Hello everyone and welcome to another weekly tutorial from the Drawing Factory, this time you will learn how to draw Captain America from the Marvel Universe in the visual style of the original, Jack Kirby one.
Captain America is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by cartoonists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, the Captain was designed as a patriotic supersoldier who often fought the Axis powers of World War II and was Timely Comics’ most popular character during the wartime period.
For this tutorial, I used the drawing software SketchBook Pro.
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How to draw Captain America
This is the image I used as a reference for this drawing, on top of it you can see how I drew my SmartGrid that I use as a reference to then draw the character with precision.
I have talked in more detail about this technique on my video tutorials on my YouTube Channel and I am not going to expand on it here but feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below.
How to draw Captain America: the first step
In this very first step, we’ll start by drawing the head, torso and hips of Captain America’s body. You always start from the bigger, central features of the body to then move to the second one like arms and legs.
Think of it in this terms: once the torso and the hips are positioned there are only so many ways you can actually position legs and arms because you will have to follow the physical constraint posed by the torso and hips so it’s easier to draw them correctly.
In this case, you can use the smart grid to help you out.
Now, sketch in the arms of Captain America. In this particular drawing, you can see how long the arms are, reaching way below the hip line. This is obviously an idealisation of the human figure as Captain America is drawn using hero-like proportions.
How to draw Captain America: step two
Finish your sketch now, remember to keep your lines very loose at this stage, by drawing the legs and the shield of Captain America.
If you use the head as a unit of measure for the total body length you’ll notice that in this case, the length of the body equals 7,5 – 8 heads. These are typical for building heroic characters whilst a more realistic figure would measure only 6 heads on average.
You do not need the SmartGrid anymore at this point so you can safely get rid of it It’s time to start adding details to your drawing. Before moving forward however, make sure you are happy with the body proportions so far as it’s going to be difficult to change them later on when you have added more details.
Sketch in the face of Captain America first.
How to draw Captain America: the musculature
Time to draw the musculature of Captain America and be generous with it as he is well endowed in that department. Follow my design or even better go look online for references of male musculature, you’ll find plenty of examples.
It’s important to know the subject you are drawing particularly if you want to be anatomically correct. Everything it’s easier when you are more familiar with the ways muscles look on a fit body if you want to draw them.
Once the musculature is in place and you are happy with it (remember to check your drawing at any major step) you can safely draw the costume of Captain America.
In this case, the costume I have used is the traditional costume Captain used in the forties but you could go and research more modern costumes and dress this Captain America as you see fit!
Again, researching online is your friend, find good reference images and have fun.
Nothing too fancy for this step, just refine your drawing to a point where you are happy with the details, because in the next steps, we are going to be inking (digitally) our drawing.
Differently from when you paint directly on your sketch, you do not need to clean your drawing too much if you are going to ink it because the black lines will define the forms and shapes of the final drawing and the sketch will eventually be erased completely.
How to draw Captain America: inking
Pick up a hard-edge brush and black colour and start going over your drawing and paint those lines in. Inking is really an art in and of itself and it’s just too big of a subject to analyse here (feel free to leave a comment if you want me to make a series of tutorials about inking) so just do your best here and try to introduce a bit of thickness variations in your lines.
Keep in mind that usually contours are thicker than inner lines for example and that lines that are lit from a light source are thinner than lines in the shadow.
Start with the head and slowly make your way to the rest of the body.
And this is how my drawing looks after inking, how does yours look?
I went for a clean look to the drawing, not too much cross-hatching for example or black areas. This is an artistic choice as I wanted my drawing to resemble the traditional style of the first Captain America where the overall ink work is way cleaner than more modern, darker styles.
How to draw Captain America: colouring
The colouring of this drawing will also follow the traditional style of the time when obviously digital colouring wasn’t available and the printing technology of the time allows only for flat colours to be printed.
So the first step is just to fill the various areas of the drawing with a base, flat colour. If you are using levels make sure to create the colour levels underneath your line work but besides this, what can I say? Just make sure to not colour outside of the black lines
Finishing the colouring of this drawing is a piece of cake! You only need to pick a lighter purple-bluish tint and draw/paint a subtle highlight all around Captain America’s body and you can call this done and dusted!
And there you have it! The final drawing of Captain America in the style of Jack Kirby. I really hope this tutorial helped you learn how to draw Captain America!
I hope you guys liked this tutorial, and if you want me to make more of these please let me know in the comment section below or using this form. It’s really important for me to understand what kind of content you would like me to make so if you could spare the time that would be absolutely fantastic.
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This week is all from me and I’ll catch you all drawing next week with a new tutorial!