In this drawing lesson I’ll teach you how to draw Link from The Legend of Zelda. As an added bonus, we are going to draw Link in his Oracle of Ages version! (=
I’ll be using this image for reference.
So let’s get started!
Check out the video of part 1. When you are done, either move on to part 2 and 3, or read on for an entire breakdown of the steps for the three videos.
Our guidelines here are very simple.
From top to bottom, I divided the area into two “halves”.
The reason why I use quotation marks is that there is a 40-60 relation. The top “half” takes up 40%, while the bottom takes up 60%.
Then, I divided each of these halves into real halves.
I also added two lines at the sides, representing the borders of the drawing.
Next, let’s start drawing Link’s head.
The head takes up the top most quarter.
His head is looking to our right side, and so there is a slight tilt. It’ll become more noticeable when we add the face itself.
Notice how his hood / cape is flying to the right.
Now let’s add his left hand, which is playing the harp of ages (=
The fingers here can be a real challenge. I notice how in this poses, it seems like the middle and ring fingers are closer together than the rest of the fingers.
Also notice how the fingers are rounded.
Next, let’s start indicating the upper part of the body.
The important thing here is to understand how his belt is pressing down his clothes.
This creates these small bulges around Link’s waist.
Next, we’ll draw Link’s face.
There are two main things to remember here.
#1 – Link’s head is rotated to our right.
This makes his nose point to the right. It also means his left eye (right eye from our side) will appear to be a little smaller, because it’s “moving away” from us.
#2 – Keep things light.
With faces, especially in the manga and Japanese-styled art, you really want to keep things simple.
Drawing too many details, or drawing lines that are two strong, will lead to bad results. You want to draw this part very gently.
Now, let’s add the legs and boots.
I found the legs to be challenging, but I used reference for the entire drawing so that made things simpler.
Make sure to get the knees pointing in the right directions. Notice how I drew the left knee pointing left, and the right knee pointing right.
Also, notice how most of his weight is supported by his left (our right) leg.
You can see that this is his center of weight, because you can actually draw an entire straight line all along his left foot, and throughout his entire body.
Here is an illustration of this.
Also, notice how his boots are unproportionally huge, so get that in as well =P
Next, we’ll draw the harp.
Now, because it is highly detailed, we want to first indicate it using simple lines. It’s main shape is a circle.
Let’s get that in:
Now that we have the basic shape, let’s add the details according to the reference.
Here we go!
Now all that’s left to do is color and ink.
I tend to first color, and only then ink. I learned that trick from Mark Crilley.
So I begin by applying a first layer for each color I’ll be using. I am using colored pencils for this example, as I want to keep it simple.
Here is the first layer for Link’s Tunic’s green.
Noting too fancy here. I simply colored ALL that is green!
Next, I draw a first layer for the rest of the colors in this drawing.
Now it’s time to add the second layer, that will be darker, and will create the shades.
In order to do that, we need to set up the light source, and understand where we need to shade.
I jumped the gun earlier by shading the right sides of his legs, so we will go with that direction.
Let’s go ahead and color that second layer.
There we go! What do you think?
Notice how that second layer made the drawing POP, especially the highlights of the hair.
Also take a closer look at the harp. I left a part of the blue section entirely white. This creates a nice shiny effect.
Now we can finally ink Link!
I’ll start working from left to right, making sure I don’t smear my own lines.
I’m drawing the lines as quickly as possible. Takes some skills – practice makes perfect!
Because I colored first, I don’t even have to go over ALL lines. I can pick the important ones.
Also, I make sure I use different widths of lines, in order to get an interesting look. Some lines I make thick, others very thin and simple (especially around the face!).
And we are done!
I’ll probably create more video tutorials and articles on additional characters from The Legend of Zelda, and specifically Oracle of Ages (I LOVED that game).
Thank you so much for reading. Feel free to leave a comment or a question below, and I’ll answer everything!
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