Elemental Weapons Design | Elton Mascarenhas | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Sword Anatomy

    • 3. Candlesword

    • 4. Types of Melee Weapons

    • 5. Working with Silhouettes

    • 6. Significant Swords

    • 7. Custom Sword Design

    • 8. The Elementals

    • 9. Approach and Mindset

    • 10. Working With Templates

    • 11. Shield Design

    • 12. Elemental Weapons Design

    • 13. Conclusion

    • 14. Weapon Design - It's Easy!

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About This Class

Weapon Design for Beginners! 

This class is meant for anyone who loves drawing and wants to exercise their creative muscle!
All you need is a pen, some paper and an active imagination.

The Goal of this class is to inspire you to create. The lessons are short, concise and to the point - each video is around 1-2 minutes in length. I will show you how to simplify weapons, use templates and transform ideas! We will learn how to design a basic sword and take a brief look at various medieval melee weapons.

This class is structured to provide you with:

  1. Information - you learn something new and useful
  2. An Engaging Project - to exercise your creativity
  3. Ideas and Examples - to help you complete the project with ease

I recommend watching the class at 1.25x speed and remember to turn the Captions ON!

Prior knowledge of using software like Photoshop or procreate is recommended but not necessary to benefit from this class. Students are free to work with any medium/software of their choosing. (traditional or digital)

Meet Your Teacher

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Elton Mascarenhas

Fine Artist & Painter


My name is Elton. I'm a fine artist from Goa. I've been drawing my whole life, however, I've been studying art formally for the past 6 years. I hold a degree in Fine Art (BFA).

'Drawing' is simply 'mark marking' - and everyone can learn to make better marks! I believe 'Art' is a Language, a language anyone can learn! 

After teaching art for over 3 years It has become clear to me that anyone can draw. (even 5 year olds!)
You don't need 'talent' to create art. All you need is the desire to learn, practice and a little guidance!

'Do what you Love and Love what you do!'


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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to my short class on weapon design. This is a beginner class and we will learn how to draw weapons by simplifying them into basic shapes. We will learn the names of popular melee weapons and take a look at how to turn almost any object into a cool-looking weapon will look at different Sword designs and learn a little bit about their history. And I'll give you a few helpful tips on composition and presentation. And finally, we'll take a look at my process of drawing the Elemental weapons in procreate. This class is great for anyone looking for a creative challenge/project to work on. Hopefully, it will motivate you to start drawing and inspire you to come up with interesting and creative designs. Most importantly, remember to have fun and enjoy drawing. 2. Sword Anatomy: Okay! let's talk about the anatomy of a Sword. Essentially a Sword is made of just two parts. We've got the Blade and the 'Hilt' the lower portion of the Sword or the Hilt is comprised of: the Guard, the Grip and this thing at the end is called Pommel. Now let's take a closer look at the Blade. The tip of the Blade is called the 'Point'. The side is called the edge, and this thing in the middle is known as the Fuller the Fuller is a Valley-like groove that runs along the center of the blade. The purpose of the fuller is to reduce the overall weight of the Sword allowing for easier swinging and handling. Now that you know what makes a Sword try designing one of your own! 3. Candlesword: So this class is all about being creative and providing you with the inspiration and information to help you design your own weapons. So as an exercise, let's turn a candle stand into a Sword. So here are a bunch of candle stand designs, and I'm thinking we can use the bottom portion of the candle stand, and turn that into our Hilt and we'll turn the candle into our Blade. So I'm gonna work with this image and let's start by drawing out our Hilt like this candle stand, You can get your inspiration from just about anywhere. Having a candle for a Blade does not look all that intimidating, so I'm going to try and make this look more like a Sword by giving it a 'Serrated' edge. Now let's add in some Color I'm gonna use blue and green for the Hilt, a Creamy color for the Candle Wax a bit of orange and yellow for the flame. On second thought, I'm going to get rid of the flame. add in a few finishing touches and our Candle Sword is ready for action! 4. Types of Melee Weapons: In this class will be designing melee or close combat weapons. Their design is simple, Almost every melee weapon has a blade and the handle OR a head and a body. This format repeats itself in all kinds of weapons, Whether it's a hammer, a Sword or an Axe. let's take a closer look at the Hammer, It's got a Head and a Body - everything else is building upon the base design. Keeping this in mind, Let's take a look at a few other melee weapons. The Club, Mace and Flail - notice how one weapon is simply a variation of another. The Warhammer, Axe and Double Axe which is basically two axes in one. The Spear, Halberd and Lance. These were long range weapons used by Cavalry Shields: are defensive weapons that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. And finally, The Sword. which is arguably the most popular melee weapon in human history. We'll take a look at some significant Sword designs in another video. 5. Working with Silhouettes: Regardless of your weapons' size or shape, you will find that working with just 'Silhouettes' greatly simplifies the design process. It gets all the tiny details out of the way, and let's you focus on the overall appeal and proportion of your design for this exercise, It helps if you use a single color like black. This way, you can really focus on just the shape. I think a curved edge looks a lot more interesting than the straight or rectangular blade. Alternately, you could try working with a rectangle wherein you carve away the parts you don't need. This can give you some interesting results, you may not have thought off otherwise. So try it out and let's see what you come up with! 6. Significant Swords: Before we proceed, let's take a look at a few historically significant Swords. We've got the Crusader: which is a standard European long sword The Katana: a traditional Japanese Sword used by the Samurai. We've got the Scimitar: a curved blade made popular in the Middle East. Next we've got the Cutlass: famously used by sea-faring pirates and lastly, the Rapier: a long slender Sword with the fancy Hilt which is actually designed to protect the wrist of the wielder. 7. Custom Sword Design: So for your first project, you will be designing three customs Swords using the ideas you have learned in this class. You may work in any medium of your choosing Traditional or Digital. Remember to upload your sketches, ideas and final designs under the PROJECTs tab. If you're working traditionally, you could use a pencil or a pen and even colors if you want to. Now, remember for this first assignment we're limiting ourselves to just Line Art But if you want to color it, go ahead and do so. And if you're working digitally, you're free to use any software you like. Now here are a few useful tips to keep in mind while designing your Sword Blade cut away: Notice how cutting away some of the blade can change the entire look of the Sword Hilt design: the Hilt is where you can add a lot of character to your Sword Along with the Blade, experiment with different Guard and Pommel designs. Think about how you could add your personal touch to this Sword so have fun experimenting and I'm looking forward to seeing your designs 8. The Elementals: So I hope by now you see how easy it is to design weapons. It's now time to take your weapon design skills to the next level and put your creativity to the test. Our final project is to design four weapons belonging to the categories: Fire, Water, Nature and Earth. I'm calling these the elementals For fire: think of how you can incorporate magma, lava or flames in your design. the Water category consists of liquid and ice. For Nature: you can use all sorts of plants and wood in your design. for Earth: we can work with stuff like rock, stone and mud. You can also add in steel, metal or other man made components to your design. You could make it more realistic or completely fantastic. It's entirely up to you In the following lessons, we'll see how you can create 4 variations of the same weapon. I'll also be sharing my process and tips on art and creativity. So let's dive right in. 9. Approach and Mindset: if you don't know it, you can't draw it. This is what I tell my students. Because if you don't know what a tree looks like, you're gonna have a hard time drawing a convincing tree. So when approaching any kind of design, tip number one is to use reference. Gather as many images as you can on the subject, and that brings us to tip number two, which is: 'Study.' So if you want to get better, you need to practice, find the visuals, gather the reference and then study them. So the reason we do studies is to incorporate the ideas and visual information into Our mental library Again, If you don't know it, you can't draw it. So before you can design fancy Swords, you need to practice drawing a BASIC Sword. Now, even though I'm calling them tips, what these really are - are good drawing habits, which you need to cultivate, I would say don't worry too much about rendering or 'finish' at this point. Focus on being creative and thinking outside the box. Don't be discouraged if your designs don't look as good as you'd hoped. With practice, you get better. and you can always go back and refine things in the future. Again, the purpose of this class is to generate ideas and help you to exercise your creativity. So here are three questions to help you do just that. I call them the Three T's of Creativity. So they are: "What can I take from?", "what can I take out?" and "what can I transform here?" So, What can you take from, Is basically asking, "What can I use from the given ideas?" An example of this would be to take the idea for Club. Add to that the idea of Spikes on a Mace to get a Spiked Club. Next T is - Take Out. So ask yourself, What can I eliminate? Because not everything is necessary. Very often, you have to take stuff out before you can add stuff in, and the last T is 'Transform' So ask yourself, what can you transform or change in the given design or idea? I'll give you a few more examples of this in the following lessons 10. Working With Templates: So if you don't want to do four different weapons, you can do one weapon in four different ways. So here's a weapon idea a friends sent me. It's got two blades and a handle. If we were to describe this by SHAPES, We would say it's made of two triangles and a rectangle in the middle, so we're gonna be using this as a template and see how we can transform this idea to make it fit into the four elemental classes. One obvious way to do this is by using COLOR red for fire, blue for water, green for nature and rock grey for Earth. So for fire, I'm gonna have a molten blade that's still glowing like it's fresh out of the furnace. for water, I'm gonna transform or replace the triangles with ice shards. For wood (Nature), I'm gonna keep it relatively simple. And for Earth, I'm gonna have to rock shots with some design on it. So I've kept the same template and made a few changes in the design. Now, notice what happens when I add some color. I worked on these in Photoshop, but you can use any software you like if you're working traditionally, I highly recommend you color your elemental weapons because it makes a big difference. So have fun designing And don't forget to upload your designs under the projects tab. 11. Shield Design: So I'm gonna be doing four shields as well, Using the 'Generic' shield design as my template. Fire was pretty straightforward. I just decided to put flames on top of the Generic shield and then color it. I wasn't too happy with the results, so I decided to work on it further and add a Japanese 'flame' symbol in the center for water, I just thought I'd have a shield made of ice so Ice-shards all over the place. My aim here was to communicate the idea off Ice. So that's what I'm trying to do with all the reflections. I'm pretty happy with the way this one turned out for Nature, actually decided to use a circular shield and decorate it with some plant life. The wood by itself was looking a little bit boring, so I decided to put in a like a gemstone in the center. and for Earth, I jumped right back to our generic shield template. I tried a bunch of different brushes, trying to get the rocky texture and to make it look a little more interesting. I decided to give it a green metal border, and there you have it, Those are my four elemental shield designs. 12. Elemental Weapons Design: So using the color schemes established in our shield designs, I decided to do four more weapons for the fire class/category, I'm doing a flaming Katana I'll be 'transforming' the blade into flames, but I begin by drawing a basic Katana for the flames, I start off with red, then orange and then yellow. After applying the blur effect, I used a eraser tool to give the flames a distinctive shape. Now flames are really bright, so I'm adding in yellow and white Now although I'm working in procreate, I did finish off this design in photoshop. So this is the flaming Katana for the fire category. for water, I wanted to do an ice blade. I began with the rectangular design, but then I decided to add in some cut-away. No fuller on this one, But it's got a metallic hilt. So for nature or wood, I'm doing a spiked club. So I think nature is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is design a wooden weapon, and you're good to go. As you can see, I'm re-using the colors from our shield design. Additionally, I even decided to use the texture from a shield design and add in some golden spikes. So that's the spiked club for the nature category. Now for earth, I had a lot of fun designing this giant Hammer, so it's flat on one side and got a point on the other end. I decided to give it a wooden handle which needed to be really big to support the weight of the rock. Remember, you freely use metal as well as other man made components in your design. So here is the final set, and that makes a total of 12 elemental weapons. For your project, you need to design just one weapon pull category, so have fun and good luck. 13. Conclusion: I hope you found this class informative. But more importantly, I hope it inspired you to create. If you enjoyed the class, don't forget to review it as this will help me out a lot. Be sure to upload all your project work under the projects tab along with your sketches and design ideas. I've also uploaded a bunch of resource is that you might find useful. If you use Instagram, you can also post your work there. The hash tag elemental weapons design. If you have any questions, you can post them in the community/discussions tab and I'll do my best to answer them. Also, If there's anything specific that you would like to learn, please let me know :) So thank you for watching and I'll see you in the next one. 14. Weapon Design - It's Easy!: Weapon Design. A lot of people feel intimidated and think, "I can't do that." or, "that's not for me." Well, I'm here to show you that just about anybody can design a bunch of cool weapons. And all you need is the desire to 'create'. In this class, I'm going to simplify weapons' design. We'll learn the anatomy of this Sword along with the names of several melee weapons. By the end of this class, you will have a deeper understanding of weapons and what it takes to design them. So hop on board and you'll see that designing weapon, It's easier than you think. :)