How can I show a warrior pointing a sword at the viewer?
Blaire Wentworth, US
This is a great way to involve the viewer in the illustration and there are many ways to approach it, but the first thing to keep in mind is that the warrior’s eyes must be looking in the same direction in which the weapon is aimed. I place this point approximately in the middle of the image, where the viewer’s eye is focused. The most important element is the perspective of weapon and arm, because this will determine how three-dimensional your illustration looks. For the sword I choose a vanishing point compatible with the direction of the arm, and I draw the blade in a not-too-central perspective, because centring it would make the image very static and a little ‘contrived’.
The more pronounced the foreshortening (pointing towards the viewer’s eyes), the more the tip of the sword will appear bigger and brighter, but the length of the blade will be reduced, as well as the arm. I pay attention to the anatomy of the arm (you can use some photos as reference), which is essential for creating a convincing image.
I add some detail to my warrior, but not too much – I have to keep the pointed sword the focus of the piece. Notice how the sword construction lines converge at a point oriented with the direction of the arm.