How To Draw a Glock Handgun
By Joe Catapano
Whether you have a cunning anti-hero or a crew of bank robbers, sometimes stories call for you, the artist, to draw convincing guns. But for whatever reason, weapons and props tend to be an after thought when a young artist starts drawing their characters. A well drawn weapon can make or break an otherwise well drawn character. With this tutorial, I plan to take some of the mystery out of drawing a at least on type of weapon: the handgun.
There are an insane amount of guns out there; all with there own facets, silhouettes and personalities. One of the easiest and most popular guns on the market is a 9mm Glock handgun. Street criminals are usually shown with this type of weapon, so I thought it would be a great example to draw.
Handguns are also great place to start because they are generally blocky in shape and this can make the process very straightforward. Drawing a handgun is in many ways much easier to draw than a vehicle or another piece technical machinery. So, if you think you are ready, lets get going!
Before the lesson begins, I want to lay down a bit of a disclaimer. This lesson requires fundamental knowledge of perspective and several techniques to manipulate shapes in space. I will try the best I can to inform you of these basics as I go through each step, however these are the skills critical to your success with this tutorial.
Ability to draw a basic 2 point perspective grid
Ability to divide, mirror, and multiply planes in space
Knowledge of ellipses
All you need now is a pencil or ball-point pen and a sheet of paper. If you choose to work digitally, it is encouraged to use whatever tools are at your disposal.
Optional traditional tools:
Step 1: Gather Photo Reference For The Handgun
For this tutorial, I visited the official Glock website to find a particular model that has the simplicity and the cool factor that we are looking for. Today, we will be drawing from the G34 9mm model. It has an extended barrel, which I think gives it a much cooler look. I will fill you in on why that is true in the next step. We are using three different photos to work from as reference: One side view shot, one front view and one three-quarter shot.
Note: Beginning with reference is essential, and especially when you are dealing with technical subjects. I recommend you always start with this step. And, if you really want to understand your subject material, getting your hands on a model or toy of your subject will help tremendously.
Let’s move on.
Step 2: Observe The Handgun's Proportional Relationships
Since this gun is already designed for us, there is no need to plan anything in a separate preliminary side view sketch. However, we do need to make clear observations about how the different parts of the handgun relate to one another. I will walk you through my marked up side view photo and explain which particular parts to pay attention to. Feel free to mark up the photo yourself if you want to understand this step further.
So, first, see how I put a box around the gun and divided it in half by finding the center, using the “x” method. Dividing shapes into halves and thirds holds value because it’s essentially giving you landmarks to work from. Using the centerlines that we just found, notice that the trigger guard is roughly halfway up the gun’s height.
Next, I divided the barrel and the trigger guard area into thirds respectively. Notice that the trigger branches from the main gun right around the first third from left to right. And finally, notice how the upper shaft of the barrel is about 2/3’s of the whole barrel. These observations will aid you when translating this information into the new perspective.
In general, the entire gun in the side view is split into thirds. And breaking something into thirds is a good way for a design to stand out with a cool look.
Step 3: Overlay a Bounding Box For The Handgun
Ok, now, let ‘s overlay a grid on top of the side view photo. You don’t have to do this step since I’ve done it for us, but understand the process for drawing weapons in the future. I did this process with blue lines.
The idea here is to use perfect squares to “grid” out the space the gun takes up in this side view dimension. To do this, first make the centerline from the previous step with the “x” method. You should now have crosshairs within the box. For right now we only care about the horizontal line that divides the box’s height in half.
Use that line as the first division for your grid. With a vertical line we will form a nearly perfect square in the top left corner of the box. Using the duplication technique*, make two more columns in the grid. Now, simply observe that the last section is about a ¼ of one of the square’s length. We are done!
Note: In my previous tutorials I’ve shorthand called this starting grid square an FD, so I will continue that tradition here as well.
*This step uses a basic duplication technique to repeat rectangles in 3d space. To do this, first, you must draw rectangle in perspective. Now, connect the corners within your rectangle making and “x”. Great, you’ve found the center of this rectangle. Draw a line from the center toward the vanishing point until you hit the side of the rectangle closest to the vanishing point. Lastly, draw a straight line from the top left corner of the rectangle through the intersection point we just found. Draw through the side of the rectangle until it intersects the perspective guide that lines up with the bottom of the rectangle. You’ve just found the bottom corner of the new duplicated rectangle. Just connect the dots with using the vanishing point and you have duplicated the rectangle. I have left this process in blue on the reference graphic.
Step 4: Draw a Two Point Perspective Grid For The Handgun
Great! We have all we need to start the drawing. On a sheet of paper, we need to draw a two-point perspective grid with the vanishing points landing far off of the page.
I recommend taping a separate sheet of paper to the left and right side of your original and working from there. In this case, I am using a digital tablet, but I still used a non-photo blue color so I never lose track of these vital perspective lines. By the way, if you are working digitally use a separate layer for all of your different construction lines.
Step 5: Recreate The Handgun's Bounding Box In Perspective
Ok, cool. With the perspective lines in place we can use them as guides to lay in the bounding box exactly like the one we made in the side view. This step is just like Step 3 except that the FD grid squares are placed into a new 3D perspective. Simply draw the first square toward the left side of the page and then duplicate* this square down below itself.
Now, duplicate the first column of FD’s two more times to the right. You should now have a plane gridded into six squares. Finally, add the last 1/4th of an FD, extending the planes slightly more to the right using the duplication technique. Follow my drawing for reference.
*This step uses a basic duplication technique to repeat rectangles in 3d space.To do this, first, you must draw rectangle in perspective. Now, connect the corners within your rectangle making and “x”. Great, you’ve found the center of this rectangle. Draw a line from the center toward the vanishing point until you hit the side of the rectangle closest to the vanishing point. Lastly, draw a straight line from the top left corner of the rectangle through the intersection point we just found. Draw through the side of the rectangle until it intersects the perspective guide that lines up with the bottom of the rectangle. You’ve just found the bottom corner of the new duplicated rectangle. Just connect the dots with using the vanishing point and you have duplicated the rectangle. I have left this process in blue on the reference graphic.
Step 6: Block in The Middle Plane of The Handgun
The easiest way to draw well is to, first, start with big shapes and slowly work down to the smaller details. Use all the landmarks from the side view to plot out the gun into the bounding box we’ve created in the previous step. Remember to keep shapes as simple as possible.
Step 7: Block in The Width of The Handgun
Excellent work! With this middle plane in place all we have to do now is add some width to the gun. Like I said previously, handguns tend to be pretty blocky so making the barrel all one width is fine. However, the trigger guard is slightly thinner and the grip is slightly wider than the barrel width.
Use the blue measurements in my drawing and the ¾ view photo for reference to help you with this process. While you’re here, you can start to draw a few rough details that will help sell that it is a gun. Draw the ellipses for the front of the barrel and a triangular shape for the trigger. Lastly, you can draw a cutline for the top where the bullet casings are ejected.
Step 8: Refine The Shape of The Handgun's Barrel
At this point, we have a somewhat convincing gun. If this weapon were far away and shrunken down in a particular shot, this amount of detail would certainly work for a real comic panel. However, for a nice close up we need to draw a more refined silhouette and add three-dimensional details. Here’s what to do:
- Draw the two different sights on the top of the gun. (One in front and one in back.)
- Draw a new silhouette line for the hole where the casings are ejected.
- Draw a more refined front plane of the barrel. (Includes a bevel to blend it to the top of the gun)
- Draw a line that divides the top shaft of the gun from the bottom
- Finally, refine the look of the trigger to further resemble the reference.
Step 9: Refine The Grip and Trigger Guard of The Handgun
Here, we will refine the lower parts of the handgun. Again, here is the list of what to add:
- Draw a curve that joins the trigger guard to the underside of the shaft.
- Draw divisions in the grip representing where the finger ridges will go.
- Draw a square shape on the side of the gun showing where the main grip texture will go.
- Finally touch up to silhouette to further resemble the reference.
Step 10: Add More Details to The Handgun
Great! The more we refine and add to the detail the more we will end up with a great looking handgun. In this step, we are adding a few minor details that will further sell the realism.
- Draw in a safety switch on the side. (In this case, I am not sure if it is actually a safety.)
- Draw 3 squares on the front side of the grip for finger grip textured areas
- Finally, draw the bottom connection of the trigger guard to the grip.
Step 11: Add Even More Details to The Handgun
We are getting so close to the finish now. Lets, first, add the grooves on the back end of the gun. Then, lets draw in a couple grooves on the lower side of the barrel. And finally, add two small holes on the side of the gun.
Step 12: Draw Refined Ellipses For The Handgun's Barrel
Let’s polish up the front of the barrel. If you are working traditionally here, just erase away some of the old markings from the block-in step. The barrel that sticks out from the main body needs a total of the three ellipses to form it properly. The first one is flush with the front plane of the gun.
The second, is the same ellipse, just extruded out from the first a bit. Now, we need a smaller ellipse. This one is scaled down to show the thickness and is placed inside the first two ellipses. Finally, draw in the circle directly below the barrel. Remember to leave a little space between the top one and the bottom one.
Step 13: Add Shadow and Rendering to The Handgun
With the main part of the drawing completed, all that’s left is to add the shadows. Follow my lead and fill in with shaded areas where I have placed them in my drawing. In this case, I am imagining that the light is coming directly from above.
I, also, added some rendering hash marks for the textured areas on the grip.
Step 14: Add a Contour to The Handgun
To finish up, let’s add a cool bit of style for the gun. To imply depth and shadow we will add a heavy line to the contour around the gun. Apply this line heaviest on the underside of all of the gun’s contours.
Make this line as curvy or as sharp as you like. This step is for style as much as rendering so have fun.
That’s it! We’re finished!
Hey everyone, pat yourselves on the back because you just finished a cool drawing of a handgun. This is no easy task! Remember: This whole process can be applied to all types of guns. The key here is using reference and studying the proportions and shapes in the reference before beginning the drawing. After that, it’s just a matter of working with the large shapes first and defining them down to the smallest details afterward.
I hope you liked drawing this handgun with me. I suggest you now branch off and try drawing other types of guns. You can even look up fantasy or sci-fi concept art and try to draw weapons that don’t even exist. Remember that if you struggled with this tutorial, don’t worry. Practice and the mileage will take you a long way in getting better, so keep drawing everyday.
Thank you everyone.
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