The massive statue in Rio de Janeiro, Christ the Redeemer (or Cristo Redentor in Portuguese), is the largest Art Deco statue in the world. The statue alone measures 99 feet tall, with an additional 20 feet for the pedestal. It is 62 feet wide from finger tip to finger tip. The Christ figure is holding his arms out in such a way that his form resembles that of a cross. To draw the statue, let us begin with a rough guide in the shape of the cross. Draw the cross very lightly with a 2H or harder pencil, as it is just a guide for us. We will erase these lines later on.
It's best to draw the pedestal first. The pedestal has 8 sides. 4 sides are wide, and the other 4 are narrow, as if the corners of a cube were shaved off. From our perspective, we would see one wide side of the pedestal, with two narrow sides on accompanying it. Notice the short, upper level of the pedestal. We will go back to the pedestal later to draw in the actual brickwork. Use the center, vertical line of the cross as a guide for the midpoint of the pedestal.
Let's return to the statue figure and sketch the shape. Again, remember to draw lightly, as these are simply more guide lines. The arms are outstretched all the way, and, because Christ is wearing loose robes, the body is in the shape of a large cylinder.
Moving on to the face, sketch in the location of the eyes, mouth, and nose. Note the high cheek bones and the underside of the jaw/beard.
Now tighten up your lines of the face and draw in more detail, such as the eye brows, eyes lids, lips, and bridge of the nose. The statue does in fact have a beard, but the appearance of the beard is more suggestive than it is literal. There are no whiskers carved into the statue, and you cannot see where the skin stops and the beard begins. It almost looks like a very strong jaw from certain angles, such as this one.
We can now draw in the arms, which are clothed in very loose fabric hanging down very far. Remember to use your horizontal cross line as a guide. Draw in a few wrinkles and the upper part of the cloth that wraps around his neck. We will finish drawing the rest of the cloth in a later step.
Next, let's finish the arms by drawing the hands. They are outstretched with palms facing upwards. The fingers are together.
Making our way down the body, we draw more of the robes and finish drawing the loose piece of cloth that we did not finish in step 6. Notice how the ends of the fabric hang very loosely and fold against themselves as they wrap around the body.
Let's finish sketching the figure by drawing the lower robes that drape down from beneath the upper robes. These lower robes appear very heavy and hang almost straight down, but they are slightly curved. Draw a series of thick wrinkles on the robes.
Returning to the pedestal, we can now draw in the brickwork that it is made of. Be sure that the brickwork on the side edges of the pedestal reseed downward in the proper direction, rather than being perfectly vertical as they are seen in the front, large portion of the pedestal.
This is a good time to ink the image using either a brush and ink, or markers such as Microns or Copic Multiliners. Take your time and be sure to ink all needed lines, but not to ink any unneeded guide lines. After your ink has tried, erase your pencils marks with a kneaded eraser. You should now have a nice, clean, black and white image of the statue.
Before we finish the illustration, it might be a good idea to ink in some shadows to give the image more depth. Establish a light source (in this case it is coming from the upper right) and ink in the shadows on the opposite side of every visible body part, wrinkle, and the pedestal. Doing this will bring the image to life (even though it's just a statue).
As a finishing touch, go back with white ink or opaque white paint to do any needed touch ups, or to paint in some highlights. To make things more interesting, you can also paint in the brickwork on the shaded side of the pedestal. After this, you're done! Congratulations, you now know how to draw Christ the Redeemer!
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