Elli Maanpää

Animated Painter

  • Rendering: Adding textures, details and deepening the shadows.

  • Adding 2nd shade of green to make the shadows darker.

  • Adding little bit of black marker to make the details like eyes pop.

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How To Draw From Reference

Blog
Tutorial
YouTube

This video tutorial is a 30 second Drawing Lesson that shows the basics of how to draw from reference. In the video I used as a reference my Cat Cocco sleeping in a basket.

How draw from reference: Cocco in a basket 2020 by Elli Maanpää

How draw from reference: Cocco in a basket 2020 by Elli Maanpää

In this blog post I illustrate the same principles with more details with a green col-erase drawing of a Gecko.

Before you start: FIND A REFERENCE

Find a reference from life or a photograph. For this Gecko drawing I found the reference photograph from Pexels which is free stock photograph library. That means that you have a right to use the photographs in your own art. If you choose a photograph from social media ask from the original creator permission to use it before drawing.

Choose a drawing topic that you enjoy drawing. For me animals are always a go to topic to make studies on.

1. OVERALL SHAPE

Sketch out loosely the overall shape of the whole subject to your drawing paper. Be sure to include everything you want to have in the drawing. So you know everything will fit to the page you’re drawing on and no hands i.e. are left out. This part is good a compositing practise.

How draw from reference: Color pencil drawing of a Gecko 2019 by Elli Maanpää

How draw from reference: 1 – Overall shape and size // 2 – Basic geometric shapes

2. GEOMETRIC SHAPES

Divide the object into geometric shapes like circles, triangles and rectangles.This step will make the next step easier. Drawing is always about simple geometric shapes: everyone can draw a circle. If you can draw a circle you can draw anything.

3. DRAW THE OUTLINES

By using the geometric shapes as your base it’s easier to draw the actual outlines. Look closely at your reference: don’t try to guess or assume how the outlines go.

How draw from reference: Color pencil drawing of a Gecko 2019 by Elli Maanpää

How draw from reference: 3- Sketch outlines

4. ADD SHADOWS 

Again look at your reference closely when you’re adding the shadows. If you want you can make a value chart with your drawing pencil to know how dark you can go with it.

How draw from reference: Color pencil drawing of a Gecko 2019 by Elli Maanpää

How draw from reference: 4 – Add shadows.

5. RENDER

Do you know the 20/80 rule? The crucial first steps from 1-3 took 20% of the time and the rendering takes 80%. You can use as much or little time as you want to render the drawing to its final phase.

You can introduce new tools like I did: I took a deeper shade of green pencil and black marker to make more contrast to the drawing. Use what ever tools you want to and have at hand. You can also add color or focus on the elements you find most interesting i.e. the face.

5. FINISH

If starting is the hardest part finishing is the 2nd hardest thing to do. Deciding when to stop rendering. Sign your work with your name and year. Great job!

How draw from reference: Color pencil drawing of a Gecko 2019 by Elli Maanpää

How draw from reference: Color pencil drawing of a Gecko 2019 by Elli Maanpää

HAPPY NEW YEAR. SEE YOU IN 2021.