Realistic drawing differs from cartoons because of coloring,
shading, and proportions. Find basic tips for realistic drawing here!
Lifelike vs. Cartoon:
Realistic drawing is something that is difficult, but no where near as difficult as most imagine.There is actually very little difference between realistic drawings and cartoons.The only major differences are the shading, and the color values.
Cartoons use overly bright or dark colors, and are easily recreated with colored pencils. Realistic drawings can not be done easily with colored pencil, and most can never create a “real-life” appearance with colored pencils.However, pastels and paints can easily create the values needed for every-day colors.These colors should blend more, and have fewer differences than are seen are most cartoons.
Any style of picture can suddenly seem realistic with the correct shading.Look at most computer animated movies today, and you can see many clear examples of realistic drawings done with extreme proportions or out-of-this-world characters.It is truly the shading that makes the art.A few things to remember about shading realistic drawings are:
Pick an angle of light (The book The Pencil Box has a great chapter on light and shadow)
Everything on the opposite side of the light source is darker
Shading around the eyes should be dark because eyes are deeper in the head
Foreheads are round, and shading should reflect this
Hair has many different highlights, and usually reflects light
Clothing will have wrinkles that should be shaded on the opposite side of the light source
If you can keep these basic steps in mind when shading realistic drawings, then your picture will look “real” no matter what the character began as. A great book you can purchase on the subject of shading is Secrets to Realistic Drawing. This book will take you through the exact steps of drawing realistically.
The other main importance to realistic drawing is proportions.If you are not creating your own world and style of characters, then you will want to stick to basic “Earthly” proportions.The basic proportions to remember with people and realistic drawings are these:
The width of the eye is equal to the length from the bottom lip to the end of the chin
The width of the hips is equal to the width of the shoulders (Female)
Male's shoulders are a little wider, with slightly narrow hips
The arms are the same length as the legs (Male)
Females have slightly shorter arms
Realistic drawings need be no more complicated than cartoons, as long as you follow these basic rules.Remember, no one gets it perfect the first time.For best results, practice realistic drawings often.