Home Art How to Draw an Ancient Greek Warrior ( Hoplite )

How to Draw an Ancient Greek Warrior ( Hoplite )

If you have some interest in ancient Greece, you must have come across the figure of the Ancient Greek soldier, the Hoplite. These individuals were known as probably one of the best infantry forces in Ancient times. The Hoplite phalanx was without a doubt the spinal cord of great ancient Greek armies such as the Spartans and Alexander the Great troops. So, if you have ever been in awe of Ancient Greek Soldiers, then in this drawing tutorial you are in for a fun ride.

We will be showing you how to draw a perfect image of an Ancient Greek Warrior from start to finish and we would be doing this in 8 easy steps. The drawing would capture his outfit and weapons. How amazing is that?!. You should also note that the more familiar you are with each step, the more likely your final draft would be flawless and the more likely it would appeal to an audience. That said, we would start up by drawing a dummy. The manikin would serve as a foundation for our final sketch. Ready?. Let’s rock and roll!.


Using the above picture as a guide, the Hoplite´s rib cage should be drawn using a 3/4 perspective. This just means that the right side which faces the viewers would be drawn bigger in size than the left side.

Going on, the rib cage should be started off by drawing two curved horizontal lines. The lower line should have a deeper arc than the top line. Then you should draw two curved out vertical lines that connect the earlier drawn horizontal lines at their extremes. Having done that, divide the rib with a vertical line using the 3/4 perspective. When that is done, as seen in the picture, draw another curved vertical line at the left side of the rib cage. This would serve to highlight the underarm area  Having drawn it, go on to highlight where the head will be by drawing a small circle at the top of the rib cage. Flowing from that, draw another circle at the top left side of the rib cage. This would be where the right arm would emerge from.


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 from.


Our Greek Hoplite character would be drawn standing with his legs littel bit separated and the feet align with the shoulders. Each leg should be started off as a big tube and then you should gradually reduce them as you get to the knees. To highlight the knees, draw two horizontal lines on each knee and then draw a circle in between them as seen in the above picture. When you’ve done that, the continuation of the leg should then extend out a little and should narrow down as you get to the ankles. Then draw the feet as seen.

The difference between one leg and the other is the leg on the right is flexed, meanwhile, the other leg appears extended due to the body´s weight lays on top of it


The arms of our character should be sketched slightly extended from the body and they should be drawn using a 3/4 perspective. This entails the left arm being bigger in size than the right arm because the left side faces the viewers.

Having laid that out, the upper arms should be started off in the form of big tubes and should reduce in size as they get to the elbows. Then they should extend out at the point of drawing the lower arms and should further reduce as you get to the wrist. Having drawn that, draw the hands as seen in the picture. When drawing the left hand, draw the fingers of the left hand slightly clenched as it will hold the spartan shield, meanwhile, the hand´s palm will be resting on top of the shield. The thumb will be hidden behind the shield´s masa.

The fingers on the right hand should be also clenched because our warrior will be holding in this hand a spear. Finally, draw the arms biceps and triceps by drawing the horizontal lines seen in the image.


For the head, first, draw a small neck that extends from the circle at the top of the rib cage. Then draw the head as a medium sized oval. Flowing from that, draw a vertical and a horizontal line that intersects within the oval. These lines would be useful for drawing facial features later.  

If you are interested in developing your anatomy drawing skills and learn how to draw characters digitally, you should check my drawing video course. You can find more information clicking the image below:


The Spartan shield is one of the most important features of our character’s outfits and according to what’s depicted in the above picture, the shield should be drawn as a circle with a “v” in the center of it.

The spear on the right hand will be drawn as a long tube ended in a triangular shape.


Well, an Ancient Greek Warrior armor is made up of metallic body armor covering the chest and abdomen area.

We would include the bracelet and shin protections into our characters drawing by sketching all the lines as shown in the image.

Regarding the head, we will draw the traditional crested Helmet known also as Corinthian Helmet covering fully the head except for the eyes, and with a narrow opening under the nose, where the mouth and the chin are barely visible.

Under the armor, the Hoplite is wearing a short tunic that reaches above the elbows on the arms, and the above knees on the legs.

Another important piece of fabric will be the cape laying on top of our character’s shoulders.


For this stage, you would need to fade out the dummy already drawn. This is to prevent the manikin´s sketch from interfering with your final sketch. 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 helmetarmor, 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 wrinkle lines from the clothing. Wrinkles in clothing come from tension areas, like the armpit, the tunic´s sleeves and the bottom of the tunic covering the thighs, where the fabric of the tunic is being pulled, stretched or folded. Also, the foldings on the cape will be a great point of attention, you should focus on.


Right here is where we call our drawing tutorial of an Ancient Greek Warrior a wrap. You can go on and express some satisfaction at what you have been able to put together on your drawing pad. However, you should not hang up your drawing tools just yet. We advise that you repeat the procedure a couple of times more. This would enable you to have a better grasp of character drawing and soon enough you will be able to polish up on your skills and draw without seeking the assistance of a drawing tutorial.  

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

Writting and art by Toni Justamante Jacobs, Concept artist and illustrator.

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