How to Draw Link

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Welcome to this drawing lesson.
Here we learn how to draw Link, the hero from the Zelda video games.
He is a brave and noble elf warrior rescuing his princess from evil monsters.
A role model for us all, isn't he?

Link Drawing

Since he is a rather detailed character this lesson is pretty long.
But I split it into many small sections, so it's no big deal for you to take a break in between and return later.

Let's get started.

How to Draw Link - 1: Head and Torso Outline

First we draw a very basic sketch of Link.
The size of the body parts is all that matters here.
Draw everything very lightly in this section, because all of these lines will be erased eventually.

1. Begin by drawing an oval for Links head.
We will compare the size of the other body parts to this oval.
In total, Links height will be 6 heads, so be sure that 5 more ovals would fit below your first one.

2. Now sketch in Links torso. Its height should be twice as large as the head, but it should only be slightly broader.
This is the torso without shoulders. When we later add them together with arms it will look much broader.

How to Draw Link - 2: Legs & Feet Outline

3. Sketch in the legs in this step, making them 3 heads tall.
Let them become narrow at the knees, and broader below again.
Draw the feet just as simple blocks for now, without being too much concerned about their actual shape.

How to Draw Link - 3: Arms & Shield

4. Now it's time to draw in the arms.
Start where the neck meets the torso and draw the shoulders growing out towards the sides. The shoulders point slightly downwards and are not horizontal.

The right arm disappears quickly behind Link's large shield. Make the shield so big that it almost reaches down to the knee.
Draw the other arm hanging down beside the torso, but let it make a bend at the elbow, so that the lower arm is slightly lifted.
Draw a simple circle as a placeholder for the fist to its end.

How to Draw Link - 4: Sword Outline

5. What would be a hero without a great weapon?
Just hiding behind his shield, I guess.
But that won't do, so let's give our elf a mighty sword to wield.

Draw the sword's narrow grip going through the fist's circle, and attach a triangular pommel to its end. Then add a semi-circular cross-guard to the grip's other end, and draw the long blade reaching out of its middle.

Now our basic sketch of Link is complete.
We have given him a clear pose and defined his proportions.
It's time to move on and draw in some details.

How to Draw Link - 5: Face Details

This is now the part where we start to draw over our initial sketch.
Here we use stronger lines, and erase the old, light lines eventually.

6. Draw the frame for Link's heart-shaped face into the oval, and close it off with his hair at the top. Draw one patch of hair hanging down into the forehead on one side, and another patch of hair hanging down at the other side of the face.

7. Add lines that close off the hair at the top, and also add two small lines where the hairline is visible on the forehead.

8. You can lightly sketch in a cross on Link's face to help you place eyes, nose and mouth correctly. Afterwards, you'll just have to erase it again.

Draw the eyes above the middle line and make them rather large.
Place the nose a bit to the right.
Then draw in the mouth below it.

9. Add a big circle into each eye for the iris, and also draw in the eyebrows above them.

10. Draw a small circle (or rather an oval in my case) for the pupil into each iris.
Then add a strand of hair hanging down on each side of the face.

How to Draw Link - 6: Ears & Cap

11. Attach the ears as two thin triangles to the sides of the head.
Put Link's cap on his head afterwards. Let it coil up at the end, as if it is flowing in the wind.

12. Here are the last few details for the head:
Draw a line for a fold along the cap's broad end.
Sketch a few lines into the patches of hair.
Then draw a line through the middle of each ear, so that you get a division from inner and outer ear.

The head is complete, and we move on the Link's clothes now.

How to Draw Link - 7: Clothing

13. Start with a narrow collar around Link's throat. This is the collar of the inner shirt he is wearing.

14. Then add a broader, spike-shaped collar around it. This one belongs to the green shirt Link is wearing on top of the inner one.

15. Redraw the top of Link's torso.
There is an additional line coming out from behind the shield, and another one on the other side is marking the side of the chest.
Cut off the sleeve on the visible arm a bit below the shoulder.

16. Draw in a belt and add a little fold into the shirt where it touches the belt at the side.
Below the belt you draw the bottom of the suit hanging down in many little folds.
Also give clear lines to the shield in this step.

17. Replace the sketchy lines for links arm with a clear outline, and put a large gauntlet around his lower arm.

How to Draw Link - 8: Hand and Sword

Since only one of Link's hands is visible it is important that it looks good, because it will get a lot of attention in the drawing.

18. Begin with three lines that define the edge of the fist.

19. Then add a row of four fingers along the bottom.

20. Place the thumb across the first finger, and the fist is complete.

21. Now you can outline the sword hilt in detail and with clear lines.
Place a cone into the cross-guard's middle and let two curved shapes grow out of its sides.

22. Now elongate the blade towards the cross-guard, so that it starts at the cone. Make the blade slightly narrower at the beginning and then broader as it leaves the cross-guard.

How to Draw Link - 9: Legs & Boots

23. Draw in clear lines for the legs now, and take care to let the knees stand out clearly. Cut off the legs just below the knees with curved lines, because the boots are starting here already.

24. Now draw the upper parts of the boots wrapping around the legs.

25. Outline the sides of the boots. Make them slightly curved, and let them become a bit narrower and then broader again at the bottom.

26. Now draw in the feet. One of them is facing towards us, and is shortened by the perspective. Draw its front as an oval, and then connect it with the rest of the boot. Take care to let the heel stand out clearly.
The other foot is looking to the side and is longer for that reason.
Make the front like a stretched oval and also take care to accentuate the heel at the back.

27. Add a thin sole at the bottom of the boots.
Make a clear separation between heel and frontal part on the boot that's seen from the side.
Now the boots are complete, ready to kick some monsters in the butt.

How to Draw Link - 10: Accessories and Details

Link Drawing
Now you can erase the last traces of our first sketch.
This is what your Link should look like afterwards.
Of course there will be minor differences between mine and yours.
But let's continue to draw in a few more details.

28. Start out by placing the sword's sheath on his back. There is just a small part sticking out behind his shoulder, and another one can be seen below the shield.

29. The sheath needs something that ties it to Links back, so draw in a girdle that goes diagonally across the torso.
Also add a square into the girdle around the waist for the belt buckle.

30. Draw stripes across the shoulder-girdle. Then place another square into the belt buckle, and add a small metal rod that keeps it in place.

31. Link has a mini-shield on his sword arm.
Tie two stripes around his gauntlet, and then add the shield as a square that is sticking out behind it.

32. Draw stripes on the cross-guard.
Then add a little triangle into the sword's middle and separate the sharp edge of the blade with a line from the rest of the metal.

33. Let's make the boots a bit fancier.
Draw a little leather square sticking out at the top, so that the upper edge of the boots doesn't cut into Link's legs while walking.
Also draw two stripes on each boot for decoration.

34. Add a metal locket to the sheath's top and a metal chape to its bottom.

All that is left now is Link's shield. It has a rather complicated and detailed pattern on it. You can come up with a simpler design if you like, but here it is the way I saw it on a game screen shot.

How to Draw Link - 11: The Shield

35. First, draw a frame around the shield.

36. Now let small parts of the iron frame stick into the shield's inner section.

37. Draw circles into the upper two corners and the bottom. Then split the frame with a straight line there.
Let's move to the actual picture on the shield:
At the top there is a big triangle. Below it is something like a bird with stretched wing. In this step you draw the small "head" of the bird, and the thing, long "body" below it.

38. Erase the line within the small circles in the corners, and then add the wings to the bird.
Each wing has four feathers that become gradually smaller from top to bottom.

39. Draw these two strange shapes beside the triangle and at the bottom of the shield. Also add the "claws" for the bird.

40. And finally, you draw a small inverted triangle into the big triangle, and place a few lines into these strange shapes beside the triangle and at the shield's bottom.

And that's it.
Link can rescue the princess now, or go collecting treasures that are hidden in patches of grass.
It's just the sort of stuff he's doing.

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