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The Art of Drawing Realism

Updated on June 29, 2012


There are many different styles of art, and all can be appreciated. There are some artists who like to embrace just one particular style such as Abstract. Abstract art can be fun and very interesting as it allows the artist much more freedom of expression than drawing realism. Many people like to appreciate the expression of what the artist has rendered rather than the technical expertise of the artist. However it doesn’t hurt any artist to sharpen his or her skills when it comes to realism. At some point the skill to draw realism may come in handy. For example, if you are looking for a job as an illustrator, drawing realism will become very important and even a requirement in some situations.

One of the things to being a good Illustrator is to is to learn how to render objects as close to reality as possible. This may be easy for some and a little more challenging for others. The key to rendering realism is observation. Don’t just observe the subject. Try to observe the reflections in and around the subject. The aim is to focus on and capture the images that are reflected off an object and through it. Below are two very simple exercises to help develop this skill.

Exercise One

We will use a simple clear plastic bottle to demonstrate. Place a plastic bottle on a table study it closely for a few seconds. Now try to render what you see, including the reflections that are coming from the bottle. If your rendering doesn’t look as realistic as you want it to the first time, try again.

Exercise Two

Now try rendering a spoon. Again, study it for a few seconds and learn to see the reflections and shapes that are bending from the center of the spoon and render what you see as accurately as possible.

Other Tips for Drawing Realism

· While drawing you should try to keep your eyes more on the subject rather than on the hand that is doing the drawing.

· As a form of discipline –When rendering, it is better to not use a pencil or something that can be easily erased.

These are just some very basic techniques and tips, that will help develop your skill when it comes to drawing realism. And, like anything else practicing is the key. If your first attempt at drawing realism is not what you expect it to be, don’t give up, practicing does help.

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