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How to Draw a Chinese Warrior

Pictures of the terracotta army of China represent some of the world's most fascinating images. Each face of this clay army is different, making this subject one that offers many possibilities for the artist drawing Chinese warriors. Drawing these warriors will open new pathways for you the artist. You'll be granted the opportunity to see the world as it was in the distant past and bring it to life on paper.

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  1. Look through pictures of the Chinese warriors. Find a few that feature the faces of Chinese warriors that you find interesting -- one featuring one warrior in sharp focus with other warriors standing in the background would make an interesting subject for your drawing. Ensure that your reference photo includes a close-up of the Chinese warrior's face and measures at least 6 inches by 8 inches. However, if you're drawing more than just the warrior's face, you need a larger photo so that you can see the details of the warrior's body.

  2. Draw a grid on the picture using a ruler. Make the squares 3/4-inch by 3/4-inch.

  3. Draw a grid on a piece of paper using light pencil marks.

  4. Center your attention on the face of the Chinese warrior, noticing the grid square that frames most of his face. Count the grid squares until you know the exact location of that square; for example, the square could be three squares down from the top of the picture and four squares in from the left-hand side.

  5. Look at the contents of the grid square on your photo; draw that in the corresponding grid square on your paper. Replicate the way the lines curve in the photo. Notice how the lines that make up the face of the warrior intersect the lines of the grid square; draw what you see. Most drawings begin with a series of lines, which you build upon. The better you can sketch the lines as you see them, the more accurate your Chinese warrior drawing becomes.

  6. Use the grid to draw in the rest of the Chinese warrior's face, capturing the furrow of his brow, the expression in his eyes and the position of his mouth. Finish drawing his body in the same way. Capture the details of his warrior costume and any weapons he has at his side.

  7. Shade the Chinese warrior.

  8. Tip

    Make your drawing on terracotta-coloured drawing paper. You'll capture another element of the Chinese warrior -- the colour of his clay body.

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Things You'll Need

  • Reference pictures
  • Ruler
  • Drawing supplies

About the Author

Buffy Naillon has worked in the media industry since 1999, contributing to Germany's "Der Spiegel" magazine and various websites. She received a bachelor's degree in German from Boise State University. Naillon also attended New York University and participated in the foreign exchange program at Germany's Saarland University. She is completing her master's degree in educational technology at Boise State.

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