How to Draw a Civil War Soldier

By Paul Rance ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Images of a Confederate and Union sergeant
General Sherman was one of the key figures to emerge during the Civil War.

The American Civil war was the most traumatic period in American history since the War of Independence. Legendary military figures emerged during the Civil War period, including Robert E. Lee on the Confederate side, and future President Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman on the Union side. Millions of men served in the conflict, wearing a variety of uniforms and carrying a wide assortment of gear.

Create a drawing of a Confederate and Union sergeant in a similar pose, where they are both standing to attention slightly turned round in part profile. The Confederate soldier should be placed on the left, with all his left arm visible, and the Union soldier should be on the right with all his right arm in full view. There should be a small gap between the two soldiers.

Begin both drawings with outlines of the sergeants heads. Draw a serious expression on the soldiers faces by portraying a straight mouth, and draw medium-sized features.

Start the drawing of the Confederate sergeant from his flat, gold hat, which was officially in a French military style. Add the hat's short, dark peak. Depict a mustache on the sergeant's face that curls up slightly at the ends.

Add a narrow collar and a jacket that has pairs of buttons running down from the center, until it reaches the dark belt with a gold buckle. Then add a vertical stripe running down from the left side of the jacket from the viewer's perspective. The buttons and stripe are also gold, so should be shaded in slightly darker than the gray of the jacket and collar.

Depict the three gold sergeant's stripes and the gold cuffs on the jacket, and add white gloves. Draw the sergeant's light blue trousers that are covered at the top by the bottom of the jacket, and have a gold, vertical stripe running down the side to the sergeant's boots. The trousers should partly cover the black boots.

Portray the Union sergeant, beginning with his Hardee hat, a hat that is similar to a modern cowboy hat, and which should have the brim drawn upturned on the right side. Give the Union soldier a full beard. Add an upturned collar, epaulets and three pointed sergeant stripes.

Use light shading for the gold of the epaulets and stripes and dark shading for the dark blue of the sergeant's jacket. Note and draw the gold and dark blue colors of the collar. Depict the buttons and vertical stripe, both gold, down the center of the jacket to the thick, brown belt.

Put the sergeant's thick, brown holster strap at an angle from the chest down to the left hip. Draw the sergeant's light blue trousers, with an outside vertical gold stripe that runs down the leg. The bottom of the trousers cover the top of the sergeant's brown boots.

Finish off both drawings by placing an upright saber in the hands of both sergeants. The sergeants should be holding their sabers in their right hands.

Tip

Use the same light shade for both sergeant's trousers.

Warning

Beware of concentrating more on drawing the soldiers facial features than on depicting the uniforms. The uniforms are the most important thing to draw accurately.

About the Author

Paul Rance began writing in 1979 for small-press publications and was a columnist for the British small-press publication "Rattler's Tale." He has had articles and reviews published on many subjects, especially relating to music, cinema, TV, literature and poetry. He was educated to A Level standard at Rapid Results College in London.