Step-by-step Leia Part 1.

Here is the first part of my Leia tattoo design process. I’ve decided to split it into two parts because it would be too long to read otherwise.

Ok, so first of all I had a basic idea about wanting to draw a Princess Leia tattoo for myself, mainly because she’s always been a idol of mine since I was a little girl. Star wars was one of the first films I saw, and even though I’m not really a nerd any more, I still have a couple of collector’s items and stuff tucked away in a closet.

Step 1. I found a typical image of Leia online. I thought about making my own version of her to begin with, but at the same time, I wanted her to look at least somewhat like Carrie Fisher so therefore I chose a classic image of her. After breaking the image down into separate parts, i.e hair, face, dress etc, I started sketching. I know that many artists start by making basic shapes in order to get the proportions right, but I never do that. I just draw what I see in front of me (or the image in my head if I’m drawing something from my imagination). I adjusted any errors in the proportions with an eraser, making sure that her characteristic features are correct. Carrie Fisher has round cheeks, big eyes and a quite distinctive nose. I’m sketching with a H2 pencil onto 180 g paper. I just like thicker paper better no matter what I’m working on.

Step 1.Basic sketch. Pencil.

Step 2 and 3. When I thought that my sketch looked like I wanted it to look, I transferred it onto another paper, slightly bigger than A4. I did this because I wanted to add a couple of things, like flowers and the Rebel Alliance logo. At this stage I had to decide what style I wanted it to have, and for the fun of it, I chose to make it into an old school style tattoo. Old school tattoos are very distinctive in their style because they are simple, have thick lines and few colours. I also decided that I wanted it to be symmetrical so that it would look good on my calf, which I why I just drew one side and then copied it onto a transparent paper. I’ve also switched over to a HB pencil and 220g paper so I can paint on it without denting the paper.

Step 2. Composition and layout. Pencil.

Step 3. Copying and reversing. Pencil.

Step 4. Now I have the whole sketch and layout and I can start colouring it.

Step 4. Finished sketch, ready for painting. Pencil.

I hope you have followed me this far and I hope to see you in part two tomorrow!