How to: draw from a photo (for beginners!)

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Ever wanted to draw from a photo? I know, I know, the example picture looks too good to be true...


But this simple but effective technique uses TRACING to get all the proportions right - you simply fill in the shapes with different values (shades of the same pencil color) to create a stunning picture!


We'll be using something called a "value scale", so art teachers, this activity is a great way to put it into action.


If you're learning from home, all you'll need is a printed black and white photo (I'll show you how to optimize your photo for drawing at 0:37).


You'll also need (see 0:14 for supplies list):

  • drawing paper

  • pencil

  • eraser

  • tape (blue or masking)

  • scissors

  • blending stick (optional)


Here's a link to the kind of blending sticks I use in the video (starting min. 11:19). They're also called stumps or tortillions.


Alright, let's get to it!



Got questions? Tried the project? Comment below to share how it went.


Want 1:1 lessons with me? I'm offering virtual art lessons via Zoom. Learn more here.