Today’s requested tutorial was a new one for me, I hope you guys enjoy it, we’re going to learn how to draw Kirito from Sword Art Online for users maximumhawk91 and thestranger23. Sword Art has a cool premise, with players sucked into a virtual game they can’t escape until they reach the hundredth level and kill the main boss. The catch, of course, is that if you die in the virtual world your real physical body will die in the real world, kind of Matrix like ^_^. That’s where we meet Kirito and his female counterpart Asuna (will probably do a tutorial of her soon too, so stay tuned!) as they fight their way to the top! Today’s tutorial is pretty straightforward and is recommended for beginner and intermediate level mangakas. We’ll be doing some filling and shading at the end of today’s tutorial with two colors of black and two colors of grey. If you don’t have two shades of black pen or grey marker, it’s alright. We can do the filling all in black and use our pencil to get different shades of grey. I’ve got a lot of requested tutorial lined up for this week, and you can add yours to the list by clicking on the request tutorial button at the top of the page. Also, you can click on any of the images below to get enlarged image and to scroll through the steps without text. Let’s get our materials ready and learn how to draw Kirito!
Just a reminder to all of our mangakas that all of the blue and green lines you see in this tutorial are only construction lines and will be erased later on, so don’t press too hard on your pencil when drawing these lines. Our final lines you’ll see in black at the end of the tutorial. We’re going to begin with our head circle, center and eye lines. Let’s start by drawing a fairly large head circle in the upper center of our paper. We want to be sure to leave enough room on the right and left and under the head circle for Kiroto’s hair.
Pro Tip 1: When drawing your head circle go around a few times very lightly with your pencil to get a nice outline of a circle, as it can be quite hard to draw a circle free hand. Then trace your head circle over the outline you have made.
Next, we’re going to draw our center and eye lines. The center line is vertical and is shifted just slightly to the left of center. Our eye line is horizontal. We also want to add a small dash mark towards the end of the center line to help us mark out where the chin will be (the green dash). Pro Tip 2: Measurements: The eye line is btween 1/6 and 1/5 of a head circle up from the bottom of the head circle. The distance between where the center and eye lines intersect and the dash mark for the chin is equal to about 2/5 of a head circle. So if you’re head circle is 10cm in diameter then the eye line will be about 2 cm up from the bottom of the head circle and the dash mark about 4cm from the intersection point.
For most of the steps in this tutorial I’ve labeled the areas or lines with numbers in the order they should be drawn. Remember, we want to do our best to follow the general rule of drawing things from top to bottom and from left to right. So here, we’ll begin by drawing the lines for the tops of the eyes (area #1), two parathesis like shapes above the eye line on either side of the center line is what we want. Then, we’ll work on the jaw line beginning on the left (line #2) and drawing it down to meet the dash on the center line. We’ll do the same thing for the jaw line on the right (line #3) starting up on the head circle and finishing down at the chin dash. The chin can be pretty pointy.
Pro Tip: You’ll notice in the image that the jaw lines should be quite bent. You should also notice that the bend on the jaw line on the right is lower than the bend on the left. In addition, the first part of the jaw line on the right is more sloped than on the left, which is more vertical. This is due to way we have Kirito posed.To finish up this step, just add the mouth line (area #4) sloping down to the right and just inside the head circle above the mouth, add the vertical dash for his nose.
We’ll add a few more of Kirito’s facial features here. Let’s start with the eyes. Note: Again, due to the way we have Kirito posed, the eye on the right will appear slightly larger than the eye on the left as the one on the left is turned “away” from us slightly. You can see this right away in the size of the “U” shapes that make up the pupils of the eyes. Keep this in mind as you draw! In area #1, the eye on the left, we’ll draw flat “^” shape for the eyebrow and then add the “U” shape for the pupil. The bottom of the “U” should touch the eye line. Then, jump over and we’ll do the same thing for the eye on the right (area #2) keeping in mind the note above.
When you’ve got the eyes done, we’ll jump over and draw the cup handle shape for the ear (line #3). Notice that the top of the ear overlaps the head circle while the bottom touches the jaw line. Lastly, we’ll draw the two vertical lines for the neck (area #4) starting on the jaw line. The line for the neck on the left is just to the left of the chin while the line for the neck on the right starts near the bend of the jaw on the right.
I’ve zoomed in on the eye area so that you can see the detail work we should do. Inside the pupils of both eyes we need to add a sideways “U” shape in the top left corner and then a crescent shape at the bottom. Then there are two lines to add and a small spike shape over the eye on the left. Just above the eye on the right we want to draw three short lines and a single line on the right end of the eyebrow. Lastly, inside the ear there’s a “c” shape to add and then an irregular line below it.
We’re doing great so far, mangakas. Now that we’ve got most of the facial features in place, we’ll move to begin drawing Kirito’s hair. I’ve labeled the lines and segments for you in the order you should draw them. So beginning on the top of the head to the right of the center line there is a short vertical line to draw (line #1) that will help us to draw another hair segment in the next step. Then, on the left, we need to draw the leaf like shape for hair segment #2.
Jumping over to the right side of the head, just above the ear, we’ll add the small hair segment #3. Now line #4 consists of the hair spike on the left and the line all the way across the forehead. The easiest way to draw this might be to make two small dots, one near where you see the number 4 in the image above and the other to the left at the top of the hair spike. Then, start by drawing the hair spike on the left and stop above the eye at your dot, connect that dot to the dot near the 4 and then just draw it down to where the eye line meets the head circle on the right overlapping the ear.
There’s a hair segment to add just below the ear (#5). And finally, there’s a small “Z” line for hair segments just to the left of the chin (area #6) and the two lines for the bottom of the neck to draw. The one on the left will be flatter and shorter than the one on the right.
Continuing with the hair in this step too! Starting up on the top of the head with the short vertical line, we’ll draw the leaf like hair segment #1. And then, just continue with hair segment #2 and #3. Just to the right of #3 you’ll see there’s another small hair segment to add. Then, move back up to the top of the head and draw the leaf like hair segment #4. Then, move down to the center of the forehead and draw the large “V” shape for hair segment #5. To the right of that and overlapping the right corner of the eye on the right, we’ll draw the small hair segment (area #6). And to the right of that, there is the hair spike that overlaps the ear (also area #6). To finish up this step, there is a last hair segment to draw (area #7).
Here in step 07 and in step 08 we’re adding lines that will help us to fill in Kirito’s hair in different shades of black (or pencil if that’s what you have). The lines are a little too various and if I labeled them all you wouldn’t be able to see the image clearly. So do your best to imitate what I have. You definitely want to include the line on the outside of the hair including the extra hair segment on the right. Also, don’t forget to add the lines over the eyes and between the hair segments for Kirito’s real eyebrows. I guess he has two pairs ^_-.
Same as in step 07. But it’s really important to get the two, almost parallel, lines running across the entire top of the head which is Kirito’s signature mark.
That does it for our construction lines for the moment. So use your eraser to lighten all of the lines that we’ve made so far. Then get our your finishing pen and trace your final lines in black.
Pro Tip 1: At first, just get a nice outline in thin black lines. Don’t worry about filling or anything for now. Just do a nice outline and then continue as follows.
Pro Tip 2: Be sure to notice when you’re tracing your lines in black two spots we don’t want to trace. We don’t want to trace the band in his hair that we drew in the previous step and we don’t want to trace the whole mouth, but leave the middle of the mouth broken as a gap.
Pro Tip 3: When you’re tracing the eyebrows, we don’t want a single solid line but a shape with some empty space in the middle. Line Quality: the only spot to worry about is the eyes and we’ll come back to them in the next step so you can skip them completely for now if you’d like. Filling: For the eyes, see the next step. Otherwise, you can clearly see that there are some areas of the hair that we want to fill in completely in black. Use the image above as your guide and follow the lines you drew in step 07 and step 08.
I’ve zoomed in on the eyes for you so you can see the detail work there. Line quality: As you can see, we want the top line of both eyes to be quite thick. Filling: We want to fill in the pupil except for the little ellipse area in the top left and the crescent shape in the bottoms fo the eyes. The rest should be completely in black.
Let your drawing sit for a minute or two to let the ink completely dry. Then, take out your eraser and completely erase any remaining construction lines that you can see except for the construction lines for the band of grey through Kirito’s hair.
In this final step we’re going to be down some shading. You can use a couple of shades of grey marker and a different black than your pen, or we can do it pencil. Just press harder or go over those areas that you want shaded darker.
Pro Tip: It’s always a good idea to mark out the areas you want to shade first in pencil and then just follow your lines and shade in. It reduces mistakes and you don’t want to have come this far only to ruin your drawing on the very last step. So if you want to shade the area next to his nose a little darker then mark it out first.
There are three shades that correspond as follows: The lightest grey is used for the skin on the face and the band through the hair. Middle grey is used for the neck and the darker places on the face, e.g. the shadow next to the nose, the eyebrows, the crescent in the bottom of the eyes and the inside of the ear. The darkest grey/lighter black is used for the rest of Kirito’s hair.
When you’re all done shading, give everything a minute to dry or hold and then take a look. You’ve just drawn the greatest virtual swordsman out there, Kirito from SwordArt Online! If your goal is to become a great mangaka make sure to draw Kirito again from memory. Then compare the final drawing with the original and correct any mistakes you might have made. Try once again from memory. This is the best way to build a huge library of shapes that you can use in the future for your own manga characters.
Draw with passion! (-_^)