Drawing From Photos

توضیح مختصر: How to draw realistic drawings from photographs. Concepts covered include cropping photos, editing photos, creating a grid, drawing with the aid of the the grid.

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This welcome to the 11th video. And the secrets to drawing video course brought to you by the virtue instructor doc Cobb in this video we’re going to take a look at drawing from photos drawing from photographs can help an artist create highly detailed and highly realistic drawings. It’s important to understand that although it is easy to find photos to draw it is best practice to take your own photos. You want your work to be a 100 percent original. Some of the drawing from photos tips in this video include cropping photographs enhancing photos using a photo manipulation program creating a grid on your photo and then setting up a gridded drawing surface and then drawing using that grid. This is a photograph I took of a gorilla at a local zoo. I’m going to be using this photograph as an example. The first thing I want to do is enhance the photograph. So I’ll open up the photograph in a photo manipulation program. In this case I’m using Adobe Photoshop but you can use a program gimp too which is completely free. I’ll provide a link for both programs below. Once you open the photo in the program the first thing I want to do is remove all the color information in Photoshop. I’ll do this by going up to image then mode then selecting greyscale. I want to do this so I can focus entirely on the values. Since I’m using Grafite for this demonstration once I have removed all the color. The next thing I want to do is adjust the balance of values. I’ll do this by going to image then adjustments and then brightness and contrast. I will adjust the brightness in contrast to a level where the values are balanced. Next I want to crop my image to make a more pleasing composition. To do this I’ll use the selection tool to select an area that I want to keep. Then in Photoshop I’ll go up to image and then from there select crop. In this case I have cropped the image to a size of 8 inches by 10 inches. Having even numbers will help me in the next step. When I begin to grid the photograph and make a grid surface for drawing to add the grid in Photoshop I’ll go to you then scroll down to show. Then out to grid the default grid that you get looks something like the photograph to make changes to the grid go up to Photoshop. Select preferences and go down to God’s grid and slices from this menu. You can make changes to your grid settings. In my case I’ve changed the color of the grid to red so it contrasts nicely against the gray background . I’ve also changed the grid line to every one inch and subdivision should be set on one as well. Here’s a look at our photo reference. Now with the grid placed on top of it since our photograph was cropped to 8 inches by 10 inches we have 8 squares across the top and the bottom and 10 squares along the sides to reflect this. In a moment I’ll begin preparing my paper to complete this drawing using this photo reference. If you’d like to do this drawing using the same photo reference you may download it following the link below. Keep in mind that I added these grid lines in Photoshop. If you do not have access to Photoshop or GIMP you’ll need to print out the photograph and add a one by one inch grid on top of the photograph. You can do this by drawing directly on the photograph or taking a sheet of acetate and laying it directly on top of the photograph. From there you can draw the grid with a permanent marker on the acetate to preserve the photograph under any in this example I’m using an 8 inch by 10 inch photograph with an 8 inch by 10 inch grid on top of it. In a moment I’m going to prepare a piece of paper that’s going to be exactly the same size eight inches by 10 inches. I’ll prepare a grid on that paper. That equals one edge as well. So I’ll have one inch squares on the photograph and one inch squares on my drawing paper. Each square in the grid on my photo reference will correlate exactly with the square placed on my drawing paper they’ll be exactly the same size. So this should be pretty easy. But what if you want to make a 8 by 10 photograph into a 16 by 20 drawing. Well it’s simple. You just double the numbers each one inch square on our gridded photograph will correlate. In this case to a two inch by 2 inch square placed on our 16 by 20 drawing surface if you want to make a drawing that’s three times as large as your 8 inch 10 inch photo reference you just multiply the values by three You’re one inch by 1 inch grid on your eight by 10 photo will correlate with a three inch by three inch grid drawn on your 24 inch by 30 inch drawing surface. Now Im ready to draw Magritte. Keep in mind that I’m using a grid that’s exactly the same size as my photo reference. This means that the grid drawl needs to be 8 inches by 10 inches so I measure out 8 inches horizontally and 10 inches vertically to make a rectangle. Next using a ruler I’ll carefully mark inch intervals on both sides of the rectangle that I have drawn next using a ruler. I’ll draw a straight line from one notch to the corresponding notch on the other side of my grid. Make sure that you take your time with this as you won’t these lines to be as accurate and as straight as possible. Also keep in mind to draw lightly here we’ll want to erase some of these lines later in the drawing . If you draw too dark it will be difficult to do this . I’ll repeat the same process for the top and bottom portions of my grid first marking off inch intervals and then using the ruler to draw straight lines from one notch to the other. Once I’ve got my grid completed I can now begin to focus in on drawing. I’ll begin by reading the grid. Oh my FOTR reference starting with the upper left hand corner and going across I’m looking at what lines might exist on my Fodor reference within each square of the grid. Then I’m just putting those lines on the corresponding square on my drawing paper. Remember drawing is a process of observation. This is especially true when you’re doing grid drawing. Focus on what visual information exist in each square of the grid on your photo reference. Take that visual information and put it in the corresponding square on your drawing paper. Once I’ve got the contour line information on my drawing paper I can begin to concentrate on the values and textures that I see I’m still approaching this the same way as the contour line drawing paying close attention to the information that’s in each square of the grid on my photo reference and putting that information on my drawing paper. It’s very important that when you’re creating a drawing that’s highly realistic and highly detailed that you approach it very patiently creating a drawing that’s highly realistic takes time. This is something that a lot of people fail to recognize. They think that artists are just able to sit down and pump out a very realistic drawing in a short amount of time. And it just doesn’t happen that way. It takes time to complete something that’s realistic. So once you have committed yourself to taking time and paying attention to every single line and every single change in value you’re already on your way to being successful creating realistic drawings. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of information that exists on objects that you’re trying to draw like this gorilla. There’s a variety of different textures. There’s lots of changes in value and there’s lots of detail but drawing with the aid of a grid allows me to take that complexity and digest it in smaller bits. I’m only focusing on what’s in each square in my photo reference and then putting that information on the corresponding square in my drawing. By doing this it allows me to not be overwhelmed and allows me to really focus on what I’m seeing not necessarily what I think I’m seeing but what I’m actually seeing in each square. Also remember all the things that we’ve talked about so far in this course when you’re drawing lines think about the cross contour lines. In the case of the fur on the gorilla. Make sure that your lines are following the same contours as the hair in your photo reference. This goes a long way in making the hair and the fur look realistic in your drawing. Also remember that we’re after a full range of value. We should have all the shades and all the tints that exist in our photo reference included in our drawing . Remember also that we’re trying to create the illusion of form therefore we need to have highlights and shadows and those highlights and shadows need to work together to create the illusion of a light source. In the case of this photo reference the light sources come in from the left side. Therefore the highlights and shadows presented in the drawing should reflect this. If you pay special attention to your photo reference you’ll see that in this drawing I’m using a very soft graphite pencil. It’s about equivalent to a four B to six B pencil. If I was to rub the palm of my hand over areas that have already drawn it would smear the drawing to prevent any smearing. I’ve placed a paper towel under the palm of my hand. You’ll also notice that I started working from the upper left hand corner and am slowly working downward to the right. This is because I’m right handed. If you’re left handed you may try working from the upper right hand corner and working your way down to the lower left hand corner. I’d like to just make a note on texture here. You’ll notice that the gorilla has a variety of different textures the fur the face and the eyes all present different challenges. The key to creating the illusion of texture all rests in value. You’ll notice in the texture of the hair I’m placing dark values next to light values and I’m really paying attention to the directional lines that I make there they’re the same thing is true for the skin and the fact that I’m handling the application of the graphite in a way that mimics the texture of the skin. Pay special attention to subtle changes in value because if you get the subtle changes of value right then you’ll get the illusion of texture right which is very important and create in a realistic drawing even in the areas of intense dark value. It’s incredibly important to make sure that your directional lines make sense. You might recall that in this drawing I started adding value with the eyes. I now need to go back and make some areas a bit darker. It’s always a good idea to draw things just a bit lighter than you think they should be. This is because if you decide to make them darker you can always go back and make them darker. It’s difficult however to go back and make areas lighter. Once I’ve got the values sorted out on the main subject matter I decide to go back and increase the contrast in the drawing. I’m doing this by adding a darker value in the background pan the gorilla and make small circles to ensure that the value and texture remains consistent. It’s important to make sure that you preserve some contrast between your subject and your background using the grid technique. When we draw from photos allows us to draw highly detailed realistic drawings. It helps us take complex information and break it down into bite sized chunks that we can handle easily . If you’re patient and you take your time and you use the grid correctly you really can draw anything that you want to. Now what did we learn in this video. Well first of all we learned when possible take your own photos when using them as a reference for a draw. We also learned how to edit our photos for drawing. We learned how to set up a grid on our drawing surface that’s proportional to our photo reference. We learned that the grid technique can produce highly detailed and realistic drawings when used correctly . But it’s important that we trust the grid. Trust what we’re seeing and most importantly be patient in the next video we’re going to take a look at how you can create a successful business.