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"There is a right and a wrong in the universe and the distinction should not be hard to make."
- Superman, Kingdom Come
Superman, also known as Clark Kent, Kal-El, and the Man of Steel, first appeared in DC's Action Comics #1 in 1938. Since then, the Big Blue Boyscout has used his super strength, speed, flight, x-ray vision, and other powers to save the world in comic books, cartoons, video games, novels, and live-action films.
Who is Superman? Young Kal-El began life on the planet Krypton, the son of a scientist and politician. As the world collapsed, he was sent via rocket to the planet Earth, where he was found by the Kents in rural Kansas, USA, and raised as their own son.
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The Earth's yellow sun had strange effects on the boy, however. He began to develop immense strength and other powers. Yet, though mightier than those around him, Superman never used his powers to hurt others. "Instead, he strives to represent the inherent goodness of the human spirit, and the capacity of every living thing to do right by their neighbors."
Flex your drawing muscles and learn to draw a cartoon of the world's first superhero. Sharpen your pencil, and find your eraser. First, you'll draw simple shapes and guide lines. Then, you'll fill in details, erasing the guides as you go.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing Superman
1. Begin by drawing a circle. This will help you to sketch Superman's head.
2. Extend a curved line below the circle and double it back upon itself to outline Superman's square jaw.
3. Detail Superman's face. First, draw a curved line across the bottom of the circle. Draw another line crossing it at a perpendicular angle, crossing out of the circle to the bottom of the chin. These will serve as guides in placing the features of the face. For example, center the curved lines of the nose, mouth, and lower lip across the vertical line.
4. Use curved lines to outline Superman's ears and detail inside them.
5. Draw overlapping circles and ovals to serve as guides in sketching Superman's shoulders. On one side of the face, draw a circle overlapping the ear. On the other, draw a small oval overlapping the cheek. Then, draw a larger oval overlapping the first.
6. Draw a large circle overlapping the final oval from the previous step. Then, draw a small circle overlapping the circle drawn in the previous step. Draw another small circle overlapping the first. These will aid you in sketching Superman's arms.
7. Use curved lines to sketch a cylindrical shape like a hockey puck overlapping the small circle. This outlines the hand. Beside it, enclose the irregular rounded forms of the wrist and thumb. On the opposite arm, draw an irregular shape overlapping the final circle. This is the front of Superman's fist. Use curved lines to draw his thumb curved around it. Finally, draw a curved line between the far arm and the near fist, outlining the torso.
8. Draw an oval overlapping the torso, indicating the leg. Then, draw a second oval overlapping the first.
9. Use curved lines to contour and smooth the lines of the arms, fingers, and leg. Enclose a small triangle within a triangle below the chin to indicate the collar of the super suit.
10. Erase the guide lines from the character. Notice how the overlapping circles and ovals left the appearance of bulging muscles.
11. Distinguish the fingers with curved lines. Use additional curved lines to detail the thumbnails, palm, knuckles, and muscles of the arm and leg.
12. Draw Superman's cape blowing in the wind. Use curved lines to outline the overall shape. Then, use more curved lines to create the appearance of wrinkles and ripples in the fabric.
13. Draw short curved lines below the far shoulder and beside the forward-facing fist. Connect them with a long curved line. This outlines the top of the Superman logo.
14. Outline the "S" shape of the Superman logo on Superman's chest. Then, use curved lines of various lengths to detail and contour Superman's muscles, knuckles, and billowing cape.
15. Sketch Superman's hair. Use curved lines, some of them meeting at points. Follow the shape of the original circle. Don't forget to draw the iconic curl falling across his forehead.
16. Erase guide lines from the hair.
17. Use curved lines to sketch Superman's pointed brows, eyes, and nose. Use the guide lines to help you realistically space the eyes.
18. Shade round pupils within each eye.
19. Texture Superman's hair with curved lines.
20. Erase the guide lines from Superman's face.
Color your cartoon of Superman. His costume has had numerous variations, but the most common colors are red, blue, and yellow. Learn to draw Supergirl.
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