Simple Guide For Drawing Realistic

Focus On These 5 Basic Art Skills For Drawing Realistic

  1. Draw With Straight Lines
  2. Proportions
  3. Values
  4. Blend Mid-Tones To Turn The Form
  5. Edges, No Outlines

Draw With Straight Lines

Drawing with straight lines can make a drawing look more realistic. Instead of drawing with curves, consider drawing with a series of small straight lines. Curves can be made by connecting a series of small straight lines.

Drawing with curves can easily result in enlarged objects. Curvy lines can also create an animated look. Of course, curves can also imply movement.

Consider drawing mostly with straight lines, reserving curves for illustrating action or movement.


Drawing realistic requires believable proportions. Work to get the proportions as accurate as possible. Consider using a ruler to visually measure and compare. Use simple math to check proportions.


In order to draw realistic, one must learn to see values accurately. It's easy to make the darks too dark and the lights too light. Too much contrast between the lights and dark can make a drawing look cartoonish. Drawing realistic requires believable values.

I often draw too dark. I'm heavy-handed.

Overcome heavy-handed drawing through deliberate practice. Use harder charcoal which makes lighter lines. Consider using a pencil extender. A longer pencil often results in lighter marks.

Blend Mid-Tones To Turn The Form

Blending the mid-tones will help make a drawing look realistic. The mid-tones are the areas where the light areas and dark areas meet. Adjusting and blending the mid-tones can make an object look more 3D.

Edges, No Outlines

Beginners often draw line drawings. Transitioning to 3D drawing can be challenging.

Beginners often leave the outlines. In reality, objects are seldom outlined, unless by artificial means like eyes outlined by makeup.

The edges between objects are simply contrast between light and dark. The light is reflected differently off of various objects of shape size, texture, and make-up. It's the difference in the light that actually forms the edges in a drawing.

Consider removing outlines as the drawing progresses. Blend outlines into the object. Erase outlines completely where no visual separation can be seen. There will often be small gaps of very little to no contrast between the subject and the background. Breaking up any outlines can make a drawing seem more real.


Focus on these 5 things when drawing realistic. Draw with straight lines. Without fine-tuned control, curvy lines can visually enlarge an object. Straight lines tend to make a drawing look more realistic. Curvy lines tend to make a drawing look animated or cartoonish. Create curves by making a series of small straight lines.

Aim to draw believable proportions. Measure often during the drawing process. Take photos or look at the work in a mirror to give yourself immediate feedback. It's easier to fix errors in proportion early on than it is to fix them later.

Keep values subtle and believable. Values in nature are often subtle. When drawing, it's easy to make the darks too dark and the lights too light. Exaggerated contrast between the lights and darks can make a drawing look illustrated or like a cartoon.

Carefully blend the mid-tones between the light and dark. Blending the mid-tones helps to visually turn the form into a 3D object. The better you get a blending of the mid-tones, the more believable the drawing.

Examine the final drawing. Look for outlines. If objects or features have outlines, work to blend outlines into the drawing or remove them altogether. The edges between objects should be represented by any contrast that exists between light and dark. The edges of a lighter object will separate the object from a darker background and so on. Focusing on these 5 things can help when drawing realistic.

Author: Sonia Reeder-Jones