Using a Photograph to Learn How to Draw

Heya everybody, sorry for lack of posts…a lot of things have happened to me…not exactly good stuff, either. My grandfather passed away a week ago and I haven’t really done anything interesting since then. I thought I should write something about drawing though, because I really do enjoy it and it can keep me occupied for a long time. My pictures aren’t necessarily the best things ever, but here I’ll just show you what I’ve done.

Right, this isn’t actually a tutorial… it’s something I learnt from another great artist…. but if you’re REALLY REALLY struggling when it comes to drawing, use a photograph of an actual person to help you learn and model your own drawings after.

FURTHERMORE, this was really inspired by an artist called offrecord on deviantart who mentioned in one of her tumblr posts that she used Ian Somerhalder as a model, especially for her pictures of Dante from Devil May Cry. She also draws a lot of stuff for Assassin’s Creed, but I was really sucked in by her DMC art. I couldn’t find any tutorials from her so thought I’d try and use a photo of Mr Somerhalder myself and see what happens from it. Offrecord is pure genius anyway. Google her if you are interested!!!!!

Let’s get that pic of Mr Somerhalder and start drawing (…shame they killed him off in Lost. Boone was the best but his story was pretty crappy).


Ahhhh…how can anyone be soooo dreamy….. drool *3*

Right okay, erhem. Let’s move on.

So this is what I did to try and teach myself the realism way of drawing. Basically just open any digital programme you use. It’ll be Manga Studio for me because I have got a new laptop now and Paint Tool Sai is still unfortunately stuck on my old lappy, which wouldn’t be fixed anytime soon. I am also more of a lineart person, to be honest.

Okay, so open up the photo with the digital programme and then lower the opacity to about 20%. For some reason on Manga Studio, it kinda ended up looking like this:


Above: Normal opactiy at 100%

Below: Lower opacity.


Anyway, create another layer on top of that so you don’t draw on the actual photo and from then one, you can use the photo to help you learn how the features of the human face and how to angle it properly and…well, honestly, this is perhaps the best way to learn how to draw more realistically if you are more interested in realism rather than manga/anime and the big eyes and stuff.


So as you build up from the photo, you can then make your own amendments. Here, I made him smiling…erm…smirking(?) and I gave him longer, floppy hair. Heh, I was aiming to make him look like Dante from Devil May Cry. Lol.


Next, I added some more lines but I kept the stubble lol. I’m actually not sure if I have completely butchered the picture of Ian Somerhalder (have I? O_O)


Anyway, by using the photograph, it can assist in teaching you the basics of how to draw a person, yay!

And here is the finished result:


Now, as you can tell…but I have never ever, EVER, in my whole puny miserable life, have I EVER drawn a face like that before. Lol… I think using a photograph will really help you draw realistic eyes…so there you have it, drawing from a photo can really help you improve!!!!! :))) Just make sure you don’t actually copy the entire thing and post it up and call it your own or there’ll be trouble!!! D:

Finished result:



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