Hi art lovers. So we would consent that when it comes to historical warfare, Russia and the Slavic countries have been producing some stellar warriors. One of such historical warrior classes we love is the Cossacks. The Cossacks have proven towards time and time again to be incredibly mobile and effective troops. Their nomadic roots go back to the X century when they establish themselves in Ukraine and the south of Russia.

So, for this tutorial, we would be stepping into the Ukranian and Russian steps to draw none other than the Cossack warrior in 8 easy steps. Each of this step should be followed strictly if you hope to get the best results. Before we get on with it, you should know that we would first sketch out a dummy. This is to serve as a base upon which we would create a flawlessly detailed final sketch. Ready?! Let’s draw ourselves a stunner!.

How To Draw a Cossack warrior

For the purposes of this tutorial, we would be drawing a Cossack warrior and we would be doing this in eight easy steps. For each step, I would be providing you with the necessary tips and tricks so you can have the best results. Now that we’ve laid that out, let’s go on to put together a masterpiece.

Step 1: Drawing The Rib Cage 

Our character rib cage would be drawn using the 3/4 drawing scale. This simply means that the left side facing the viewers would be bigger than the right side of the torso. Also, you should note that our character is well-built. So, using the above image as a guide, he should be drawn with broad shoulders and chest and a small waistline. Going on, the Cossack rib cage should be divided into 2 horizontal curved lines. The first should connect from shoulder to shoulder and the second should run directly beneath his chest.

Next, you should draw 2 vertical arches connecting the sides of the top line with the correspondent side right below. Once the main shape of the rib cage is drawn you should draw some lines inside to divide the different planes. The first curve line will be the one separating the front chest from the side of the rib cage. The next one will be the one dividing the chest, separating the two pectoral muscles.

Step 2: Drawing The Hips

For the abdomen, you should draw two pretty short vertical lines that extend down from the rib cage. Then an outwardly curved horizontal line should connect those vertical lines. For the hips, you should draw them to take the form of a man’s underpants as depicted in the image. This is where the legs of our character would emerge.

Step 3: Drawing The Legs

Our Cossack would be drawn on his feet with his legs slightly apart. Also, remember to use the 3/4 drawing scale. That said, from the base created for the legs, start off each leg as though drawing a big tube. The leg should reduce gradually as you get to the knee region. From there, extend them out again and gradually reduce their size as they get to the ankles. Then draw the feet as seen in the image. Lastly, refer to the picture and outline the knees by drawing two horizontal lines on the knee region of each leg. In the middle of the lines, draw a circle to depict the knee caps.

Step 4: Drawing The Arms 

The arms would be drawn using the 3/4 drawing scale. This means that the left arm would be way more visible than the right arm. Emerging from the shoulders, the arms would take the form of a tube and it should gradually reduce as it gets to the dividing line between the upper arm and the lower arm( the elbow). They should then extend out again and gradually get slimmer as they get to the wrist. You can then draw the hands and fingers as seen in the above image. Check how the hand on the right is represented sideways, so only the side of the palm a, the thumb and the index finger will be visible. The hand will be resting on the pommel of a sword you will draw in step number 6.

Step 5: Drawing The Head

From the base created for the head, two short vertical lines should be drawn. This should serve as the Cossack´s neck. Having drawn that, our characters head will be drawn in the form of a medium sized oval that sits on the neck and would be drawn using the 3/4 drawing scale. The head should then be divided by a vertical line and a horizontal line which intersects at the middle( forming a cross). These lines would be used for filling in the facial details later.

Step 6: Drawing The Weapons

At this stage, details such as our characters weapons would be sketched out. The left hand will be holding a musket. The right hand will be resting on the pommel of a saber. The musket should be quite easy to draw. A long and narrow cylinder ended in the Muzzel and the Ramrod in one side and the Butt of the Stock in the other.

Below you can find the different parts of the Musket so you have a better understanding.

The cossack saber will be barely visible on the right side. I drew the arms of the cross curved in opposite angles, but you can draw them straight if you don´t want to overcomplicate the things.

Step 7: Drawing The Clothes

The cossack costume is composed of a long jacket with the sides open so the arms can come out from the sides. Under the jacket, the cossack will be shirtless. The trousers are very wide and baggy and the boots will come up halfway shin. Around his waist, the cossack will be wearing a big sash and on top of it some belts. Our character will be wearing a bag hanging on the side with the straps coming across the chest.

Step 7: Drawing The Facial Features

Regarding the facial features, you gotta draw a long mustache. The nose will be placed along the vertical line. Along the horizontal line, you should draw the eyes. The eyes should be small and old looking.

The hair will be shaved on the sides and long on the top coming down from the side of the head.

Step 8: Drawing The Final Lineart

Now, we are about to start off our final sketch, so the unnecessary lines of the dummy we have drawn this far would be faded out. Next up, the outfit and facial details we have sketched out in the previous step would be made bolder.

 Using traces lefts of the original manikin´s sketch, you would then go on to draw the final lines. It should comprise of well-detailed features, a well-drawn face, clothing, and weapons. With that done, you should then throw in some shading effects to your drawing. Shading has an easy of making drawings appear so real and flawless. So go on and make the strokes of your drawing darker. You can then shade places like our characters belt, underarms and his neck region. If you are interested in knowing more about how to shade with a pencil, you can check my free tutorial clicking here.

Also, another important detail is to draw wrinkles and foldings coming from tension areas, like the interior part of the pants and the bottom of the boots where the fabric is being pulled, stretched or folded.


We have successfully put together a commendable drawing of a Cossack warrior and you should feel proud. However, don’t put away your tools just yet. Go over the tutorial a couple of times more and soon you will be able to draw any character without needing a tutorial.

For more tutorials click on the Drawing Tutorials section on the menu bar on top.

Tutorial by Toni Justamante Jacobs

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