Inspiration: Iron Man movie and comic books.
Concept: Whatever you feel like drawing; or for this example, whatever I feel like doing. :D
Pencils: I’d say at least keep it to HB, 2B and 4B.
We are going to draw it lightly, mostly it is advised to use H-degree of pencil for light work, H means Hard and because they are hard, leave less graphite on the paper and so are lighter. the more Hs (2H, 4H, 6H, 8H) the harder the pencil so the more lighter it runs on the paper, similarly B is Black. B pencils are softer, so leave more graphite on the paper, and so are darker (2B-dark,4B-darker, 6B-more darker, 8B-much more darker).
But, I use f- and 2b-degree of Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils. I consider them light though they’re not too light; F (fine-point) is almost same as your regular HB pencils. HB is equivalent to the standard American Number 2 pencil, B is Number 1.
With pencils, it all depends on your personal choices, yes different pencils have different properties, so, you should experiment with all types of pencils and use what suits you (and your paper of choice) the best.
Eraser: Any plastic (vinyl) eraser and putty (kneadable) eraser.
Paper/Card: You can get pre-cut blank cards from your local stationary or purchase them online; or otherwise, you can take any good quality paper (the thicker the better) and cut it down to make your own cards… just make sure to keep the dimensions to 2.5inches by 3.5inches.
(as for this example, we’re going to use watercolors so its advised to have a paper which is workable with water-based colors, if possible get a hot-pressed watercolour paper which is smooth and works well with water. This is because I used a non-compatible paper (this was done on a not-so-good-for-watercolor quality of card; it’s made of vampire paper which sucks! literally.)… so, I’d recommend some good paper.
Watercolors: Your choice; artist grade colors are better, though.
Brush: Simple watercolor brush; I used some synthetic round #6 and #8 brushes.
Water: Tap water would do as long as it’s clear and wet.. ;) just make sure you don’t waste it.
Cloth: A clean piece of cloth, your tee, hanky or whatever.
If you think you need anything else, use it.
So, to start with it all you need is to stay awake all night to watch Iron Man (the movie) or to read his comics!
Once you get enough of inspiration, get up and take a blank card or a piece of paper with a rectangular margin drawn of the same size that of a card [2.5X3.5 inches]. Now, you have a blank card (or its margin) and you’re all set and inspired, grab a pencil and start with the concept.
You may want to do a rough design or if you’re like me you’d go straight on to the card and would draw whatever should come to you… well, I’d recommend a more planned approach, though I still am working on it.. my bad. ^^;
Okay so lets work on the concept.
You’ve got to ask yourself… what you want to draw?
For this example, this is what I was talking to myself while deciding...
“…. umm… what about an angry Iron Man? Whoa! Yes! but.. how come angry… his expressions are always the same.. umm..okay so maybe I should work on some light effect… yeah.. sounds good.”
This way, we’ve got a mindset of what’s going to be drawn…. Now start drawing! :)
Starting with the lightest of strokes, decide the shape, perspective etc… in this case it’s going to be a front profile.
Do a little refinement and complete the design, lightly.
Do it any way you feel comfortable doing; mostly artists do the line art first and then the shading part, which is logically the right way of doing it. I, however, am still not very much into this practice.
Anyways, once the basic outline is done, do it a bit more refined and detailed…
Do the shading and complete the drawing, leave white space for all the light effects. Use (any) eraser to lighten the areas further, if required, adding to the glow.
(note: how to shade is not covered in this as it’s not a complete drawing tutorial; however, the process is somewhat similar to the next steps where the shading is done over the colors. Usually it is like doing light shading in uniform strokes following the contour lines of the shape, then blending those lines with paper/cloth for the smoothness (adding texture))
okay now, we’re done with the pencils, time to mess it up… watercolors! ..yay! :D
Take your brush, dip it in water, pick a little of the Yellow Orche, dilute it, and there you go… start with the yellow of the helmet…
..and to the reds of the suit/armor..
i tried mixing the orange-ish (scarlet lake, whadda name!) and the red-ish (crimson lake, again.. word!) in some absurd ratio to attain this color, sorry i don’t remember exactly but you’ve got to experiment on this; and again some yellows in the background, go over some dark yellows to give variation.
This is it, you’re done with the colors, I guess.. okay one thing to note here is the blue-ish tint in the white light coming out of his arc-reactor.
The trick is simple, you’ve already left the white space to make the glow (because we’re going to use watercolors and it’s a must when using watercolors – leave the whites – because they are transparent colors), so we’ll start a little inside from where the glow is fading to an end.
Pick a little of the Prussian Blue, and dilute it by adding a lot of water, actually all you need is just a bit of the color, I’d say touch the color with the tip of the brush.. just the tip.. pun intended ;)
okay once you have a very light blue-ish color with lots of water, pick it up … no.. wait, get the piece of cloth ready, now, load the brush and draw a circle around the end part of the glow, let it stay on the paper and dab.. dab.. dab… Do Not Wipe, just dab, it’s like patting the paper gently or I should say just press the cloth gently and quickly so to absorb the water off of the paper.
Again repeat the same process but this time start a bit more farther from the centre, like in the way the glow is spreading… and again dab it off. You’ll get the faint blue-ish tint. Do the same for the eye-lights.
Experiment and explore more. =)
Okay, next step… pencils, again!
Do the shading over the colors, once it’s dry, this time use smooth pencils (4B).
One thing to notice here is the shape of the pencil strokes: the strokes on the background are small and circular as to make it more rough looking, this will give a different texture to that space. Where as the strokes on the suit are straight lines. You can experiment with your strokes if you wish to show him like he's fighting and so there're dents all over his suit. :)
But if you do this, take care of the lights accordingly.
Once you’re done with it, take the dry side of the cloth and go over the pencils and blend smoothly following the contours of the design, which means the shape of the suit, the way similar to the shading process. This is it. You’re almost done.
Repeat the same process (step 10-11) and take care of the lines, darken it again with 4B pencil, and again smudge it with the cloth or with a piece of paper, if you feel like. Erase the unnecessary marks or remove the extra graphite with the eraser.
When all’s done, take the red-ish color you used for the body/armor/suit, and add a little more water to it, take a brush and paint a circle at the very end of the glow, and dab dab dab it immediately, this is to make it look more realistic, the light should be at its brightest near the center/source and should fade from there. What we're doing here is controlling the light bleed and giving it a bright circular shape showing off the arc-reactor.
And this is it, the angry looking Iron Man card. Done.
Go Party! =)
Oh, yeah and don’t forget to add your signature if, in case, you haven’t already done that in the pencil stage.
If still have any doubts, feel free to ask; anyways, i hope this helps.