and start coloring.

IMG 5)
Now, there is no right way to color a mech. You could go for cel shading, or comic tones, or computer coloring, maybe even painting it like Cass does. Doesn't matter. Just try to get a color scheme that makes you happy but isn't gaudy. Even with color, this seems a bit plain. Let's stick in some weapons.

IMG 6)
Again, just lightly sketch in the general shape and idea of the weapons, not worrying about the final product but rather letting the design flow through.

IMG 7)
Almost done. All we have to do now is add some color to those weapons. Also, the white background is a bit drab, so let's add a quick colored one.


Ta Da! All finished. [link]
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:icontecx:
TecX Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2010
kool my only problem is i cant really draw their heads rite its the mouth area that scrambles me up. basically im haven problems with every thing. your tutorial should help
Reply
:iconrekkou:
Rekkou Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
great tutorial! certainly helps me a lot!
Reply
:iconkaitoshingiwa:
Kaitoshingiwa Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2007
Hey you'll never know how much this tutorial helped me out, thanks for making it I'd still be trying to figure out everything!

Thanks much.
Reply
:iconkurakasshu:
KuraKasshu Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice.Im a little bit rusty on drawing mecha since I didn't draw them for quite awhile but this helped me a bit so thanks!
Reply
:iconphantasmagoria666:
Phantasmagoria666 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2007
nice :heart:
Reply
:iconalmightynabeshin:
AlmightyNabeshin Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2006  Student Traditional Artist
I can't do this. I don't have ANY software.
Reply
:iconviperxmns:
viperxmns Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2004
Heh more lessons brought to the DeVArt community by Professor Phil (can I call you Phil?) Nice, nice
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:iconv2buster:
V2Buster Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2004
Sure, why not. Everyone else does :shh:
Reply
:iconthemetro:
TheMetro Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2004
Nice Job...
So many tutorials so little time...
Look foward to seeing more tutorials by you
Reply
:icontdbk:
TDBK Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2004  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice work! :D
Reply
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