How to draw scars in artwork

Written by philippa jones
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How to draw scars in artwork
Photographs help you learn how to draw scars. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Drawing scars in artwork is relatively straight forward and there are plenty of resources to refer to. You can use photographs, magazines or real scars to copy from. That way, you can incorporate authentic looking markings on the skin of your characters. Shading is important to show the dimensions of the scars. You will also need to learn how to incorporate the background against which the scar is seen.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Paper

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  1. 1

    Copy the scar from a film still, magazine or photograph. To get a real impression of a scar, you need something to reference for shading, size and colourings.

  2. 2

    Assess the positioning of the scar on your artwork. Check that it is suitable for the area you want to draw it, and matches the tone of the image.

  3. 3

    Draw thin, single lines to position the scar in the right place. A scar normally consists of a raised white, line where stitches have been placed in order to join a wound together. Dramatic scars consist of angular lines with abrupt end points.

  4. 4

    Add dimensions to the scarring. You need to give the scar its subtle, three-dimensional appearance. First, give it width by fattening out the guideline.

  5. 5

    Create subtle shading by smudging the scar lines with your finger slightly. Show deeper areas of scarring by using dark, harsh lines where the unharmed flesh has been squeezed together.

  6. 6

    Colour in the scar. The scar tissue itself is off-white while it might also have slight purple bruising or red areas where the skin has been irritated.

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