How To Draw Martin Luther King Junior

How to Draw Martin Luther King Junior

Drawing Martin Luther King Junior can be incredibly rewarding. With just a piece of paper, a few different pencils, and a little bit of patience and practice, you can create a historic figure for yourself. So if you’re feeling inspired and want to learn how to draw MLK, you’ve come to the right place.

The first step is to sketch. Start by simply drawing a circle to house his head and neck. Then draw two intersecting lines, one through the center of the circle, and the other at a 90-degree angle. This will be used to position the eyes, nose. and mouth. Sketch lightly and erase until you’re happy with the shape and angles.

Next, finish fleshing out the drawing using some graphite pencils. Add dark lines for the cheeks and jaw, erase some of the light pencil lines, and draw a smooth bowtie. Use your pencils to add texture and shadows to the suit, like the wrinkles, buttons, and lapels. Following that, create the hair, shading with the pencils to add body and movement.

Once you’ve detailed the portrait, it’s time for the fun part. Use some chalk pastels and color in the suit, bowtie, and eyes. Pick colors that you feel best capture the spirit of Martin Luther King Junior, this is all about personal preference. Start blending and highlights around the edges. Blend and soften the colors, while making sure they’re all uniform by dragging them to the same level.

The last step to creating your MLK portrait is to add your signature to it. Sign it with your name, the date, and anything else you’d like to add to give the finished portrait some personality of your own. You can frame it and display it in your home or you can even send it to family and friends as a keepsake.

Once you’ve tackled the challenge of sketching, shading, and coloring, you’ll feel proud of your masterpiece. Drawing MLK Junior is an amazing way to take part in a cherished piece of history, as you add a little of yourself and your memories to the mix. So get ready to get creative and draw a legendary figure.


When it comes to a task like drawing MLK Junior, details make the difference. To ensure that your portrait looks as realistic as possible, pay careful attention to eyes and mouth. After sketching his face, add the whites of his eyes and flesh colors with a light-tipped pencil. Spend some time getting the details just right and make sure to leave some texture too. Then start to add the details of his mouth. Draw the lips with a light pencil and make sure it’s symmetrical. You can also use colored pencils to add the contrast of his lips.


Lighting can make or break a portrait. To draw a realistic looking image of Martin Luther King Junior, focus on the way the light falls on his face. This starts with shading the shadows underneath his eyes, and around his cheeks and forehead. Use a pencil and blend it around the drawn lines for a realistic look. Once you feel the lightening is correct, use a white chalk pastel to highlight the areas that would be light in the portrait. Make sure to spend some time getting the light areas just right and make sure to blend them in with the rest of the image.


Finally, consider the background of your portrait. This will frame your drawing and can be as adventurous or restrained as you like. Choose some colors that feel right to you and mix and match to create depth and balance. You can also choose to draw other shapes and objects in the background. Consider drawing windows, clouds, and stars, to name a few. This is all about creativity and will provide the perfect touch to put the portrait over the top.

Finishing Touches

The finishing touches to a portrait of MLK are really about taking your own personal take and adding your own touch. Find a suitable frame, after all even the most beautiful drawings won’t do without a frame. Next, consider presenting it. You can make a gift of it, or even display it in your home. There’s no wrong way to show off your work of art.

Drawing Martin Luther King Junior is an amazing way to express your creativity. All it takes is some practice and you can create a piece of history for yourself to be proud of. It’s also a great way to fully immerse yourself in the spirit of MLK and what he stood for. So grab your pencils and start sketching.

Robert Ortiz is an artist who has been writing about art and design for over ten years. His writing focuses on the creative process of art, from the conceptual to the material, and highlights its importance in our daily lives. He has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has also attended other prestigious art schools like Savannah College of Art and Design. He has a passion for exploring the boundaries between fine art, design, commercial work, and technology. His work extends to social media campaigns, website development, magazine articles, video tutorials and more.

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