How to Draw Jim Morrison
An icon of the ’60s, who could forget Jim Morrison of The Doors with hits like “Baby, Light My Fire. Peeps, he’s like one of the most iconic frontmen in rock music history. From Psychedelic rock, acid rock, blues rock, and hard rock to filmmaker, musician, songwriter, poet, actor, this is one genius man.
Sad to say, we’ve had him for a short amount of time. Born December 8, 1943, he passed away at 27 years old on July 3, 1971. Here’s a tutorial from one of his iconic pictures from the sixties. I hope you enjoy this one.
Let’s start out with a basic oval. See if you can stay close to the shape. Sketch in your guidelines. The first line is at the top left eyelid, and the second line is at the bottom of the nose. This divides the face into thirds, which helps with accurate placement of the facial features.
All those out there that get impatient with your drawings, please wave your hands! Because this start with Jim’s features doesn’t look like him at all. Looks like a child’s scribble. Stick with this. Get his strange eyebrow shadow placements, eyes and pupils, bottom of nose and nostrils, and his mouth. The next couple of steps will help you with proportions.
Here’s the five-eye game! They are the size of one of Jim’s eyes. The bridge of his nose is one eye, his eyes count for two more, and there are two more eyes at either side of his face. It looks like those eyes are one half, but the ears (hidden) make up for the other half of those eyes at the end.
Now you need to size the width of those lips. Take a line at the end of his mouth on both sides and extend it to his eyes above. See how the sides of his mouth parallel at the imaginary irises of his eyes. This is how you can get a more accurate drawing from your picture reference.
You can sketch lightly these guidelines to erase later. Look at the picture for this step. Jim’s face is divided by thirds this way. The first line is at the top of his head/hairline. Second-line is right above his top eyelid. The third line is at the bottom of his nose. The fourth line is at his chin. The width is the same between these lines. You will be shading, highlighting, and blending from here on. But first here are a couple of steps to help with those techniques.
Here’s my famous menu for hair and supplies! In the picture, you can see some twists and curls with shading. Follow the direction of the arrows when you shade the curls of the hair. Hint: Start at the dark area within the hair strand area. Stroke a little harder in that area then lighten up at the end of the stroke, like you’re brushing something. There’s a detailed cropped area of Jim’s hair I drew beside the clump of sketched hair.
Now I used a mechanical pencil, pencil graphite sticks 9B (really soft and dark), and a No.2 pencil. A kneaded eraser is a must-have in my book. Blending tools like tissue, blending stump, Q-tip can make your picture look more realistic. Big tip: I used acrylic paint–titanium white with a really small paintbrush to add more white highlights to Jim’s hair.
You can use your rubber kneaded eraser for reflective lights on the side of Jim’s cheek, within his pupil for catchlights, or to stroke those highlights in on his hair. Remember that the reflective light area isn’t pure white–it is a middle tone. Your blending tools add a smoother tone to your drawing…tissue or toilet paper adds even tones to large areas and lightens or picks up a lot of the pencil work. Blending stumps or tortillons blend smaller areas.
And if you have enough graphite on them, you can render textures, lines, or small shaded areas. Cool, right? Yeah! We’re rockin’ and rollin’ now! Let’s get it on with the next step.
Jim is looking more like himself. You can erase those guidelines and continue with defining him more. Drawing in that reflective light on the right side of his jaw. Adding more hair curls, shading, and texture.
If you make a mistake or mistakes, that kneaded rubber eraser helps a lot. As you dab with it, it can pick up unwanted pencil marks. If you want to use small circles with your pencil to shade in his skin, that’s a good idea. For hair, use long sweeping strokes in the direction of the curl. Here’s a good place to practice what you’ve learned from hair tutorials. Remember to draw in his beads.
Continue to work in those shadows, spread the shading, and let it disappear into the lighter area. Don’t use harsh lines to separate light from dark. Gently caress your picture with loving strokes.
Be patient, take your time, look closely at your reference, and keep going to accomplish your masterpiece. Look! All your hard work has paid off. Now let me know how you fared through this tutorial. I love to see how my peeps do. ROCK ON!
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