See How to Draw Michael Jordan Like These Artists

I speak from experience when I say that beginning artists often learn one technique, or one “way”, of drawing a person and then get set in their ways (or in this case, “way”).

Early on when I began drawing people, I had a technique that I was very comfortable with and always began a drawing by using it. There was nothing wrong with that since I was doing something that worked, but if I didn’t take time to watch and learn from other artists, I may have never learned a better way.

In that spirit, we are going to take time to see how two different artists take two very different approaches to accomplishing the same goal: drawing the very-recognizable NBA legend Michael Jordan!

© Jerry Coli |

First up is animator and illustrator Michael Weisner, presenting for eHow. Michael Weisner gives us a simplistic approach to drawing MJ. Michael gives us the excellent advice of having several resource materials handy to help with accuracy.

He begins by already having a “pre-sketch ready…for filming”. Although it isn’t totally clear, we are led to believe that this step isn’t necessary for us at home, since Michael doesn’t tell us how he made the pre-sketch. He just traces over the lines during the tutorial, beginning with the outline of the head and using a charcoal pencil.

See more here how Michael Weisner draws Michael Jordan.

Next we take a look at New York-based artist Merrill Kazanjian and his approach. Merrill also begins his drawing of Michael Jordan in a simple, step-by-step way using basic shapes. However, his final drawing of Jordan’s head (in this Part 1 of a two-part tutorial) is more detailed and advanced than Weisner’s version.

Some of Merrill’s techniques are common and traditional, such as the use of lines to place shadows, using a crosshatching method of shading, and placing a line for the mouth “one-third of the way down between the nose line and the chin line”.

Other techniques may be new to you, as some were even new to me! Who else ever thought about drawing polygons for eye sockets and blending pencil tones with a paintbrush?

Merrill also begins with the outline of the head, but he uses a No. 2 pencil. After the line drawing, he begins shading the eyes with a 3B pencil.

Check out how Michael Jordan is drawn by Merrill Kazanjian.

What do you think about these two different approaches? Which techniques closely match what you already do? Which techniques are new ones to you that you would like to try?

Go ahead and try to draw Michael Jordan on your own! Share your comments below about what was helpful for you.

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