Are you struggling with proportions and composition in your realistic drawing or painting? Here are some tips and tricks to help you get it right:
Create a viewfinder:
- Viewfinders are a helpful tool when deciding on the composition of your drawing
What you’ll need:
- Paper, cardboard, mat board, or foam core cut into “L” shapes
- Paperclips, binder clips, or tape
How to use it:
- Overlap the two “L” shapes to create a rectangular shape
- Adjust them to the proportions of your page or canvas
- Hold the viewfinder toward your subject with your arm fully extended, slowly moving the viewfinder until you decide on a composition
Work from a photo:
- Sometimes it can be difficult to draw or paint directly from life. To help practice or for reference when creating a more sustained drawing, taking a photo can help.
- When not drawing from life, try to use your own photos as reference for artwork as much as possible
*Hint: Always make sure your canvas or paper is proportional to the size of the viewfinder or photo you are working with. Using a rectangular photo to draw on a square sheet of paper will make it difficult to draw with correct proportions and placement.
Use a grid
- Using pencil or the computer, draw a grid over the photo you are using. Lightly draw a matching grid on your paper or canvas.
- While drawing, look carefully at where objects in the photo sit within the grid lines.