Learning how to draw Darth Vader – first of the Star Wars character drawing lessons!
Looking at the finished image above, you can see that while it does resemble Darth, it’s actually more of a simplification of him. In your case, feel free to make him more or less cartoony. In fact, I recommend you have an image on hand that you can refer to as you progress.
Alright, let’s get going with the lesson, beginning with a simple guideline from which you can use to keep proportion as you progress…
First Step – Draw a Framework for Darth Vader
To begin, go ahead and sketch out a simple framework to help you with your Darth Vader drawing. Like with many of the lessons on the site, a framework can be especially helpful if you’re just starting out. Just remember to keep your lines nice and light so you can eliminate them later on.
Here’s how to draw the framework…
Regarding the head, I chose to go with a simple box as Darth Vader’s helmet resembles a combination of two different shapes – a circle up top and a triangle down below. The box will serve as a nice reference that you can deviate away from to bring the shape of his head into view.
As for the green parts – they mark off important components of the drawing – those parts that seem to ‘come forward’ towards the viewer, and so – should probably be drawn earlier on.
Got a simple framework to work from? Great! Here’s how to draw Darth Vader…
Second Step – How to Draw Darth Vader’s Head
Easily one of the most iconic symbols in movies – there aren’t too many people who wouldn’t recognize Darth Vader’s helmet. Dark, mysterious and complex – did you know that the style of his helmet was inspired by Japanese Samurai armor? Pretty neat! Anyway, Vader’s head is by far the most important part of this lesson. So do take your time!
Here’s how to draw Darth Vader’s head in six phases…
When I first thought about how I’d break down the drawing of his helmet, it was a bit tricky coming up with a fairly easy way to go about it. In the steps above, beginning with the central parts – and then working out from there, ends up working pretty well.
As you bring Darth Vader’s head into view, make use of your framework to help you keep things symmetrical and proportional. Pay attention to the shape of his eyes and how this shape relates to and is different from the original circles in the framework.
And, when his head’s drawn – it’s on to the body!…
Third Step – Draw Darth Vader’s Body
Different parts tend to stand out more than others when you take a look at a picture of Darth Vader. The helmet – of course. But also, his protective padding, belt and the circuitry on his central torso are quick to be noticed at a glance. Let’s begin by sketching in these key features…
So, how’s it coming along? Lots of little details that come into play, aren’t there! Again – and speaking of details – it’s a good idea to have a picture of Vader on hand. As I mentioned at the beginning – I’ve gone ahead and simplified things so that they’re a bit easier to draw. But really, a glimpse at an image of Darth Vader every now and then may give you some further insight on how you want your drawing to look. You can add/or take away various details (the circuitry buttons on his chest for example) as you see fit.
Alright, let’s keep going. Next up – how to draw Darth Vader’s hands…
Fourth Step – How to Draw Darth Vader’s Hands
Hands? Well, gloves actually. And in drawing the gloves for Vader – I wanted to incorporate a pose where his two infamous weapons come into play… the lightsaber, and the ‘I find your lack of faith disturbing – death choke!’ 😉
For the hand with the lightsaber – draw a simple fist. For the ‘death choke’ – a large ‘grasping’ hand should do the trick — like so…
Hands – as I’m sure you’ve experienced at some point, can be tricky to draw. The green areas of the framework though can be helpful as they provide a reference point, making it easier for you to establish and maintain position. In fact, if you wanted – you could take things a step further. Instead of just a green circle for the ‘choke hand’ – you could add some extending lines to even more so, help to establish position. In this way, each digit would become easier to draw.
Well, just about finished now. Let’s complete our drawing by sketching in Darth Vader’s arms, lightsaber, any remaining details – and finally — his cape!
Fifth Step – Draw Vader’s Arms and Lightsaber!
First up, complete Darth Vader’s left arm with a few well-placed lines. Then, move over over to the right – and behind the first that you drew previously — sketch the upper and lower parts of his lightsaber. Feel free to make the handle a little longer too.
Here’s how to draw Darth Vader’s arms and lightsaber…
And there you go… pretty well finished if you ask me. But of course – Darth Vader just wouldn’t be the villain we’ve come to know him as without his black cape. And because it’s positioned in behind him, it’s only logical to save this step for the very end.
Here’s what the finalized version looks like, minus the framework and with his black cape…
Final Step – Your Darth Vader Drawing is Complete!
Once you’ve drawn in his cape and eliminated the underlying framework – all that remains, is the Sith Lord himself… Darth Vader.
And of course, surely you’ll want to give your creation some color. In this case, I recommend you take a look up top once again, at the finished image.
Because Darth Vader’s armor is mostly black, it can be helpful to make use of a few shades of darker grey along with the main color. This way, the details you drew in during the lesson – will still be visible in the areas that you’d like them to be.
And other than that… that’s it! You now know how to draw Darth Vader… hope you enjoyed the lesson. 🙂