Drawing Robots for Dummies

Drawing Robots for Dummies

Drawing detailed robots seems tough, but any illustrator can do it if you are a semi-decent still-life drawer. The way I crafted this mega-ton robotic cowboy was first to sketch shapes that pleased my eye, then digitally ink on top of the scan in Procreate. 

I spend much time at my local library, pulling references from a seemingly infinite source. For this design I singled out every section of the body based a photo or illustration of heavy machinery World War II bomber plane manuals. 

To try my best to make it seem like this android could be operational, making sure the parts connect in the foreground and background was important to me. It can seem daunting, but it's easy and fun when you get the hang of it. This robot isn't meant to be all that symmetrical in its dystopian build, making room for odd proportions much easier than achieving a sleek figure. 

While flipping through references, it is as simple as "That gear looks cool," and then I make that a piece for a missing component. To bring the look together by adding armor, I swiped from the bolted sheets of metal you would see that coat the bomber planes, which gives the design a familiar feeling even if you can't pinpoint what is referenced right away. 

This drawing is, without a doubt, my most detailed robotic design yet. It was also new for me to break away from the heavy color-blocking shadows I normally choose in the comic and attempt a European line work technique. You see this from Moebius or Geoff Darrow in their black-and-white pages. The style is hard for me personally to enjoy in a fledged scene unless the masters do it. I believe that a great image is based on the amount of contrast and depth. This style relies heavily on the coloring to wrap your head around what's happening. I may try to do an entire page of Wantedman this way but I just love dark black shadows too much at the time of writing this. 

I am working on finishing Wantedman #13, and when I get a bit of downtime, you will see a fully colored version of this drawing. 

Thanks for your time. Let me know if there are any questions on referencing robots you might have. Or future things you'd like to see my blog about!

Your Homie,


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