How to Draw an AK-47

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STEP 1. As we want to draw a very accurate drawing of the rifle, we are going to have to find a very good reference image and ensure that we draw the gun to the correct proportions. Begin by choosing a medium to high resolution photo of an AK-47 and copy the photo into Microsoft word. Here you are able to manipulate the photo to a size that you would like to draw and I recommend that you turn the photo so that the rifle sits diagonally across the page. This is because the AK-47 is very long and you will not be able to draw a detailed drawing on an A4 page if you let it sit horizontally (unless you ignore the rifle’s stock). Set the page resolution to 100% (bottom right corner of the page) so that the page on your screen is the same size as the paper you are drawing onto. This allows you to draw to a 1:1 scale relative to the reference photo which makes it easier to stay true to the rifle.   STEP 2. Equipment • HB, 4B pencils • Q-tips (cotton-buds) or alternatively cotton-pads (make-up removers) or tissues. • Ruler   STEP 3. How to shade using q-tips. First shade a light layer and then smooth it out with a q-tip or cotton pad. Secondly, go over the layer a couple more times to darken it and then finally smooth this second layer out with q-tips   STEP 4. To draw thin highlights on metal work, you can use a technique called masking. This involves placing two sheets of paper close together and erasing the area between them. This is a similar technique to pinstriping a car using masking tape   STEP 5. Make sweeping and definitive pencil strokes when drawing wood grain. Use the point of the pencil led, not the side. Make sure that you put a base layer of smooth shading first before you draw the wood grain as you don't want the grain to get faded.   STEP 6. This shows the importance of a base layer of shading - the wood on the extreme left looks far more realistic.   STEP 7. Remember that this is a technical drawing. That means that you cannot apply the same techniques that you use to draw animals or portraits here. Instead, you will need to draw with a ruler glued to your hand! Drawing an accurate outline of an assault rifle is one of the most time consuming technical drawings to attempt and, unless you are as patient as I am, I _highly_ recommend that you trace the outline of your reference photo rather than painstakingly measuring every component of the rifle. There is nothing difficult about measuring out each part but if you are going to attempt it, be prepared to spend at least 2 hours to do it properly. This will involve choosing several points on the image that you can use to ensure your drawing has the correct proportions. Good points to choose are the trigger, grips, barrel or joints between components of the gun. Once you have chosen appropriate points, you can measure the horizontal and vertical distance of the point from the borders of the photo and then use a ruler to measure the points onto your paper. From here, you can draw the surrounding details and create a basic outline of the gun. Don’t worry about drawing in any details yet.   STEP 8. Now you must start drawing the details. There are very few tips I can give other than to measure before you rule a line! You also do not want to push hard with the pencil (you should be using nothing harder than an HB pencil) as each pencil stroke cuts a groove that remains on the page when you erase the mark. Then, when shading, the groove will stand out and make it impossible to achieve a smooth layer of shading. Just try to be as clean and clinical as possible.   STEP 9. With all the outlining completed, we can begin to render the drawing. The first step is to darken some of the lines. You will want to focus on the barrel of the gun to begin with.   STEP 10. When you look at your reference image, you should notice that the metallic sheen on the barrel can actually be broken down into blocks of different shades. It is a simple matter of shading strips of different darkness onto the barrel. The end result looks very impressive but the drawing process is quite simple.   STEP 11. Add the final layers of shading to the barrel area and then we can begin to shade the base layer of the wooden hand grip. This can be rough – in fact, you are looking for a sort of cloud effect when shading the base layer of wood – you want the graphite to be smooth but the shading to be a bit inconsistent. This will give the wood a more natural look later when we add the grain details.   STEP 12. This can be the hardest step when drawing an AK-47. You must shade the face of the metal component above the trigger and this must be both light and consistent shading. The required technique can take a lot of practise to master and I explain how I shade in the technique section at the beginning of this tutorial. Alternatively, you can opt for the weathered metal look. This can look just as good as smooth shading and is much easier to pull off. You essentially shade the area as best you can and then smooth it out. If you are inexperienced then the shading will probably be quite lumpy – and that should look just like weathered metal!   STEP 13. Before shading the magazine (curved bit), you must draw in borders around the highlights so that you avoid them when shading. You could also opt for the masking method that I outline at the beginning of this tutorial, although this would be difficult as the highlights are not straight. I recommend shading first in HB and then going over it in 4B to achieve a smoother shade.   STEP 14. The penultimate step! With all the metal work done, you now focus on adding the shadows and highlights to the wood components (handle, grip and stock). Shade the areas normally first, then darken areas for the shadows and lighten the highlights with an eraser.   STEP 15. The final step involves drawing the wood grain. It may look difficult, but it is very easy to achieve. Make sure that your base layer of shading is the way you want it before you add the grain (ensure that the highlights and shadows are in the correct place). I explain how to achieve a wood grain look in the techniques section, but all it really takes is a lot of sharp lines and some thicker, curved ones. You can do as you wish here really, just don’t go over-board. This concludes my tutorial on how to draw a realistic assault rifle; I hope it helps you with your drawings.   Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. Step 4. Step 5. Step 6. Step 7. Step 8. Step 9. Step 10. Step 11. Step 12. Step 13. Step 14. Step 15.