Realistic Drawing

Realistic Drawing

My 3 Secret Tips to Creating A Realistic Drawing.

Realistic drawing is one of my specialties. I would like to say that I have mastered the art of detail, however there are always new things to learn as your skill level and style evolves. When creating realism in your drawing there are a few key things to remember.


1: Proportions are key:Realistic drawing big alex hyper realism

When creating or starting a new realistic drawing, no matter what it is, if you want it to look and feel realistic you will want to pay close attention to proportions. If the proportions of your drawing take an unrealistic angle or are off you will be able to tell. Paying close attention to this will be the first step to creating that awesome realism. When you start the drawing you will want to use light strokes with a harder lead such as an H or F so that the lines will be easily erased if need be. Want more info on choosing pencils click HERE.

2: Shading and Tone:

The second biggest part of creating a realistic piece is the shading and tone. This can be done using hatching and straight line but the best way to achieve realistic tones is to use blending tools. Most things in life don’t have hard edges. This principal can help you when drawing portraits which I assume that you are more likely to be using realistic techniques for.

My Tools to Achieve Realism:

  • Tissue paperCotton ball or anything soft that I can use to blend graphiteA few different pencils with different hardness.


I use the harder leads as I mentioned before(usually H and F) to draw the initial proportions in and get them correct. Then I slowly develop the piece gradually adding tone with the softer leads(HB,7B,9B,Ebony). I always work light to dark when using graphite. Filling in dark areas too soon may leave you with a heavy mark that just won’t quite leave the paper should you need to erase.


So when creating any realistic drawing always start off with a light/ hard pencil lead and identify the areas that will be shadows and midtowns then lightly fill them in until you are sure.


Tip: I use the tissue or paper towel to cover spaces evenly and consistently with graphite. It gives that soft feel & tone that you just can’t get directly with a pencil on paper. Also using concentric circles while smudging the graphite on the paper with the paper towel can produce a very nice texture that is great for rendering skin tones.

These tools and tips can be used when creating any realistic drawing. They do lend themselves especially well to creating portraits. For more tips on shading check out my other page on Pencil Shading

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