With the pending release of the new Star Wars movie "The Force Awakens" I am overly excited and looking forward to finally seeing Star Wars on the big screen again. Being a huge fan of the franchise I decided to draw my own version of the iconic Lightsaber. I love drawing in spare time and what could be better then designing and drawing my own lightsaber while adding some shadowing to help it really come to life.
I will go through the steps involved in drawing a lightsaber and using different techniques to have it pop off the page and look as realistic and 3D as possible.
1 - White paper
2 - Straight edge or ruler
3 - Mechanical pencil (a regular pencil will also work)
4 - Fine tipped black marker or drawing pen
5 - Some decent markers or pencil crayons
6 - An attention to detail
**** To get the realistic 3D effect here you will need to pay close attention to the fine details to help everything pop and look awesome for the finished drawing****
Step 1: Layout and Guide Lines
1 - Begin by drawing a few lines about 1"- 2" apart on a diagonal away from the bottom left of the page to the top right. This will help with the perspective of the drawing. Because a lightsaber is not that long we wont worry about an actual point of perspective or have the lines taper toward each other.
2 - To achieve a rounded feel to the lightsaber add curved "guide lines" perpendicular to the straight lines. The guide lines that will be on the closest part of the lightsaber if it was actually laying in front of us will be a Convex lines, meaning they will "bow" toward the top right on the page. All lines that will be on the opposite side of the lightsaber facing away from us will be Concave lines meaning they "bow" toward the bottom left of the page. There will only be one or two concave lines that are really visible which will be located at the very tip or front of the lightsaber.
3 - Begin adding some lines and get the general shape of the lightsaber. The lines you add can be anywhere you wish and can extend past your original straight lines creating a lightsaber that has different sized components.
4 - Once you have a good looking base shape you can add darker pencil lines and also add details to the lightsaber.
**If you are unsure what to add remember that little buttons and square boxes are easy to draw and add interesting detail to the finished drawing**
Step 2: Fine Marker and Shading
At this point you should have a general idea of the shape of your lightsaber but as you add more detail and marker you can always add things.
1 - Begin adding lines to your lightsaber that will act as shading as well as texture.
**** A cross hatch pattern in the darker areas will help with depth, but when cross hatching all lines should follow the in the same direction as the original straight and curved lines.
2 - Trace your final pencil design with a fine marker and go over the pencil shading with marker.
**** This is where you have to take your time and add detail to the lightsaber. Go slowly with the lines and be sure you are making them in a consistent and correct direction. Look at my drawing to get a better understanding of which way the lines should go****
Step 3: Adding the Shadow Line
Adding the shadow line isn't to hard and is really just drawing (copying) the top edge of the lightsaber at the bottom and slightly right of the lightsaber
Be sure to slightly angle the shadow away from the lightsaber to give a more realistic and pronounced shadow.
** Actually filling in the shadow will happen very last after you have fully coloured the lightsaber**
Step 4: Colouring and Finised Drawing
Colouring can be fun for some and daunting for others but will help this drawing really pop off the page.
Some simple rules to follow will help your colouring look professional vs. colouring book quality.
1 - Start with the lightest colours first such as cool greys that are almost invisible. These will add colour layers for the next colours to adhere to.
2 - don't add anything bright until the very end. After you have a layer of a cool grey add more greys but getting only slightly darker each time.
3 - don't colour everything!! as you get darker only colour from the shadow areas outward. be sure to remember where you want "light" to hit the lightsaber and refrain from colouring over that area
4 - keep adding layers of colour and add "less" of each darker layer.
***** Sometimes before colouring I will make a photocopy just in-case******
Once you are happy with the colouring you can fill in the shadow. I would stay away from a black if you can but you want something as dark as possible with out being black. a 90% grey would work very well.
After use your fine marker and a small layer of black directly at the base of the lightsaber.
***Pro Tip - To get a few fancy highlights on areas where light would be reflecting off the metal try adding small amounts of "White-out" with a white out pen. The Vibrant white really makes it look like a reflection***
This was a fun little drawing that made want to see Star Wars even more. I might attempt to built this lightsaber in the future.
Thanks for reading though and good luck if you try to draw your own.