Pencil Artist Linda Huber

My Drawing Tips ::

Drawing in the style of realism takes a little amount of skill, lots and LOTS of patience, keen observation and most of all confidence! Confidence that you will learn, and grow over time into that artist you envision for yourself. By drawing slowly and working hard on each small step you'll begin to form an understanding on how to draw true to life! Life is the key here...what you see and know will help you the most. So open your eyes and mind my friend and let's get drawing!

I offer online drawing lessons. My unique style of teaching can help anyone looking to advance to a much higher level in drawing! For further information please look here: Online Drawing Lessons ~Linda

  1. Observation is the number one key to realism drawing! Train your eyes to see every line, detail and tone in a reference.
  2. Use the computer screen to view your reference, it is great for zooming into tiny areas.
  3. Use only clear large reference photos to work from (get permission if it's not a free stock photo).
  4. Use good contrast photos (lots of darks and light tones) a good balance makes for a great drawing
  5. Print out the reference in grayscale, lighten the photo to better see shadowed areas (print different samples)
  6. Do not draw from full frontal flash photos, they will look flat
  7. Begin with a light outline (draw a one inch grid with the H)
  8. Use a clean piece of plain paper under your drawing hand to prevent any smudges
  9. Keep works in progress (wips) covered when you're not working on them
  10. Work on a small, 1-2 inch area at a time, finish it before moving on to the next adjoining area
  11. Use a mechanical pencil to draw in details, the point is always sharp
  12. Leave highlights untouched and draw around them, use the kneaded eraser to lift graphite out of highlights when needed
  13. Use light-medium pressure when layering light and medium tones and a bit harder pressure for darker tones.
  14. Use very small circular stokes making sure to overlap all when layering.
  15. Wrap a piece of clean plain tissue around one finger and blend your light and mid tones
  16. The B pencil is great for medium tones, build up tones until they are realistic looking
  17. Blend all hard lines, unless they are also seen in the reference or in real life
  18. Use a mirror when drawing a portrait, besides the photo reference you are your best reference
  19. Use a 3b or 4b pencil to build up the darkest tones, layer them and do not blend for near black tones
  20. Go darker to give the drawing more depth
  21. Turn the drawing and reference upside down to better see and render shapes
  22. Draw ever tiny detail you see, tones make up half the drawing and details make up the rest!
  23. Use light layers of a workable fixative on the finished drawing to help reduce graphite shine and smudges
  24. Keep in mind that an artist never stops growing, like everything in life you learn as you go along, time truly is your friend
  25. Oh and if you rush a drawing it will show so sloooooow way down and enjoy your artistic journey.
  26. Look at your work with objective eyes, once you see areas that can be improved make that your goal for the next drawing and you WILL see improvement!
  27. In order to draw tiny details your drawing needs to be large! Yes I know it takes longer to finish a large drawing but honestly it's so much easier to work bigger!
  28. Tell yourself that you are doing your best work, then reinforce those thoughts by working the best you can! :)
  29. If you are not happy with a drawing, re-draw it until you are. We truly do learn from practice on something you like and as always have fun drawing!
  30. When I say to draw not only what is seen in the reference but what you know. I mean draw what you have seen with your own eyes either in person or in a photo.
  31. Do Not use printer paper or thin sketching paper to do detailed drawings, the paper WILL NOT hold up and you WILL be disappointed!
  32. Use Bristol, Illustration, and other boards for all of your best drawings.