I am finally back with my sporadical blog! I am sorry l know l should post regularly, but l run out of time. And l have been wanting to talk about this tip for ages as well! Tip no. 4 which will improve your drawing is this: Learn to really look at your reference photo.
It sounds obvious, but the more you learn to see the better you will draw. You cannot draw what you do not know is there. With experience we might know some things should be there, but even with experience your drawing will improve if you learn to look.
I am constantly amazed by how much more l see when l look at a photo now than how much l used to see. I look back at older pieces and at the reference photo and wonder how l can have missed things that now appear so obvious.
So l thought l would use a photo (from pixabay) and explain what l mean. I always use a screen rather than a print out so that l can zoom in and out. Zooming in might appear obvious, but why would l want to zoom out? Well, when l zoom in l see detail and colors more accurately, but when l zoom out (and usually stand well back in the room at the same time) shapes and contrast become more clear.
You can see that when you zoom right in although the image starts to pixelate you can pick out the colors much more easily. In the full photo the eye just looks black with a white highlight. In the zoomed in image you can see purple around the highlight in the eye, and that the highlight itself has some Pink in it, you can see oranges reflected in the bottom of the eye. You can see a more subtle highlight going horizontally across the eye and pink and orange in that highlight. You can see a tiny orange feather above the eye. All sorts of colors start to appear if you really look. You see the tiny white rim with Violet grey flecks around the outer eye. Really look. These little details bring a drawing to life.
Now prop your screen up somewhere and stand back and look at the whole image, from a distance the shapes are much easier to pick out. I stand and compare my drawing and the screen from a distance. I can see clearly then where shape is not quite accurate or where contrast needs to be increased.
I probably spend as long looking at my reference photos as l do drawing, constantly zooming in and out. I am still learning and still seeing more each time l draw. I know if l drew this photo again today l would add more to my drawing than l did a few months back, because l have learned to see more.
So that is my tip for today. I am hoping to be trying out a brand new brand of color pencil very soon and l shall be sharing that with you on here. I am very excited about that, so stay tuned.