Mark Crilley: How To Draw Mecha Characters

The anime drawing master delivers another fine example of a ‘how to draw’ characters video where he explores the techniques necessary to create a fictional mecha character in pencil.

This is a beginner’s lesson and Crilley begins with the upper torso because it is the largest section to draw and allows all the other limbs to be proportioned accordingly. Using his infamous black prismacolor pencil he uses linear guidelines and reference points to sketch large areas like the arms of the mecha bot and the legs so the drawing takes a convincing shape of a robot.

He says people ask him ‘how do I gather the proportions of a mecha bot’. Well as he quite simply states, ‘It’s a robot, they have no proportions’ so with this in mind you have a great avenue to get creative there. Drawing the armour can be fun and unique so you can use this video to take on Crilley’s expert guidelines and opinions. Have fun and be experimental with your drawing, after all these robots are based on fantasy and fiction so reach for you pencil and get going on your paper with help of everyone’s favourite anime drawing instructor.

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    1. Mark, youre awesome man… I like to draw and I think i can do some good work but i definitely improved as I watched your videos… But I dont think your teaching is the only awesome thing… your so funny man… I cant stop laughing because of your accents and… “whats the words for that??” or “does that word even exist?????” LOL…. God bless you and your family.

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    2. One good way I’ve found to get mirrored details likes eyes and in this case, shoulder pads, is working on both at the same time. In other words, not spending ten minutes to detail one eye/shoulder and then work on the other one, but rather work a little on one, a little on the other, and bounce back and forth until it’s symmetrical.

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    3. The shoulder pads are like that to protect part of the 2 part shoulder joint. ! part is a rotary joint that the shoulder pad conects to, the other is a hinge that is housed inside to shoulder pad, In reality, that would be EXACTLY how you would make a robot’s shoulder (and hip joints for that mater), because building a ball-and-socket joint with anywhere near the mobility of a real human sholder would require a design that had as little obstruction to it’s movement (A.K.A, armor) as possible.

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    4. Hmmm… The chest design looks like the exoskeletal “zaku” design (less angular, has the shell as the main structural component), but the arms and legs look like Iner-skeletal “gundam” type design (attaches armor and other stuff to a metal “bone”). Neat! Diferent, but neat!

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    5. way to short video XD seriously, drawing takes time, if you cant stay more than 20 minutes of educational video, then drawing might not be the right thing for your level of patience. very sad that you cut your videos down so much just to please inpatient viewers. : ( arent the ones who would love to spend more time the ones you should aim for ? i really dont know about that, as i dont run my own youtube channel like you do Mark. but please do longer videos! 🙂

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    6. I feel the same way about drawing columns and cubes too. I also like your idea of sort of framing the ground and guide lines, that’s a good idea I’m going to try, because sometimes my characters end up too long or skewed in a weird way and that may help

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    7. Awesome work! I’m gonna get the book. I think the reason the legs are larger in proportion to the body is because the torso is the cockpit and the suit is the extension of the body and in engineering stand point, to support the weight. Those things on the ankles are probably called splash guards (j/k)

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    8. 15:00+ there just a round plate protector, believe it or if you look into the Gundam mechanics books or any of those how to draw books. You will see how those joints are engineered, its basically a giant Ring gear. with a motor inside. The only joint i haven’t been able to engineer on these awesome suits.. is the hip joint, I’m thinking gear box mounted on pistons… but it would make it just so weak… i don’t think it could take the weight of the entire torso..

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    9. wow. i’ve been struggling with these for at least a half year now. seeing this guy just woosh his pencil around so easily is bit disheartening. i can’t even do the basic shapes and things. but no bash on him though; he’s really impressive.

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