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How To Draw Winston Churchill Step By Step

Drawing Winston Churchill has never been SO easy!

How to draw Winston Churchill is one of those questions you ask yourself when you’re experiencing a deep spurt of patriotism, or just have 5 minutes to draw an awe inspiring leader. And this is because Sir Winston wasn’t just any ordinary Prime Minster. Fact is that today’s PMs have virtually nothing on Winnie – sorry Boris!

You see, what differentiates Churchill from the rest is that he’s not so much a PM, but a national hero; Winston was Prime Minster throughout the majority of the Second World War (1940-1945). Undoubtably one of the most stressful times to be in office! All of which meant he had to do more than just get the nation on his side. As PM, he was also a battle strategist and a motivational speaker too.

Terms that I doubt you’d associate with any MP today. And why that is, is actually simple. Churchill wasn’t a career politician. Money or recognition weren’t really things he was after, as growing up in Blenheim Palace meant he pretty much had it already. So what that left us with, was a leader who thought with his ideas and not his back pocket. 

Therefore, the fact you want to learn how to draw Winston Churchill step by step is no real surprise. In which case, I’ll stop rambling and let you read on to discover how to draw this inspirational statesmen. 

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Stage 1 of drawing Winston Churchill: Define the basic shapes

The secret of learning how to draw Winston Churchill all lies in the basics. In fact, it does with any drawing. Master the basics and you’re pretty much 50% of the way there! So, what I’d say is the easiest way of doing so, is to start by defining the basic shapes, before you even think about putting pencil to paper.

By that I mean look at your picture of Winston and see if there are any shapes that zing out. So for instance in my picture, his head is a rough oval shape. Then his hat – that’s a trapezium with two ovals at the top and a cylinder-shaped brim. And his ear is merely a small curve on the side of the face. 

Oh, and don’t forget to divide Winston’s face in half using a horizontal line. This’ll go a long way in helping you centre his nose and lips. Also, a cheeky of tip of mine would be to draw 4 more horizontal lines to help you master the proportions of the face – the most important way of capturing his likeness! So that’s one for the eyebrows, one for the eyes, another for the base of the nose and yet another to frame the mouth. Successfully reach this stage and you’re already a long way towards mastering how to draw Winston Churchill.

Winston Churchill

Got a treasured photo you’d like turning into a hand-drawn piece of art? I’m your girl…

Stage 2 of how to draw Winston Churchill: Add the facial features

This is where those lines you added in step 1 really start to pay off. Because it’s here where you need to start applying Winston’s facial features and building up his face. Not to mention factoring in other accessories like his cigar or pipe.

As for my picture, his nose is really just a triangle with an oval on the top.At the base of which there’s two oval shaped nostrils. His top lip – that’s a V shape and his cheeks are nothing more than slight curves. Even intricate features like his eyes are surprisingly simple when you break them down. But that’s just my picture – yours might be completely different. 

It’s also worth noting that if your picture doesn’t show Winnie with a cigar or depict him with a cheeky grin, then that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate one. Part of learning how to draw Winston Churchill is learning how to improvise. So, what I’d suggest is to find another picture that ticks these boxes and depicts Winston at roughly the same angle. Then set about combining the two to create a superior drawing of Winnie. Call it Winston Churchill 2.0.

Sketch of British prime minister

Stage 3 of drawing Winston Churchill: Frame the face

Pretty simple step, this one. 

Now that you have the basics of Winston Churchill drawn out in front of you, you need to take your focus off his face completely and concentrate more on building up the space around him. So this could be his clothes – in my example he’s wearing a rather dashing bow tie. His jacket with it’s peaked collars also does an ace job of framing the face. Or you could even go one step further by setting Winston off against a background – although a word of warning…

Backgrounds aren’t always the way to go. In fact, with portraits the white of your paper is often your best bet. Remember, at the end of the day, you’re here to learn how to draw Winston Churchill, so really he should be the focal point of your picture. And that’s pretty much the same with most portraits. A busy background can often detract from its visual impact altogether.

FYI: Any lines that you’ve drawn to guide you when placing the facial features, can now be rubbed out. 

step 3 of drawing Winston Churchill

Like how Winnie’s turning out? We could do the same for you!!

Stage 4 of how to draw Winston Churchill: Blend in and shade 

Okay, so just a word of warning: this is by far the most time consuming part of drawing Winston Churchill, but if you ask me, it’s also the most enjoyable. So, now that you’ve got your drawing all mapped out, you task now is to get blending. 

In plain English that means get your pencil (preferably tipped on its side) and begin softly working depth into the picture. How you do so will of course depend on your pencils as well as your picture itself. However a typical rule of thumb would be the closer you are to the lines, the darker you’ll have to shade. 

But saying that, don’t be afraid of leaving white space – not all of Winston has to be shaded! If anything, leaving white space can work to your advantage. Use it (like me) to accentuate any areas where Winston’s face is particularly light, and it can actually create real visual impact. 

Plus, on the topic of light, when you’re shading, be sure to take into account where the light is coming from. If the light is to the left of Winston’s face, chances are that you’ll need to do heavier shading on the right hand side. Remember, portraits are all about the contrast between facial features and drawing Winston Churchill is no exception. 

FYI: For those of you using watercolour pencils, this is where you’d crack out your water brush and work those colours out, away from the lines which you’ve drawn.

Wondering how I’ve applied the shade? Zoom in and you should be able to see

Congrats! You’ve now learnt how to draw Winston Churchill step by step. How easy was that?! 

Now, if you’re particularly fond of your picture, I’d encourage you to share it with me over social media. I’m always interested to see how others interpret my tutorials. Oh and don’t forget to tag me!

Plus, if you found this article useful and want to learn how to draw other inspirational figures, animals, cars – you name it – be sure to check out the rest of my Drawing Blog and follow me on IG for updates on my latest work

Stay drawing!

Karen XxX

Spoiler: This isn’t ‘dumbed down’ art!! It’s how I draw all my portraits…

Here’s why should you draw Winston Churchill

Fact remains, there’s a LOT of great people for you to draw. Many of whom are highly inspirational, historically significant or just cheeky characters in front of the camera lens. So much so that choosing who to draw can actually be quite a task. 

Besides, if you’re going to invest a decent chunk of your time in drawing someone, then you at least want to be sure they’re the right subject for you. So, if you’re unsure as to whether learning how to draw Winston Churchill is up your street, here’s a bit more context on the man himself…

Who was Winston Churchill to Queen Elizabeth?

Winston Churchill was the first PM Queen Elizabeth worked with, after taking to the throne in 1952. As aside from leading the UK from the brink of defeat to victory during the Second World War (1940-1945), Churchill went on to be re-elected from 1951 to 1955.

How did Winston Churchill die? 

Churchill came to rest on 24th January 1965 – he was aged 90! And it just goes to show how well respected he was as a leader. The entire country mourned his death for over a week! But then again, it wasn’t like they didn’t know it was coming. It was always clear that Churchill was fragile in terms of health, ever since his heart attack at the White House in 1941.

R.I.P. Winnie.

What are some of Winston Churchill’s best quotes?

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it’s the courage to continue that counts”

“If you’re going through hell, keep going!”

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”

“Now this is not the end. It’s not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps, the end of the beginning”

Inspired to draw Winston Churchill? Let me draw you…

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