Welcome to another step by step tutorial. This time I will teach you ” How to draw Batman Full Body “. Doesn’t matter if you work in digital or using traditional medium, this tutorial can be followed and applied using both methods. We will follow a step by step process, starting our drawing from the hips and the torso. Our goal is to draw a full body image of Batman.
Also, for this tutorial, I decided to draw a more dynamic posse compare to my previous tutorials. In this past tutorial, our character was drawn in a more static position.
Now let’s start the tutorial!!!
Before I start with the final drawing I want to give you a couple of tips or recommendations that will help you to achieve a better result when trying to draw your own original drawings. In this tutorial, you will basically copy what I’m doing, but I will like to show you also how I prepare myself when I’m starting a drawing. What references do I use? How do I decide the final pose? etc…
This early stage is usually overlooked by beginners. If you are trying to draw an original drawing, is always useful to find all sorts of images we can use for inspiring ourselves.
I like to use photo-realistic references. The reason why is to avoid as much as I can other artist’s drawings as references to not contaminate my own style trying to imitate other artists styles. To depend completely on drawings of other artists can limit your own creativity.
I think it can be useful to inspire yourself or to copy certain details. However, if we depend solely on the works of other artists, we can easily pass from creators to imitators or copyists without realizing it. We will also be constantly comparing our work with that of the artist we are taking as a reference.
I recommend you to open a Pinterest account where you can create some mud boards and pin the images you consider useful. Pinterest is a great repository of images and I’m sure you will find tons of images you can use as reference.
Once I have my visual references ready, it’s time to start drawing. But before going directly to the final design, I like to make a few sketches.
If you are a beginner or if you still have issues drawing the human body, you can check my tutorial about “How to draw a person´s whole body” . I think it will help you to better understand how to set the foundations for a successful drawing.
I usually start by drawing a few heads in different poses and attitudes. The purpose is to be able to capture the essence of the character well. The face is the focal point of a character. To explore heads variations, helps me to understand in which attitude (anger, anger, curiosity, etc …) I want to represent the character I’m drawing.
I also do some quick sketches of posses. I try to find interesting angles, dynamic poses or dramatic scenes.
After this exploration face and having a clear idea of what I want to draw, it’s time to start our final Batman drawing.
Starting from the hips
I will start drawing the hips and the pelvic area, drawing this part of the body like some sort of short underwear. Once you have the waist placed then you can start drawing the torso on top of it. The torso is like a rounded box and it’s important to show the different sides of it. In this case, the left side of the torso will be totally hidden from the viewer. Meanwhile, the right side will be shown clearly.
Drawing the torso
Remember to keep the torso and the waist separated from each other. The space in between them will be the abdominal area. The bottom of the torso will represent the lower ribs.
Once both volumes are placed, create a vertical curve line connecting both, waist and torso. This line will divide the front face of the torso, where the chest is. Once you have both pectorals divided we will draw a curved line under the chest. This line will define the bottom of the rib cage.
The Pectoral Muscles:
You gotta remember our character’s torso is placed in a 3/4 view. This is why both pectoral muscles will have different sizes. The one on the viewer´s right will be bigger compared to the one on the left.
As you can see on the image above, the torso is not represented fully straight. Far from that, it looks like if our character was leaning forward. The core shrinks inward and the chest projects above it forward. This is a typical position of someone who is jumping or in a clearly dynamic attitude.
Because of the posse of our character, we are going to see the upper parts of the torso with the traps and the deltoids more clearly. This part becomes way more visible in this if we compare it to a full frontal view
The clavicle will be drawn as an arch pointing down. Both extremes of this arch will connect with the deltoids. The center of the arch will be it’s the lowest point. It will coincide with the division of both pectoral muscles.
Don’t forget to draw the deltoids on the upper sides of the torso. They will be represented as some sort of egg-shaped spheres. The lower part of the deltoids will connect with the lower pectoral line and the upper part with the clavicle.
Again keep in mind we are drawing a 3/4 view of the torso, so the shoulder on your right will be more visible compared to the one on the left.
The next step will be to draw the arms. Both arms will be drawn in different poses and will be very interesting to see how we represent them.
We will divide the whole process of drawing the arm in 3 steps:
- The Upper Arm
- The Elbow and The Forearm
- The Hand
The Upper Arm
Two main muscle groups compose this part of the am. The biceps and the triceps.
For now, we will not go too much into detail. We are drawing a dummy so we can draw our final character on top with the confidence our Batman will have a convincing pose and anatomy.
For the biceps and triceps area, I will draw a tube for each arm. This tube will become narrower on the bottom where I will connect it to the elbow and the forearm
The tricky part will be to draw this tube at the right angle. This will depend on which pose we choose for each of our character’s arm.
For the right arm on the viewer’s side, the tube will be seen sideways but also somewhat frontally. We will be able to see the small size of this tube or cylinder. This small side will be hidden once when we draw the elbow and the forearm.
Regarding the upper left arm, this will be drawn way smaller due to the perspective. The arm will be placed in a similar angle than the right one but in the opposite direction of the viewer.
The Elbow and The Forearm
The elbow will be situated on the connection part between the upper arm and the forearm. Due to the position of both arms, the elbow is barely visible on the right arm and totally nonvisible on the left arm.
For the forearms, we will draw also a tube for each arm. Like before, they will become narrower on the bottom part. In this case, the bottom part will be the wrist.
For not over complicate this process too much, I will draw both hands quite schematically. The purpose in this stage is to define the general shape of the hands not to go into detail yet. We will define the fingers and the knuckles later on.
For the fist on the left arm (from the viewer’s side) we will draw 3 main shapes:
- Number 1 will be the palm.
- Number 2 will be the thumb, drawn as an irregular square.
- Number 3 will be placed below. This will be the index finger folded.
For the hand on the right we will draw also 3 main shapes:
- Number 1 is the main body of the hand ( the palm) and it will be a rectangle.
- Number 2 will be the fingers and will be a drawn as a triangle ( remember we are trying to schematic for the moment).
- Number 3 will be divided into 2 shapes. The first one will be a rectangle. It will be the first phalange. The second shape will be the second phalange and we will draw it as a triangle.
Later on, you can define better the fingers, the knuckles, etc.. but for now please remember is more important to focus on the big picture and have a good proportioned and convincing shapes for your hands.
The third step will be to draw the head and the neck.
We will place our head on top of the ellipse we draw on top of the shoulders. I like to draw the head like an egg shape with the pointing part flatten.
I will divide the sphere with a horizontal line across. Once we had this division done, then we will draw a vertical line on the right side. This line will create a division of planes on the head, so you can see the right side.
Finally, we will draw a vertical line on the front face of the head. This line will divide the front face in two.
The neck will be drawn after. We will connect the ellipse on the shoulders with the lower part of the head.
The next chapter on our journey will be to draw the legs. We will divide this process in three stage, starting from the thighs on top and going down until we reach the feet.
The thighs and the knees
For each thigh will draw a thick tube. This tube will connect the hips with the knees. The same way we did for the arms, this tubes will become narrower on the bottom area where the thigh connects with the knee.
The knees will be drawn differently depending on the leg.
-On the right leg, the knee will be drawn frontally. Basically, we will draw a square shape with a sphere on the inside representing were the knee cap will be placed.
-For the left leg, the drawing of the knee will be a little bit trickier. The reason is that the leg is folded and the front face of the knee, where the kneecap is placed, is totally extended creating an arch.
Also, my idea is to draw this leg not fully sideways( so we avoid a flatness sensation ), so the knee shape will have 2 faces. Check the picture and you will be able to see a smaller front face, facing us, and a bigger side face on the left.
Below the knees, we will find the shins and the calves. This lower part of the leg will be drawn differently depending on the position of the legs.
The leg drawn frontally will present two sides:
-The exterior side. This side will be drawn with a very short curve line on top and a long curve line under, which will end on the feet.
-The interior side. This side will have a similar distribution. It will present a curve line on top and another one under. The curve line on top will be longer than the one on the exterior side, but still shorter if we compare it with the curve line bellow that follows until it reaches the feet.
For the left leg the shin and the calve will be drawn like this:
-The shin will be drawn as a concave curve line on the bottom.
-On the opposite side, the calve line will be placed above. We will draw it as a convex line.
As you can see the lower part of the leg is represented also as tubes as we did with the thighs. This tubes are thicker on the part connected to the knee and become thinner on the part that connects with the ankle.
The feet will be represented as geometric shapes. The feet placed frontally to the viewer can easily understand if we draw it like an isosceles trapezoid.
The feet placed sideways will be easily understood if we draw it like a scalene triangle.
Remember the interior side of the feet is more concave in shape, and the exterior side will be more convex.
OK, now is time to give some identity to our character. We will dress him as our favorite Dark Night.
Batman wears a mask with the mouth area open and some pointy ears on the sides of the head. There are several versions of Batman from the comics, the movies, and the series. In my case, I like to draw him in a more comic style.
- The eyes will be drawn over the horizontal line I draw across the head. Both eyes will be drawn like two small cuts open on his mask. They will have no pupils or iris.
- The eyebrows will cast a dark shadow over them. Keeping the eyes on shadows but at the same time making them pretty visible, helps to accentuate the contrast. Also, this artistic resource gives to our character the impression of a penetrating glare.
- The mask is open around the mouth are, leaving the lips, the chin and the mustache area free. The nostrils with the nose, are hidden under the mask, on the border of the opening. The mouth borders will align perfectly with the center of the eyes.
The drawing of the cape can be a tricky thing. You gotta treat the cape as a living thing. It moves an flows creating different shapes, depending on the action Batman is performing.
In this case, Batman is on an action pose, jumping and moving forward. Is important you understand the mechanics of the motion you are drawing.
Our cape is floating, so we gotta show a wavy shape, but also I like to add some tension to the cape. This tension can be seen on the areas around neck and shoulders were the cape is attached to Batman´s outfit. The pulling of the cape comes from this area.
Batman’s costume, like his mask, has had various designs throughout the long history of our character.
Overall, the costume is a very tight outfit, so dressing our dummy will be not too difficult.
In this phase, I will not enter yet to define the details of the costume. What I will do is define the different parts or elements of the suit.
- You can see that what stands out most is the tactical belt, with all its compartments and other gadgets attached to it.
- Also, another of the elements that stand out are the bracelets with blades attached. At this stage, I will only suggest them, so I can draw them in detail on the next phase.
- Finally, it will the define knee pads and high boots as another of those key elements that will stand out on our character.
At this stage we will detail the whole figure, defining well the different parts of the character. Is in this moment, when I will define clearly the details of the outfit.
The Costume details
First of all, I will draw some lines inside the outfit, like some type of stitching, creating some patches of fabric on the legs, arms, and body. This patches will work like reinforcement. The same type of reinforcement patches you can see in tactical gear or motorcycle gear.
In the case of the kneepads, we will draw some sort of padding or protection surrounding the kneecaps. On the side, we will draw the reinforcement stitching we’ve been drawing all over the costume.
Like I commented in the previous stage, Batman is wearing a quite tight outfit. This leaves very little space for drawing wrinkles and fabric folding. Nevertheless, there are some areas like the crotch and the hips were the folding of the fabric create little wrinkles. You can draw this little wrinkles and foldings on the tension areas, usually around joints, hips, etc..
Is also the moment to draw the emblem of Batman, “The open wing bat ” on his chest. You can find many references on the internet on how to draw it.
Bracelets and Belt
The bracelets will be drawn as a succession of metal plates, connecting one with each other. Also, we will draw the blades on the side of the forearms.
The belt will be composed of various compartments with pockets, tubes and the belt buckle on the center.
Now it’s time to ink our character for giving him the comic style we love.
In this stage, I will paint first the big patches of pure black. I will identify which areas will be totally black and proceed to cover them. In our Batman’s case this will be:
- The interior side of the cape, because it will be on shadows.
- The bat logo on the chest.
- The boots, made of a leather type material. The material will have some reflective properties. This is why I will leave a couple of white vertical lines, suggesting areas where some light source or sources will be being reflected.
- Also, the infamous underwear over pants, that some superheroes wear, will be in this case painted black.
Hatching and Cross-Hatching
I will draw a series of parallel lines in areas where shadows will be placed. This is called basic hatching, and it’s the first step in cross-hatching. There are two types of basic hatching: parallel and contour. Both can be used as a base for cross-hatching. Regardless of which hatching type you use, the lines do not cross over one another in standard hatching.
I mostly use contour hatching, following the volumes of the are I’m hatching. You can see this in shadowed areas like the lat muscles on the torso side, the crotch, the biceps and bracelets, the side of the head and in some parts of the knees.
At the same time in some of this areas, I will draw some crossing lines on top of this parallel lines. I will do this several times with the goal of creating a darker shadow. The more I cross-hatch in an area the darker it becomes. The transition between areas with just hatching to areas heavily cross-hatched or totally black will create the impression of a gradient. This is a cool artistic resource to create a transition between lighted areas and shadowed areas.
This is the last stage of our drawing. The character is already finished and it´s time to draw some scenery surrounding him.
Our objective is to create a scene that reinforces the character´s attitude. For that, we will draw a storm scene with heavy raindrops falling and some clouds.
The clouds will be painted with a texture brush if you are using a digital medium. If you are working in traditional you will need an old brush and you will need to use the ” Dry Brush” technique. This technique will help you to create some texture on the paper using ink.
The importance of clouds is to create some negative and positive spaces. The clouds will be the negative spaces and will be painted with pure black and the areas free of clouds we will use the whiteness of the canvas or paper.
The raindrops will be drawn as white lines against the black masses of the clouds, the cape, etc… Against the white areas, the raindrops will be drawn with regular black lines. Some of the raindrops will be impacting against the character and the ground leaving some particles. We will draw the like dots.
If you are using a traditional medium you can use gouache white paint and a brush with a fine tip for the raindrops.
We will texture the ground drawing some irregular lines and some hatching. We will try to represent cracks on the floor, little stones, and some irregular texture.
The coloring process will be divided into 3 steps. I will color Batman like the comic coloring artists do, using a digital medium. In my case, I will add the color using Photoshop. Also as a gift, you will find by the end of the tutorial a teaser video where you can see how I’m drawing and coloring Batman’s head. This will help to reinforce the principles I will teach you in the next steps.
As a side note, if you want to know which traditional art supplies or digital tablets I use in my daily work, check the Recommended Gear and Courses section. Also, if you want a more in-depth info about which traditional art supplies I use on my daily work you can check my article about “Recommended art supplies”.
In this step, I will show how to apply the basic color. We will focus on pick and choose the right local color for each part of the character and for the background.
For Batman’s character my base colors will be:
- light grey for the suit
- blue for the cape, the boots, gloves, and the knee pads.
- camel or cream like color for the belt.
- medium tone grey for the metal bracelets.
- light brown with a little bit of orange for the skin tones of the mouth and the chin.
For the background, the sky will be painted with a light red color and the ground with a medium grey tone.
Remember to keep each colored part on a separate layer. For example, the suit color will be in one layer, the cape, and mask in other, the belt in other, etc… This will be very useful when we will be painting the shadows on our scene.
Our rim light on Batman’s back, boots and bracelets will be of the same color than the sky.
Use a basic round brush if you are using PS. If you are using other software, use the one you like but remember you need a brush with no texture and with sharp edges. You need to fill the positive spaces( the negative spaces will be the solid black parts from the inking) with a solid base of colors. This solid base will allow you to paint on top of them on the upcoming steps.
This step I will focus on adding some shadows to our character so we can give to the scene more depth and volume. The basic technique here will be to pick each color layer and duplicate it and darken the new layer using the levels. Another option is to change the new layer’s mode to Multiply and play with the opacity so you can get a nice shadow color.
Once you have the shadow layer fully darkening the part of the character you are working on, you can start erasing the parts of the surface that will be hit by the light leaving untouched the parts where the shadows will be placed.
Two important things:
- Before you start erasing you need to decide from which angle the light is coming. For this scene, my general light comes from the upper right corner from the reader’s point of view.
- Another important thing is to use a soft brush with blurry borders for erasing the parts of paint that will be under the light.
I took the decision to create more rim lights, on the cape and the head, similar than the ones we already had on the character.
For the background as you can see I was playing with the sky a little bit so I can create a nice mood on the scene. I was playing with the saturation and the opacity of the sky’s layer. At this stage, I didn’t find the right colors for the sky. I knew I wanted red for the sky but I decided to use a big soft round brush and I painted some blue tones on the bottom of the background sky. My goal was to create some type of gradient from warm tones to cold tones.
For the ground, I selected the ground layer. In a new layer on top, I used the gradient tool, painting with a lighter red like if the light of the sky was lighting the ground. After that, I did the same of what I did on the character. Using the soft round brush I started to erase parts of the new light red layer so we can create a nice cast shadow of the character on the ground
This final step is more about adjusting the saturation on the image. If you are painting in digital this can be done playing with the saturation levels of the image. If you are painting traditionally you will need to add an extra layer of color on the areas where the light is hitting and the colors are more vibrant. The reds from the background, the blue patches of Batman’s outfit and the skin of the face will be areas where you will need to increase the color saturation.
As I promised, here you have a video where you can see how I’m drawing and coloring Batman’s head.
I hope this tutorial was useful to you. I encourage you to draw as much as you can in order to grow your drawing skills. To draw superheroes is not an easy task. Mostly because we draw them usually in dynamic poses. So practice is a key factor in order to improve your drawings. Down below you will find some links with the art supplies I use or used in the past and I recommend you. If you wanna know more about art supplies you can check also my article ” Recommended art supplies “
Also feel free to visit the Drawing Tutorials section, there you will find several free step by step tutorials similars than this one.
Toni Justamante Jacobs.