Drawing Pointillism Princess Leia
Ever wanted to draw Star Wars characters and vehicles just like the professional comic book artists? In this step-by-step series, Star Wars artists and illustrators show you how to draw some of the most beloved characters in the saga.
Star Wars artist Kevin Graham explains with these easy-to-follow steps how to draw Princess Leia using the Pointillism art technique, which is a way of using multiple small dots to create a realistic-looking picture.
Steps 1-3 are drawn lightly with a pencil. No pen, no dark lines. Finished lines and details will come at the end.
Make a rough sketch of Princess Leia or can take any other pencil drawing you have done and use this technique on it. Draw a basic head shape with an oval and a curved line through it to indicate where the nose will be and where to line up the eyes, mouth, etc. Then draw her robe and blaster. You will erase the lines as we go on.
Next draw in Leia’s facial features, eyes, nose, mouth, and hair. They don’t have to be perfect since you will be creating all the detail in Pointillism.
Erase the lines you used to draw the face. Draw in any extra lines you want in the robe, etc.
Switch from using a pencil to a pen. I prefer to use a .18 Rapidograph pen and sometimes even a .13 pen which creates even smaller dots. They are a bit expensive so you may want to start with a less expensive Micron pen with the smallest size of .005. Outline the edges of Leia with a strong dark line, as well as her head, robe, nose, etc. Then draw the outlines of her eyes, draw in lashes, eyebrows, etc.
Start shading her face at the darkest area you want shaded and work outward. To do this start by tapping dots with your pen but not too hard or you’ll break the point. Start to overlap them in the area you want darkest. Then start to move away from the dark area to where you want it lighter. Draw a less number of dots and make them further apart. This will make a nice fade. You can always practice on scrap paper first to get the technique down.
Next, work on her bun of hair. Start from one point, curve your line while you draw and then pull the pen up quickly from the surface when you get to an area you want it to thin. By doing this numerous times the layers of hair will begin to build up and look like real hair.
To finish the hair start in the opposite direction but stop before you get to the hair you already drew. This will give you the effect of light shining off the hair. You can finish all the rest of the hair by drawing lines in the direction you want the hair to go. The thicker you want the hair, the more layers of lines you make. Even though it’s a black and white drawing you can determine the hair color someone has by either using fewer lines for blonde hair or use lots of layers/lines for darker hair.
You can now finish up shading in the face and do any touch-ups needed in the hair.
Now you can color in the blaster. I didn’t want the blaster to be over-detailed so I colored a lot in solid black with some shading in Pointillism. This brings your attention up to the blaster to her face. Remember dark (more dots) to light (fewer dots).
To shade her robe follow the lines you drew for the flow of the cloth. Start from the sections where the blaster causes shadows and work your way from lots of dots to less and further away. Do the same for the creases of the robe. You can see the sample of shading again in the red box.
Finally, erase all the lines we used to follow throughout the drawing process. I often will go back and adjust shading by adding more dots, more lines in the hair, etc. Now you can take any ordinary drawing and turn it into a highly-detailed photorealistic drawing!