Drawing R2-D2

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March 21, 2007
Ever wanted to draw Star Wars characters and vehicles just like the professional comic book artists? In this step-by-step series, Star Wars artists and illustrators show you how to draw some of the most beloved characters in the saga.

The spunky and adventurous astromech droid R2-D2 not only is an excellent ship mechanic and computer expert, but his bravery towards his friends helps them get out of tricky situations all throughout the saga. He's no ordinary droid, that's for sure. He's also a postal superstar, with hundreds of R2-D2-styled mailboxes popping up across America. Try finding one of the cool R2-D2 mailboxes near you and draw his portrait!

Star Wars illustrator Grant Gould explains with these easy-to-follow steps on how to draw a cartoon-style R2-D2.

Steps 1-5 are to be drawn lightly with a pencil. No pen, no dark lines. Finished lines and details will come at the end.

Step One:
First begin with the basic shapes. For Artoo's main body, it will look like an oval with a flattened bottom. Across the body draw the "T" lines to give you an idea of where to place the "eye" in Step Two. You're also creating the main structure lines for Artoo's legs as well.
Step Two:
Draw a small circle near the top of the dome (this is Artoo's "eye") and use the "T" shape to darken in the area that separates the dome from body. Next draw a rectangle along the centerline as shown. Use this step to flesh out Artoo's legs a bit more, too. When this step is complete, you should have a pretty good idea of where the rest of the details will fit in.
Instead of drawing in all of Artoo's details (and he's got a lot of them) at once, try tackling the drawing one section at a time. Let's begin with the legs. Use a steady, thick line over your previous pencil work, and start adding in the details as shown in the sample image. As with most of the droids in Star Wars, there are a lot of little gizmos and shapes to be found, so don't get too worried about this stage. If you miss one or two tiny details, that's okay! As long as the basic shapes and forms are there, your Artoo drawing will be a success!
Step Four:
Next up, draw Artoo's dome. Most of these details are fairly simple, so again, using the sample image as your guide, fill in the missing shapes. Be sure your lines are appropriately rounded, because as we know, Artoo's dome is round. Try to think of it as the top of a sphere. If you have an Artoo action figure, keep it in front of you while you're drawing to use as a guide! Sometimes having an actual 3-D shape as reference can help a lot, especially while drawing droids.
Step Five:
The last section to draw is Artoo's mid-section, or "main body." Use that rectangle you drew earlier as a guide, as well as the surrounding areas. Again, don't be too worried about each and every tiny detail. The key is to focus on basic shapes. Focus on one shape at a time then move on to the next.
Step Six:
Your Artoo drawing is almost complete! In this step, go over your final lines with a pen or marker. I like to use artist brush pens, though they take some getting used to. Once your ink lines are dry, erase the pencil lines. Or use heavier pencil lines over the lighter ones. However you decide to finish your drawing is completely up to you. Be sure to darken in the shadowed spots as shown in the sample.
Step Seven:
If you want to color your Artoo drawing, first photocopy your final drawing and use that to color him in. This way you can try different methods and you won't have to worry about making a mistake on your original. There are many ways to add color. Use crayons, markers, colored pencils, or even use your computer if you have a painting program.
Step Eight:
This is the final image colored in Photoshop. I added a desert background (much like the scenes we see in A New Hope) and played around a little by adding some extra shadows and colors.

For more fun and helpful tips on how to draw your favorite Star Wars characters, read all about the new book You Can Draw: Star Wars from DK Publishing.

Keywords: Drawing

Filed under: Kids, Stuff to Do

Databank: R2-D2 (Artoo-Detoo)
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