How to Draw Cloud (From Final Fantasy VII)
In this tutorial, I will show you how to draw Cloud from Final Fantasy. Please bear in mind that I found it difficult locating decent pictures of this character, so the front view could probably have been better if I had had a better example. Anyway, start off with a circle, then add the the lower half of the face. The lower half should be large; the distance from the circle to the chin should be about half as long as the circle. Divide the shapes up with guidelines: four horizontal guidelines to represent the eyes, nose, and mouth, and a vertical guideline to help you line up the features.
Use the guidelines to draw the outlines of the eyes, nose and mouth. Make sure the eyes are very round. The noses in these pictures are defined solely by shadows; they aren't directly outlined. Thus, all you see of the nose is a long, thin triangle that represents the shadow the nose creates on the face.
Erase any unnecessary guidelines and sketch the basic shape of his hair. Don't worry about details right now, we can add those later. Cloud's hair is very spiky, and sticks out in weird directions. To get a feel of where each main spike should be placed, take note of where each one sits on his head, and how far away from the scalp it is. Draw his irises, which are very large and round; they should take up almost the entire eye. Draw the eyebrows, ear and mouth, too.
Next, erase all the guidelines and add in the details. Now that you know the basic shape of the hair, you can draw the extra details and spikes. Always draw the main forms of the picture before adding detail, so you can get the proportions correct right off. Draw the neck of his shirt, and add some more detail to his eye. Clean up your sketch, and move on to the final step.
Take your final sketch and color or shade it however you like. Final Fantasy 7 characters aren't colored in the usual cel style; the shading is more realistic. Thus, I opted to use the dodge and burn tools to help shade rather than using hard airbrushes to give it a smoother look.