Dark angels, or Gothic angels, are prominent figures in theological texts and supernatural tales. In Judeo-Christian beliefs, fallen angels, who are banished from heaven, are referred to as "dark" and associated with poison, death and destruction. However, modern literature, such as "Edge of Twilight" by Maggie Shayne and "The Twilight Saga" by Stephenie Meyer, re-imagine the dark angel as a conscientious antihero, gripped in an ongoing battle against a darker half. Dark angels are usually drawn in two ways: as demonic beasts -- with horns, hooves and an animal-like head -- or as heavenly warriors -- with helmet, sword and armour.
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Things you need
Sketch a rectangular shape as the torso -- make the shape narrower for a profile and broader for a frontal pose.
Add two long rectangles at the bottom of the torso as thighs. Draw a circle at the bottom of the rectangle as the knee joint, and then sketch a second rectangle that is slightly smaller than the thigh shape. Round off the sides of the rectangles to join the shapes and make them appear to be part of a single form.
Repeat Step 2 to make two arms at the top of the figure. Draw two slimmer rectangles at the top as the upper arms. Pose the arms so that they do not run parallel to the torso. This will give the figure a more dynamic appearance. Sketch a circle as the elbow joint and then add a rectangle as the forearm.
Use ovular shapes as hands and feet.
Map out the position and size of the wings. Consider the size of real animals to determine the best way to proportion your drawing. The wing span of a bald eagle is generally equal to twice the height of the bird's body; using similar proportions, a 6-foot dark angel would have a 12-foot wing span.
Draw a neck and head; the neck is a rounded rectangle, and the head is an elongated oval. Place the neck in the centre of the top of the torso. For downward facing figures, place the neck closer to the vertical centre of the torso. For upward facing figures, decrease the height of the neck.
Add lines to round and soften the edge of the body frame and make it look like all of the shapes are part of a coherent form.
Erase the extraneous lines in the centre of the body.
Clothe the figure in a tunic or toga to mimic the style in which angels are presented in Medieval and Renaissance art.
Colour the figure in with black, grey and cool colours such as blue and green. Use dull colours to convey a sense of age and dread.
Fill in highlights and shadows using a ratio of 1:2. Use higher contrast to bring out the starkness of the colour and draw attention to illuminated objects.
Tips and warnings
- Look at examples of dark angels in classical artwork for inspiration. The archangel Samael is often drawn as a bestial humanoid with batlike wings, while the archangels Michael and Gabriel follow the heavenly warrior template and are characterised by their armour, swords and combative stance.
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