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How to draw a gothic girl step by step

  • Adults 
  • Teenagers 
  • 120 min
What you need:
Colour pencils Art Grip Aquarelle, India Ink Pitt Artist Pen S, Graphite pencil Grip 2001 2B, Brush

The world of the goths fascinates us from a design perspective not just because of its special colours and rather dark atmosphere, but above all because of the many unusual details on the principal figures‘ clothing and accessories.

This gives rise to truly individual characters. Our subject is an attractive gothic lady who is standing in front of a field of thorns on a night lit by the full moon. Opposites and contrasts give the picture its tension. Therefore, the form-fitting, off-the-shoulder outfit contains both - elements which are romantically pretty and others that have a harsh effect, such as the bracelet of spikes on her left hand. Her glance, and the birthmark under her left eye, make her look both sceptical and mysterious at the same time.

Step 1

To draw your figure, first make a preliminary sketch on the A4 drawing paper. It is best to start with a simple stick figure and then add the joints to it. This is important so that you can work on a highly expressive bodily posture right from the start, and one that is also appropriate for your gothic lady. Her arms are bent and her legs are coquettishly placed one behind the other in order to lend her appearance the necessary attitude. Her head is slightly tilted to one side. Your drawing should not completely fill the A4 paper, because otherwise there will not be enough room for the background later on.

Step 2

Give your figure a little more plasticity by means of basic geometrical shapes such as cylinders. When doing this, make sure you draw the proportions and the overlaps so that there are not too many lines meeting at one point. Depending on what you prefer, you can draw your goth rather slender or with a fuller figure according to the Baroque ideal of beauty.

Step 3

Next sketch your figure’s dress, hairstyle, handbag, tie and a cigarette holder. All of these elements are initially only added to the drawing in simplified form. If the new details give rise to undesirable overlaps, you can still adapt the position of the limbs a little more at this point.

Step 4

Build up your gothic lady completely as shown in the picture. When doing this, pay attention to the different shapes and materials of the individual elements. For example, the bracelet on her left arm is very angular, whereas the frills peeping out from under her skirt are very playful and delicate. Now you have completed your preliminary sketch. This will help you to be able to estimate the impact of the small details more effectively, such as the folds of her costume. Also, it will be much easier for you to find the appropriate facial expression. Here, a distant or even slightly arrogant look makes for a nice contrast to the tilted head.

Step 5

You can make your final alterations to the preliminary sketch. We have extended the shoulders of our gothic lady outwards a bit more and made her waist a little more slender. The armlets are now different as well, because gothic outfits always feature a combination of many different accessories. Her head has also become a little larger. Following this, use graphite paper to transfer the subject to a sheet of A4 watercolour paper. Work over the lines again with a fineliner pen and erase the pencil lines that are still visible.

Step 6

We recommend placing your watercolour paper on an unused sheet of paper. This will prevent the structure of the underlying surface (e.g. table panel) from pressing through. On the fineliner drawing, ground out the individual surfaces using the Art Grip watercolour pencils. When doing this, hold the pencil as flat as possible and stroke it carefully over the paper in order to fill in the individual areas. You should resharpen the pencil from time to time if required. The picture should appear almost monochrome except for the violet hair colour, which is typical of manga, and the coloured accents on her bag, corsage and eyes. To give a greater impression of depth and three-dimensionality, you can reduce or increase the intensity of colour application at particular points in the picture, as you can see on the skirt.

Step 7

Now colour in all the elements of the figure completely as shown in the picture. By varying the application and contrast of the colours, you can draw all different kinds of material even though you are mainly using only one coloured pencil. Her top and skirt are made from a shimmering fabric, whereas the tie and hair ribbon are more matt. Her armlets and cigarette holder are metal. The gothic lady is not worked over with water, it is just the background to be made in later steps that is given the watercolour treatment.

Step 8

In the next step, draw in the background subject, once again by making a preliminary sketch. Use a grid to draw withered thorn bushes against a full-moon sky. The bushes on the right of the picture are stretching towards the moon. This makes the layout of the background more organic, without visually dominating the vertical line of the figure which will be added later.

Step 9

When you are satisfied with your preliminary sketch, draw it out neatly a second time on a new sheet of A4 watercolour paper. Then ground out the entire background as shown in the left part of the illustration using the Art GRIP watercolour pencils. Apply the colour somewhat more intensively at the upper and lower edges of the picture. Following this, make a nice colour transition using a moist brush. In the blue violet part of the sky, you can spread the colour repeatedly at certain points to give the impression of clouds. The thorns are added in the next step.

Step 10

As soon as the watercolour background has dried, you can draw in the thorn bushes. They are coloured in a very strong black, therefore you should repeatedly sharpen your Art GRIP watercolour pencil in order to give your thorns the required spiky and morbid appearance.