Steps In Helping to Create a Realistic Painting

  • Work from Observation

    Work from Observation
    A realistic painting captures a moment of life. Working from observation is one of the best ways to capture one of those moments. When working from another image or photograph, you are simply taking a 2D image and creating another 2D image. When working from observation, you have the factor of space that creates depth in your work. This also helps you render the object you are looking at, with the way the light moves across the surface.
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  • Thumbnail Sketches

    Thumbnail Sketches
    Thumbnail sketches are a good way of laying out your compostion before you jump right into the work. One object can be viewed in many different ways. Creating these small sketches of different configurations is not time consuming, and it is very helpful in creating a composition that captures the moment more effectively. The thumbnails that you are satisfied with should begin to show your plan of values.
  • Transfer Sketch to Canvas

    Transfer Sketch to Canvas
    Once you are happy with your compostion and you have your value plan, the artist is ready to put the image on the canvas. To keep everything in proportion with your original sketch, it is always a good idea to use a grid to transfer the image. Depending on your ability to draw, you could simply break the image up into 4 sections by dividing the image once verticaly and once horizontaly.
  • Chuck Close

    Chuck Close
    Chuck Close was an artist known for using a grid to transfer images. He would take photographs of his subjects and create very large replicas of them in drawing and painting. His art tansformed over time as he overcame a physical impairment. His art became a meeting point between realist painting and abstract.
  • Use Sketch as Foundation

    Use Sketch as Foundation
    It is a good idea to start your painting off with very detailed line art on your canvas. Every project needs a solid foundation. Use a soft pencil so that you do not harm the canvas. It is also a good idea to draw out details such as wrinkles and small folds in the flesh or clothing of your subject. When you finally begin to add the paint, use your original sketch to stay consistent with the direction of your light source to help with highlights and shadows.
  • Final Project

    Final Project
    A realistic painting captures a moment of life on the canvas. Creating a realistic painting may seem like a very hard task at first, however, by breaking the process up into small goals and steps, the artist can better develop a plan of execution.