If your goal is to create realist drawings and paintings, you must master the accuracy of your outline drawing. Never neglect it and strive to perfect the drawing every single day. If you paint, you rely on your drawing skills even more to create realist art. Whenever something looks off, it means that your drawing is off. There are several easy tools realist artists use to catch their mistakes. I’m going to list the ones I use the most often.
5 tips to catch your drawing mistakes:
#1 Turn your canvas, paper or any other surface you’re using upside down.
Turn it often. By turning your canvas upside down, your brain sees the mistakes instantly. I often paint upside down too because it lets me focus on shapes and see my subject differently. I keep rotating my drawing/ canvas often checking for anatomy mistakes.
#2 If you paint digitally, flip your canvas horizontally often.
By flipping the canvas, you see all your awkward shapes. Use “Flip Layer Horizontal” function. Go back and forth working on your drawing in both modes.
#3 Check the accuracy of your drawing in a mirror.
Look at your drawing in a mirror! This is the most useful tool I use to catch my mistakes. You’ll notice the crookedness of the eyebrows or unevenness of other shapes in your drawing.
#4 Step back to look at your drawing from the distance.
You can evaluate the relationships between big elements in your composition standing far away from your canvas, which you don’t see being up close to your painting.
#5 Take a picture of your art in progress.
Hold your camera straight and quite far from your drawing to prevent big distortion (yes, almost all cameras distort images, especially the phone cameras). Now look at your picture. At first glance you’ll see a few strange shapes in the photo. They may become less obvious after a while because our brain makes adjustments… I often use my camera at the last stage of my painting process thinking that I’m done and ready to take my final shot but then I notice a few more mistakes I didn’t catch during the painting process.
This is it! Use a combination of all of these tools to perfect your anatomy drawing or any other kind of drawing.
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